You do not have to own a property in order to live in it, and no I am not talking about crashing on your friends couch. Renting is a great option for people of all different economic levels and lifestyles. Often renting is thought of as what one may do if they cannot afford a home. This is at times the case but not always. Renting property has many benefits, as well as some cons and risks. A new article from Angela Colley talks about “Can’t Afford to Buy Now? Fall in Love With Renting Again” discusses these very benefits.
Purchasing a home involves a great deal of responsibility. Think about it. You buy a plot of land on the planet that you own and take care of. It can be daunting at times. Renting allows one to shed off some of that responsibility to another, namely a landlord. Landlords are often responsible for keeping the property up to code, caring for the landscaping in ways such as cutting the grass and shoveling snow if you are in those geographical areas.
Another way you are “ not stuck,” while renting is that if you end up not liking the particular area, or even the property itself, you do not have to go through the at times, hassle, of selling the property. If you want out, you can simply not renew your lease. Maybe the lease is not up for a few months, but it is arguably easier to stop paying rent than to sell a house.
I once knew a couple that was interested in purchasing a home in southern New Jersey at one of the famous shore points. They could not narrow it down by simply visiting and going through properties with their Realtor. So they rented properties in each of five towns for a couple weeks throughout one summer before deciding on one location to purchase their home. They researched through renting, before purchasing, so they too did not become “stuck,” in a location that was not right for them.
Renting also comes in handy often for a family member of mine who lives in Florida. For a few weeks during the Holidays she rents a condominium in Center City Philadelphia, where she is near her children and grandchildren. Renting a property for a few weeks is obviously much more cost efficient than owning a property and leaving it vacant for several months. Of course the two above mentioned scenarios come at a significant price that the vast majority of people in the rental market simply cannot afford.
There does come a line where renting can become more expensive than buying overtime, which can be calculated using Realtor.com’s helpful and user friendly Rent vs. Buy Calculator. This was arguably the case for a friend of mine who rented a property in a beach resort in New Jersey, Sea Isle City, for the entire summer, about 15 weeks, for several years. All of the rental fees add up and may even cover a down payment on purchasing a home.
It comes down to the preference of the renter/ buyer and what they find value or put stock in. Perhaps he found comfort in not being “stuck,” with the property and never had to worry about winterizing the home, or being concerned with the endless maintenance required of a home near the ocean.
Anyone who rents has his or her reasons. This captivating article from CNN illustrates how owning a home is “ingrained in the American psyche,” which I agree with. Owning a home is a part of the stereotypical American Dream, but not attainable for people of low incomes. According to Chief Economist at Zillow, Svenha Gudell, “ There’s not enough affordable housing and affordable rental housing in general right now.” The family featured in the article chose to rent a small home in a great school district than buy one in another so that the children could receive a good education.
There are several ways to find that perfect rental property. I have known people who find apartments on Craigslist. I find this way somewhat unprofessional and involving many risks in that you do not know whom you are in contact with. One example hits close to home for me. A family member of mine had their property for sale through a licensed real estate professional, and listed on the multiple listings service. Little did he know that his very property was also listed for weekly rentals on Craigslist by a fraud. Of course not all listings on craigslist are this way, but if you choose this way, be careful. Judy Dutton of Realtor.com gives some great tips of caution when finding a rental in her latest article.
Airbnb is the next up and coming way to find rentals as well. This is more for travel and vacation rentals. This company is far more reliable and professional than Craigslist. The least risky way to find a rental, of course, is by utilizing Realtors, who are knowledgeable of market standards, pricing, and professional behavior in industry.
Looking for a rental? Trying to rent your own property? Give us your input, because this is an open house of real estate.
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