The housing crash permanently altered the perception of homeownership. Renting is now, if not vogue, a socially acceptable alternative to homeownership. And here are a few reasons why renting can be even better than owning a home.
First of all, renters have a greater liquidity than homeowners, a financial flexibility that cannot be understated in today’s economy. Homes are a highly illiquid form of investment, given that they cannot be sold quickly. That’s not to say buyers don’t exist, but they’re not necessarily easy to come by either. A house cannot be quickly converted into cash without the possibility of losing a large percentage of its value. Renters avoid this problem entirely.
And unlike homeowners, renters invest no equity in their property, so they’re able to put that money elsewhere. This is important to note because homes are not appreciating like they used to. Homes are not the safe bet that people have always relied on. If people are interested in seeing large investment returns, they’re better off putting their money elsewhere.
Renting also affords a mobility that homeownership cannot. Instead of being bogged down by the process of selling a home, renters can move as soon as the lease expires. Then they’re free to move wherever they like, trying out new neighborhoods or sticking around what they know. And they don’t have to rehab their unit prior to moving. They don’t have to engage in costly updates to make their unit more desirable. Escrow might as well be a word in a foreign language.
Additionally, renters don’t have to take the time to fix anything — that’s the landlord’s job. Instead of replacing a busted washer and dryer, many renters can just request a fix from the property manager. It’s incredibly easy, saving both time and money.
Many rental properties offer numerous facilities and benefits that homes do not. Apartment communities offer amenities that cater to life’s essentials — and then some. Some of these amenities are in-unit, like upgraded kitchens, energy efficient appliances, smart control HVAC systems and designated storage spaces. Plus, there are community amenities that homeowners lack. These include gyms, swimming pool and internet cafe. Renters save an incredible sum by avoiding membership fees.
The data doesn’t lie: According to The State of the Nation’s Housing 2017, the number of renter households rose by 600,000 from 2015 to 2016, marking 12 consecutive years of growth. Conversely, during the same 12-year period, the national homeownership rate fell. And not only did this figure fall, it decreased every single year. The stigma behind renting has all but vanished, demonstrating clear advantages with which homeownership cannot compete.