Why Americans Are Renting More Often Now Than in the Past

Friday, July 5, 2019, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

A few generations ago, homeownership seemed almost like a rite of passage for many families.

As housing prices increased and property markets showed volatile leanings during the 2008 recession, however, more and more young people and baby-boomers are opting to rent their living spaces over the long-term.

Here are just a few reasons why renting is gaining more and more traction with Americans, and why it may be the wave of the future.

Why Americans Are Renting More Often Now Than in the Past

  • The Costs of Homeownership May Not Be Worth the Benefits

    While many homeowners opt to purchase properties in the belief that doing so will cut down on lifetime housing expenses, the truth is that homeownership entails a number of responsibilities that can be extremely costly and deeply time-consuming. In scenarios where a landlord would fix plumbing or heating issues at no cost to the renter, for example, home repairs that address such issues can cost thousands of dollars at a time for homeowners. For many renters, in other words, the game of making regular repair payments on aging properties simply isn’t worth the financial or emotional risk.

  • Managing Smaller Spaces is Easier

    One of the biggest complaints of many new homeowners is that maintaining a house and surrounding property can be seriously labor-intensive during what would otherwise count as free time. Simply cleaning a house takes a lot of work per week; mowing a lawn, cleaning a roof, and ensuring that a garage is orderly can take up the majority of a person’s weekend, to say nothing of shoveling snow or leaf blowing. For people who would rather kick back and spend time with loved ones on their days off, it’s easy to see why apartments are appealing alternatives to houses.

  • Forming Great Relationships with the Neighbors

    Another big pull towards renting involves maintaining the close-knit relationships that exist between neighbors in apartment complexes. Since residents tend to live closer together in such complexes, it’s often easier to form friendships with a larger number and wider variety of people than in a suburban neighborhood. More importantly, perhaps, kids also lose out when families move to sparser neighborhoods and unfamiliar school districts.

  • When It Comes to Living Arrangements, Affordability is Key

    When you factor in costs such as housing insurance, property taxes, and maintenance costs, it’s pretty clear that apartments are often the far more affordable option in living arrangements. Because utility bills are often incorporated into rental costs in an apartment building, people who rent their living quarters may find that the ease of making one central payment per month on living costs beats the financial stress of owning a home any day of the week.

For these reasons, many Americans are deciding that renting apartments carries far less risk than homeownership; if current attitudes about housing are any indication, renting is a trend that will add more and more acolytes every year. While there certainly are benefits to purchasing a home, overlooking the great options afforded by renting often puts individuals and families at a financial and emotional disadvantage.

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