Conventional wisdom has it owning a home is always better than renting. Frequently cited benefits include the tax deductibility of mortgage interest as well as the equity growth homeowners experience as the property appreciates in value. Plus, people just seem to look at you differently when you say you own your home. However, there are a number of advantages of being a renter too.
Always wondered what it’d be like to live in a bustling city center, close to the arts, business, transportation and great restaurants? An urban apartment will give you a taste of that life. After one year’s time, should you decide it isn’t all that, you can look for a new place in a different environment—without worrying about selling your home and all of the tasks involved with doing so. You simply go out, find your next place, settle in and go on with the adventure that is your life.
2) Fewer Costs
Mortgage interest, closing costs, property taxes, maintenance expenses, repair bills, homeowner’s association fees — none of these are of relevance to renters. You come up with first, last, a deposit and you’re in. Buying a house, you’re generally looking at 10 to 15 percent of the purchase price just to get things rolling. Renter’s insurance is less costly than homeowner’s insurance, utilities are cheaper and you don’t have to worry about the state of the economy affecting the value of your home. Plus, repair bills have a nasty habit of popping up when you least expect them. This can have a detrimental effect on even the most carefully planned household budget.
3) The Supply
More and more rental developments are planned to be built in the upcoming years. The 2017 Seattle Neighborhood Apartment Study, presented by Colliers Seattle Multifamily Team, found there are 54,700+ units scheduled for delivery in Urban King County in the next five years. This means the supply for rentals is constantly increasing because of more landlords and real estate investors looking to jump on the rental game. A renter will always have a variety of options when looking for a home.
This isn’t only unique to Seattle. More areas, both residential and urban, are seeing an increase in housing development in the next few years. Over 40 new buildings will be constructed in New York City alone.
4) More Social Opportunities
Chilling at the pool, in the game room, or going to “movie night” will bring you into contact with a larger cross-section of your neighbors much more quickly than living in a house in a neighborhood. Apartment people tend to be more outgoing as well. Many complexes host gatherings to help tenants get to know one another.
5) A Debt-free Life
While a mortgage is considered “good debt”, it’s debt just the same. Further, if your life takes a turn and you need to get out from under a mortgage quickly, there will usually be some very negative ramifications to either your finances or your credit history (and possibly both). If you need a lower payment as a renter, you can move into a less expensive residence much more easily.
For a whole lot of people, renting simply makes more sense. Naturally though, it depends entirely upon your situation. Before you make the decision, take some time, run the numbers and figure out what’s best for you.
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