Tucker Smith

Decades ago the American dream was to get married, buy a home and start a family. For some that is still the goal but a new shift has developed making an unprecedented record high of renters in America for 2016.

Many theories have been tossed around as to why America is becoming a nation of renters but the great foreclosure crisis of 2010 is a popular reason in many debates. That may be true but just as the fashion industry has trends and fads, so does the housing market.

There could be multiple reasons why this is happening but with the numbers on the rise rapidly, one could conclude most people are renting by choice. Since 2006 the number of renters in a selected handful of major cities has increased by 22 million renters, making landlords everywhere feel elated. The news is bringing investors out of the woodworks to buy rental income property to diversify their portfolio.

Some people frown upon renting, thinking their wasting money if they don’t buy a home right out of college but that is a limited perspective. Buying a home when you’re not ready financially or personally ready is part of what led to the housing market crash in the first place. There is nothing wrong with wanting to own a home but a person or couple should really do their due diligence. Buying a home is a commitment and you need to be certain where you want to your plant roots.

Renting on the other hand has a lot less strings attached and allows for a more explorative lifestyle. America may finally be tapping into common sense here and actually living their life before committing to a single city or location, making it seem that the rental application form is here to stay.

Below we will take a more in-depth look at why America is shifting their focus to renting and the positive lifestyle it can offer.

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Financial management

With all the changes in the world today and many companies doing mass layoffs, it’s no wonder people feel more comfortable renting. When you rent you can get a better handle on your budget. You have a set rental payment outlined in your lease agreement, you can easily figure and manage utility spending and you have the ability to balance your finances. If for some reason your income changes you have the ability to downsize in an emergency. You can chose a rental property for less money and live within your means and always upgrade to a larger property later if your finances improve. This helps you have peace of mind where your budget is concerned, which is a blessing in higher end markets like the San Francisco Bay Area.

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More work opportunities

Some companies offer overseas opportunities at a higher pay and they offer moving and travel expenses as a compensation package. Employees are starting to take advantage of companies going global and enjoying the bonus perk of living in another part of the world for a time period. Renting allows you to have the flexibility to move where your job takes you. It offers a great advantage of freedom to follow your dreams.

City Monogamy

So many people get “stuck” in a city or small town they grew up in. While it may be comforting at first it will grow old after a while. You should never be monogamous with a city without at least trying on 1-2 more. No you don’t have to move across country but if you’re out in the suburbs try on a big city and if you’re in a big city try on a quaint town to give you something to compare it to. You may know where you want to settle down already but everyone should be encouraged to live and explore a new city. Renting allows you to try on many cities with different lifestyles. One year you can live at the beach and another you may want to trek through snow. With the freedom of renting you can try all kinds of rental homes from California to Tennessee.

Travel Abroad

You may want to study in a unique university in Scotland or volunteer for a while in another country and you may even want to tour Europe. Being a renter gives you this incredible freedom to explore, to live and really sample all life has to offer. You may want to rent in America primarily but then have the freedom to travel back and forth without having to worrying about lawn maintenance, mortgages and other homeowner responsibilities. Traveling abroad gives you a chance to check off some great bucket list activities.

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Discover your style

Are you a high-rise person who loves a cityscape view and walls that are floor to ceiling glass with sunsets as your artwork? Or are you a classic craftsman with an appreciation for original touches, features and rustic charm. Are you a loft person who wants a total open concept or do you prefer the comfort of walls a townhouse will offer? Do you want the space for a garden and sense of community a single-family home will provide? Many people have no idea the type of home that bests suits their needs or taste. Some might assume they want to buy a home, when they actually should get a condo with less maintenance and no yardwork. This is another benefit to renting. You can try on all types of homes and see how you like living in the different options to learn what best suits your lifestyle. Take advantage of this time while you rent to see what type of home you’re most compatible with.

Many valid points could be used when referring to the advantages of renting a home. It is definitely a reality for America in 2016 and is on track to become a growing trend. Many Millennials are opting to keep their options open, thus renting is way more appealing to them than buying. This new pattern of thinking is not solely brought on by a market that crashed but by the tons of other benefits that renting is allowing people with active lifestyles:

  • Freedom, fewer stresses and responsibilities
  • Time to focus on career, open to relocation and promotions in employment
  • Ability to live in various cities, regions and climates
  • Traveling abroad
  • Explore various housing styles and lifestyles
  • Move freely without entanglements
  • No market risks or loss of property values
  • Stay on a fixed housing budget and have financial stability with set bills
  • Cheaper than buying (no property tax, insurance and repair bills)

America is becoming a nation of renters and according to the growing statistics it looks like people have caught on to the multitude of benefits and advantages it can offer anyone.

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