The American Dream was once about the ability to live in a land where jobs were plentiful and you had the opportunity and right to purchase a home. Perhaps that is what this great country was founded upon; however, that is not necessarily the dream any more. There are many economists that say this exact dream, owning a home, is the reason for the current economic nightmare being experienced in all markets across the country, and in some cases around the globe. It is becoming more difficult to make this life changing purchase; despite the fact that over the past ten years buying a home was like going into your favorite department store to pick up the latest pair of Seven jeans. Put it on the “plastic” and pay for it later. Americans need to begin to rebuild their dream.
Renting an apartment was once thought of as only a stepping stone for young adults just leaving the nest, and that keeping up with the Jones’ meant buying the bigger house, with the bigger yard. Not so anymore! Apartment living can be the dream life for everyone, and when put into perspective there are many great reasons for that philosophy! Here are the top five reasons why renting a professionally managed apartment is such a great opportunity!
Why is it that some people can’t commit to a relationship with another person, yet they will commit to a 30 plus year mortgage that has no definite stability? Purchasing a home in any economy is a risk. The value of that property can go up, but oh yes, what goes up must come down. There is always the potential to loose part of your investment or your equity in a house. The average lease term for an apartment is one year. Yes, the rent may be increased ever so slightly year of year; however, so does the price of those jeans! Renting gives you the flexibility to change jobs or move across the country with absolutely no strings attached.
The average rental rate varies from market to market; however, according to the US Census Bureau the typical monthly investment for renter-occupied homes, nationwide, is $755 (http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/ahs/ahsfaq.html). This amount includes utilities and waste costs. If you were to purchase a $300,000 home at a 6.2% interest rate, your approximate net monthly house payment (alone not including utilities) will average over $1800! (http://mortgages.interest.com/content/calculators/rentvsbuy.asp). Think about the additional utility expenses and you can save approximately $1200 a month on apartment living. Another ownership cost to consider is Home Owners Association dues. Do you really know where your contributions are going, and how they are being used to benefit you as the owner? You never have to worry about that in an apartment.
For all the homeowners-how many Fix-It books do you have lying around for projects that started on a honey do list and never quite got going; or worse, they started and are year three into trying to get completed? Well, in apartment living you never have to worry about that! Maintenance is done for you. All you have to do is pick up the phone, call your property manager and tell them what needs to be fixed. It will most likely be done in 24-48 hours! What is better than that!
The “shadow market” is renting a home that is privately owned. This can always be a great option if you need more space; however, as the tenant you could find yourself with more responsibility than you perhaps should have. Yard work, minor maintenance and full utility costs will add to that great deal you thought you were getting for that house on the cul-de-sac. Professional management companies have comprehensive and fair lease terms, take care of all of the “odd” jobs for you, create a sense of community and have guaranteed response times to their tenants. When considering renting, stick to the professionally managed apartment communities.
As major metropolitan areas become more and more populated, the harder it becomes to find suitable or desirable land to purchase. This is partly due to commercial and office real estate getting to the zoning commissions first; and partly due to the need to have a centralized employment center. Either way, apartment living is going to be your best bet to finding that perfect spot blocks from your office, or with the view of the water, or even just one floor from your best friend. Hands down, there are so many more options in rental apartments than in owning in these highly demanded areas.
Some people do prefer big city areas that are more Porsche compared to other localities because they too want to enjoy the perks of living in houses with palatial spaces and dream of a lifestyle that you would mostly find in fairy tales. Be that as it may, rental apartments are also very much worth living and not as though you’re living in slums but just that some people want to live on their own terms but not everyone can hope to live in the Parc Central Residences showflat that is there at a sky high price and only the most elite can afford them at a higher space.
Finding the perfect place to live is one of the most important decisions you can make. You will spend the largest percentage of your income on your housing, and it is typically where you will spend the majority of your time. Do what feels right. However, don’t get pressured into purchasing a home if it does not make complete sense in your life to do so. There is no shame in renting, and when looking at all the great reasons as to why it makes sense; it could actually put you one step ahead of the Jones’!
Jane Castro is a journalist and media enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Bacolod in the Philippines. She loves skating, scuba diving, and archery on her free time.