The Good, Bad and Ugly of Renting
Like most things in life, there are both positives and negatives to renting instead of buying living space. Renting has traditionally been the way young people start out on their own, with ultimate visions of perhaps owning a home some day. Things have changed, however, when it comes to renting vs owning. For example, many younger people are renting longer, some into their 30s. Conversely, more singles are buying homes, prior to marriage. Seniors also seem to be turning more toward renting as they downsize later in life. Here are some of the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of renting living space.
Perhaps the most attractive aspect of renting is that the financial barriers are lower. You don’t need a large down payment. While deposits and initial rent can be a bit of a barrier for some, it is certainly less expensive than purchasing a home, where thousands of dollars may be required. Since the property is not owned by the tenant, there is more flexibility in moving, based on the terms of a lease, of course. Ther is less responsibility for maintenance and taxes and some rentals include at least some utilities. It should also be noted that renters insurance is far less expensive than homeowners’ insurance. Renting always works well with the “pay only for what you use” philosophy many young people have today.
When you rent living space, you forego the ability to build equity in real estate, frequently a core aspect in financial plans. You are instead, helping the landlord build equity. You are also still responsible for any damage you or others may do to the property while living there. If you don’t have an attentive landlord, it can take days or even weeks to get routine maintenance done on a rental. You also have little to say about your neighbors, who will likely change more frequently than in a stable neighborhood where people own their homes or condos.
There are some unattractive aspects to renting, including the fact that rental properties are more susceptible to crime. You also don’t have much to say about choosing your landlord if you can afford and like the property. Some landlords may be unresponsive, uncaring, and demanding. Although there are regulations in most areas regarding tenant-landlord relationships, some landlords may not follow them, entering your property without your knowledge. Rent can be raised after every lease term and leases are inherently written to favor the landlord in every aspect.
Millions of people rent the properties where they live, most without incident. But by knowing the good, bad and the ugly of renting you can be better prepared for what may be ahead.
If you are a renter and have not explored renters insurance, we invite you to contact us. Renters insurance is extremely affordable and has very valuable benefits. We would be happy to discuss it with you. Contact one of our independent insurance agent today.