Have you and your family outgrown apartment living? Are you ready for a yard, an attached garage, and walls that are not connected to your neighbors? If you have decided that you are ready to move beyond renting an apartment, but are not yet ready to buy a home, you might decide that living in one of many available rental homes is your best option.
As of 2012, renting was still less expensive in most of the largest cities in the country if you planned to spend fewer than 10 years in your location. If you are at a point in your life or career where you are uncertain what the next few years will bring, staying in a rental home makes good sense. While buying a home might be tempting, you need to realize that, on average, homeowners spend between 1% to 4% of a home’s value annually on maintenance and repairs. This can mean expenses of several hundred per month and thousands per year. As a renter, you can avoid these maintenance costs.
Rental homes often allow more space and privacy than apartment or condo living, while still allowing the renter to enjoy maintenance free housing. When you look for houses to rent you want to be very certain that the landlord has a reputation for responding quickly to concerns and maintenance issues.
Houses for rent come are available in a variety of price ranges and a variety of locations. Even more than apartment renting, house renting can often allow you to select a very specific location. For example, you can rent a home near a job, or rent a home very close to a school that you want for your children.
Rental homes also give tenants more flexibility when it comes to moving if you need to. Depending on your lease agreement, you may be able to move with as little as two months notice. Buying a house, however, does not provide the same flexibility. When selling a home, in fact, the average time for a sale in a fast market might be 30 days, but the average time in a slow market could be nine months. If you experience a career change, a nine month wait could be very expensive and, in some cases, even prohibitive.
Where you live determines quite a bit about your future. If you are to the point in your life that you know you are going to be in one location for at least ten years, then purchasing a home could be an option for you. If, however, your plans are less certain, making the decision could be in your best financial interest.