Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

Nov 21, 2022, 11:00 AM
house with for rent sign posted...
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This article about the benefits of renting is sponsored by Entrata.

Home prices across the Wasatch Front continue to be a challenge for buyers. Once an oasis of opportunity for urbanites looking to escape big city prices, Utah has seen some of the biggest increases anywhere in the nation.

The amount of money you might have paid a couple of years ago for a nice home in a good location will now get you a “fixer upper” in the sticks. That nice home now costs a small fortune. And while home sales in this market recently reached a ten-year low, prices have a long way to fall in order to return to pre-spike levels.

If that wasn’t bad enough, inflation shows no signs of easing, so your money has to stretch farther than before. Whether looking into buying your first home or moving into something different, there are few good purchasing options for the foreseeable future.

The solution to this problem? Consider renting.

My company, Entrata, is a Lehi-based business that has become a nationwide leader in property management solutions. From our unique vantage point, we see the many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you:

Renters don’t have to worry about maintenance or repairs

Maybe the most familiar rental benefit is avoiding the cost of ongoing maintenance and repairs. If the air conditioner goes out, hot water stops working or paint starts peeling, a homeowner is on the hook for those expenses — which can be considerable.

The average American spends $3,018 per year on home repairs, with some experts recommending homeowners budget around 1% of a home’s total value each year for maintenance and repairs. With the median single family home price in Salt Lake County sitting at $637,000, that means an additional $6,370 every year on top of mortgage payments.

In addition, renters can simply skip the time and effort of coordinating maintenance and repairs and leave it to the property manager. If something needs attention in a house, a homeowner has to figure it out themselves or call someone who can help.

Renting saves on monthly expenses

Renting also offers several ways to save that stack on maintenance and repair benefits. For example, renters are not directly on the hook for property taxes, although most property owners have likely factored those into monthly rental payments.

More significantly, the cost for renters insurance is typically much lower than homeowners insurance, as renters only need to cover the items inside the building. Owners — whether a landlord or a homeowner — also insure the structure itself, which is a much bigger investment.

Renters further realize monthly savings on utilities, with most being covered by the property owner. Even recurring expenses for homeowners like internet access or gym facilities are common perks of today’s rental agreements.

Renters get extras that cost owners even more

Speaking of perks and benefits, it’s common for renters to get a lot of them. Along with the mentioned internet access and on-site gym facilities, most apartment communities have swimming pools, playgrounds, sports courts and other recreational amenities that a homeowner either has to pay to access or could install at significant expense.

Renters generally also have green spaces without the hassle of mowing, and beautiful grounds without the work of weeding, watering and maintaining. In cold climates, renters never have to get out of bed early to shovel the overnight snow.

Many modern apartments also include smart home features designed to make life easier for the residents — which are popular enough that owners of older properties often retrofit. Many of these features save energy and money, making renting not just a solid financial choice, but beneficial for the environment.

Renters have built-in buffers against recession

Renting is ideal for stacking up monthly savings. However, as the country deals with large scale financial problems like the looming recession and runaway inflation, renting also gives people options.

Renters have much more flexibility in deciding where to live, whether in a more beneficial location along the Wasatch Front or a different place entirely. Homeowners during the Great Recession were hit hard, and many lost everything when they could no longer afford to make their mortgage payments.

This period of economic recession may be driven by different factors than a housing bubble bursting, but that doesn’t change the fact that greater flexibility and more stability in pricing will help many weather the storm. Renting provides more choices as your life circumstances change.

Renting makes it easier to get out of a bad situation (and into a good one)

The average American will move 11 times in their lifetime, and there are lots of reasons for all of that packing tape and cardboard boxes. Anything from losing a job, to leaving a relationship, to escaping bad neighbors (or neighborhoods) drives this ongoing migration — and is a good argument for renting.

Because renting provides more options, a person can downsize more easily and has more power to negotiate with employers. Homeowners, tied to property, often feel compelled to stick with negative circumstances simply because it’s the lesser of bad options.

Advancements in technology for property owners, managers and residents — like the transformative products we are creating at Entrata — are also streamlining the process for everyone. It’s never been easier for renters and owners to manage every step of the business of moving through cutting edge software and data tools.

We often think of renting as just a step toward homeownership, but that is a paradigm that needs to shift. The benefits of renting include significant cost savings, greater flexibility and shielding against economic downturns. It’s time to embrace renting as another good — often better — option for everyone, regardless of their life circumstances.

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This is a sponsored article brought to you by KSL TV in conjunction with the advertiser. The advertiser paid a fee to promote this article and may have influenced or authored the content. The views expressed in this article are those of the advertiser and do not necessarily reflect those of KSL TV, its parent company, or its staff.

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Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home