People who rent property rather than purchase a home do so either out of necessity or by choice. People who rent out of necessity may do so because they are:
  • Saving for a down payment on a house
  • Unable to get approved for a mortgage
  • Required to relocate frequently for work, making owning a house impractical
People who rent by choice – an increasing percentage of the renter population – may do so because:

  • They are attracted to the many benefits of renting including flexibility
  • They wish to downsize and simplify their housing situation
  • Owning a home is not a priority
Retirees
Many retirees sell their homes and choose to rent in order to downsize. In addition, retirees are often attracted to the reduced maintenance responsibilities. As any homeowner knows, taking care of routine maintenance – such as mowing the lawn and cleaning the gutters – and unexpected repairs – like a leaky roof or cracking foundation – are both expensive and time consuming. Many homeowners who have been responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their homes for many years look forward to handing off those duties during retirement.

SEE: Retirement Living: Renting Vs. Home Ownership

Frequent Travelers
Frequent travelers may find renting appealing because of the reduced maintenance responsibilities and the convenience of having neighbors to keep watch over the empty unit. Additionally, travelers may be able to benefit from amenities like an on-site business center and a 24-hour fitness center.

College Students
College and graduate students often rent in order to move out of campus housing. Renting may offer students more privacy, a more productive atmosphere for studying and the ability to cook their own meals (rather than use the school's cafeteria). Renting may also enable students to bring cars to school (some colleges do not allow students to have cars on campus because parking is so limited), as well as sporting equipments such as bikes or kayaks.

Singles
Individuals may prefer renting because of the simplicity, reduced financial obligations and access to social events. Singles may also appreciate the sense of community and the feeling of security that comes from having many neighbors nearby. In some cases, a down payment and the financial obligation of a mortgage might encourage single people to continue renting.

Young Couples
Young couples may choose to rent while they are saving for a down payment or before they decide on a location to settle down. While many couples continue to enjoy the benefits of renting indefinitely, others may use renting as a stepping stone to homeownership. Like most renters, young couples may also be attracted to the lack of maintenance responsibilities, freeing up time for social activities and work obligations.

Small Families
Small families may be attracted to renting because of the amenities, financial flexibility and the limited maintenance responsibilities. Many apartment complexes, for example, now offer after school care for children, which is a valuable convenience for working parents. Children and families may enjoy such amenities as on-site swimming pools, playgrounds and game rooms.


Next: Renters' Guide: Benefits of Renting »



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