The Benefits of Renting
The Washington Metropolitan area has many apartment options and high demand thanks to a transient population. But why rent? Cost, flexibility and maintenance-free living are the most common reasons to rent, according to a national survey conducted by apartments.com. The largest number of respondents (43.7 percent) rent primarily for the maintenance-free living that apartments provide. Many respondents have a strong desire for the convenience of a maintenance person available for common household repairs, as well as the freedom of not needing to tend to a lawn, garden or snow-covered driveway.
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More than 23 percent of renters choose to rent for financial reasons. According to the National MultiHousing Council (NMHC), if an individual plans to live in one place for less than five years, it may make the most financial sense to rent. The costs of buying and selling a home can total 10 percent or more of the price of the home. Additionally, home ownership in a desirable neighborhood may be much more expensive than renting in the same neighborhood. Some of the survey respondents indicated that they chose to rent in a preferred school district when owning in the area was not within their budget. Renting also affords individuals the freedom to invest in a variety of stocks, bonds and mutual funds that can provide a higher return on investment than property ownership. According to the NMHC, the average home value increases only five percent each year, whereas the average stock value increases seven percent and bond value increases eight percent each year.
Nineteen percent of respondents indicated that relocation flexibility and the lack of a long-term commitment in an apartment is the primary reason they choose to rent.
For those who rent, apartment selection hinges on specific available amenities and community features. The survey revealed that air conditioning and in-unit washers and dryers are the most desirable amenities. Properties that allow pets and have ample parking for tenants top the list of community features that increase renter satisfaction.
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The NMHC suggests that renting may be a good choice for the following types of individuals: • Young adults just beginning their careers. • Single parents who do not have time for maintenance
or the money to buy a house in a desired school district. • Empty nesters who want to travel. • Anyone tired of long commutes to work. • Anyone who wants abundant amenities and
social activities where they live.
• Professionals who relocate often.