Renting is the new homeownership. Since the economic downturn of 2008, more people are deciding to forego owning their own homes in favor of renting a property.
Several factors have contributed to this move toward a rental lifestyle. Renting provides the benefits of housing without the hassles of home ownership. If a dishwasher breaks or the basement is leaking water, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to repair.
Securing a rental contract can be quicker than securing a mortgage and breaking a lease typically involves less risk than selling a home under duress, such as a short sale or at a loss. Although our area remains strong for home sales, the uncertain nature of the economy can make plunging into a property purchase nerve-wracking at best.
In addition, following the mortgage crisis, tighter lending standards mean an individual will typically need to have a significant down payment to purchase. With the average property sales price for the month of July in the City of Alexandria at $516,177, a 20 percent down payment equates to more than $100,000.
Finding the right rental property isn’t always easy. For the reasons outlined above, and due in part to the transient nature of our region, the rental market in Del Ray and the surrounding neighborhoods is tight. Rental homes with the right combination of amenities can be snatched up in a matter of days, if not hours.
So, how do you determine what the best financial move is for you or your family? With the surge in popularity for renting, online sources abound that can assist in making the numbers make sense. The New York Times even offers a calculator on its website that will do the math for you.
Although the decision to rent a home versus buying one is a personal decision, in our present economy, many are finding that decision easier to make.