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Renting Is an Option for Millions of People

November 7, 2017


Furnished apartments

For many people, owning a home is the American dream. But plenty of people don’t want to own their own home or can’t for a number of reasons, including bad credit or lack of sufficient income. Those people have to live somewhere, however, and most of them rent. More than 42 million housing units in the U.S. are rentals, leading to a large home and apartment rental market. If you are looking to rent, there are some things you need to keep in mind.

One of the biggest considerations for renters is what they can afford. Typically, the rule to follow is that you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your income on housing expenses. You also have to take other renting expenses into account, such as the amount of deposit you have to put down and any additional fees you might have to pay for having a pet. Most rentals that allow pets charge an additional pet deposit, and many also charge additional rent or a monthly fee for those who have a pet.

Another consideration is what kind of rental unit you want to live in. You can choose from houses for rent, townhomes for rent, rental condos and apartment rentals. There are advantages to each type of rental housing. For example, rental houses may provide you with a private yard and a garage, amenities that may not be available in apartment rentals. However, many apartment complexes have amenities such as a pool, fitness center, clubhouse and secured entry.

For some people, the length of a lease is a consideration when looking for rental housing. About one-third of renters move each year, and many people are hesitant to sign a long-term lease. For a lot of people, they don’t want to sign any more than a one-year lease, and many renters would prefer to sign even shorter leases, even if it means they have to pay slightly higher rent. Some people also look for short-term leases of furnished units, something that’s often referred to as corporate housing. These are often people that are on temporary job assignments.

Whatever criteria you are looking for in rental units, it’s important to do your research. Even though renting is much more short term than owning, you still can put yourself in a financial bind by making a rental decision that doesn’t meet your needs well.

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