If you are considering moving into an apartment, you are not alone. Experts estimate there are just over 43 million renter-occupied housing units in the US. And while renters are renting for a variety of reasons, there are some common perks that renters enjoy.
Here are four of the most common benefits of rental living.
1. Location, location, location
Sometimes, the easiest way to live close to the communities you frequent isn’t to buy property, but to rent. “Renters can live virtually anywhere—a tiny apartment in Greenwich Village or a townhouse in Queens,” says professor of economics Teresa Ghilarducci. “Homeowners are more restricted to neighborhoods they can afford.”
There are certainly times when paying rent over is more expensive than paying a mortgage. For example, many renters will see their lease increase the moment their contract is up for renewal. But in some cases, experts say there are financial advantages to renting in desired locations rather than trying to buy property. “If you live in a market where you can rent an apartment for substantially less per month than you could own a home, you can invest the difference,” explains David Weliver, founder of Money Under 30. “The difference doesn’t have to be huge.”
Weliver presented an example like this: If you compare $1,000 rent per month versus a $1,300 mortgage payment on a comparable home, that generates $3,600 each year that you can save or invest. “And, unlike home equity, those savings are liquid,” added Weliver. “You can use them to build an emergency fund, pay down student loan debt, or fund a retirement account. None of which you can do with home equity.”
2. Awesome amenities
Most of us haven’t included installing an in-ground pool on our to-do list. But that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t enjoy having access to recreational amenities like a swimming pool, a fitness center, or tennis courts. And today’s rental properties are offering even more options to entice would-be renters.
Some of the more popular features include onsite laundry facilities or a washer and dryer within the unit. Many offer cable or satellite television and free Wi-Fi. Others offer fully-furnished units. And as a person just starting out on their own, having options for these types of services can help the transition to apartment living.
3. Flexible career options
The workplace model is changing, with more employees at varying job levels working from their homes. Experts estimate that almost half of the US workforce works remotely. But that also means employees are more mobile. And that is where the convenience of renting a home or apartment works well. Renting gives workers the freedom to move more frequently than they could otherwise. Additionally, some apartment communities offer amenities for workers. In some of our communities, for example, we offer dedicated workspaces, perfect for individuals who work remotely.
Have job, will travel. That’s an effective way to set the pace for job promotion or move to a better job opportunity should the need arise. “You need to be able to credibly leave a job to be well treated by employers,” says Ghilarducci. “Mobile workers can move for a pay raise or to make a career move.”
4. A sense of community
There are varying degrees of socializing among renters. You can be as social or reclusive as you choose; the fact remains that you are sharing common space with other people. Whether it’s the pool area or the fitness center, apartment living offers a unique opportunity to befriend your neighbors.
“Apartment buildings draw an array of residents and visitors. Your neighbors, their families, their friends, their delivery people, and anyone offering an at-home service will pass through your shared entryway. Your children will learn to share a space with these people—and perhaps even open the door for them,” says Natalie Saaris, writing for Zillow. “While living in an apartment may deprive you of the privacy of a standalone home, the feeling of community may more than compensate for the loss.”
Whether your apartment is a temporary arrangement or a permanent decision, the benefits of apartment living offer pleasant and financially strategic opportunities for you.