With Millennials facing an unemployment rate of more than 8% and $1 trillion in student loan debt, they’re increasingly renting instead of buying homes. In fact, the true homeownership rate for 18-34 year olds has fallen to a new low: 13.2%. But finances aren’t the only reason for the dip in homeownership. Millennials are recognizing the many benefits of renting — including reasons that have nothing to do with money.
1. We Love Amenities!
Many apartment buildings come with free amenities that would normally cost a significant amount of homeowners. Some of these range from the luxurious (electric car charging ports, gyms, movie screening rooms) to subtle perks like concierge service, cell phone reception in all parts of the building (including the underground parking garage) which is a bonus because what’s a landline?
2. We Love Community!
A huge reason most of us move into a new place is the surrounding neighborhood and shared spaces in apartment buildings. Lots of new renters are even making it work in shared spaces that have communal kitchens and/or bathrooms. If you have neighbours that you feel comfortable asking — pardon the cliché — to borrow a cup of sugar (do people do that?) or even see yourself becoming friends with, that’s a golden opportunity. Plus, if you love the community outside the building that’s even better! Renting a downtown apartment allows for close proximity to enjoy the culture and nightlife without having to move to the ‘burbs.
3. We Love Flexibility! (And the option to escape annoying neighbors)
Some people see buying a single-family home as a path to forever escaping noisy neighbors on the other side of the wall or ceiling, but in reality, renting provides a much greater opportunity to leave noisy neighbors behind! A bad neighbor who moves in halfway into a year-long lease becomes a memory in months; one who moves next door halfway into a 15-year mortgage can feel like a death sentence.
The ultimate benefit from renting is really having the option of leaving for any reason, especially career reasons. Many 20/30 something year olds tend to change jobs three times more often than their older counterparts and stay with the same employer for just three years on average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Renting instead of buying makes the transition into a new or better job much simpler. Some leases may even include a termination clause that specifies acceptable reasons for early termination, such as a job transfer that is more than 50 miles away. And in some cases, the tenant might not be liable for any payment if the unit is re-rented within a particular time period.
4. We Love Convenience!
There is a lot of work that goes into maintaining a home that you own–yard work, maintenance and repairs, and keeping everything upgraded as to avoid future costly expenses (plumbing, roofing etc.). If something major like the furnace breaks, it’s on you to fix it. Renters have the option to keep home maintenance out of their budgets, and our of their weekend to-do lists. For those of us with active lifestyles, having fewer things to do around the house can have a huge upside.