Historically, about two-thirds of Americans have chosen to own their own homes rather than renting a house. Although owning has been the American dream, today more and more people are opting for renting. For many of them, it’s just a better option financially and for their lifestyles. The benefits of renting a house in Chicago are many and fairly significant.
No Down Payment
The biggest hurdle to buying a house is saving up, often for several years, to get enough to pay that big 15% to 20% down payment. But renting a house in Chicago requires no down payment (just a security deposit, which renters get back when they move), so renting carries significantly lower upfront costs.
The security deposit for a renter is usually equivalent to one month’s rent. But even a small down payment of, say, 15% on a $175,000 house would work out to $26,250. That would pay a lot of rent, wouldn’t it?
No Maintenance/Repair Costs
If you’re renting a house you have almost no worries or expense when it comes to maintenance and repairs (if you have a fairly decent landlord). When you rent, the landlord is responsible for all these things. Is the roof leaking, the stove giving out, the toilet leaking? No problem – just call the landlord. These sometimes expensive repairs are not your responsibility as a renter.
No Property Taxes
You also don’t have to worry about paying property taxes as a renter. Property taxes can run into the thousands of dollars a year and can be a genuine burden for people whose budget is already stretched to the breaking point. In addition, property taxes always seem to trend upward, so homeowners find themselves paying more and more from year to year. And then if you can’t afford to pay property taxes, the county can seize your house and auction it off.
Fixed Amount of Rent
Renting a house in Chicago makes it easier to budget because you pay a fixed amount of rent each month. If you own a home, your expenditures can change, especially if you have an adjustable-rate mortgage. Property taxes and insurance rates also fluctuate, usually in an upward direction. Renting allows you to avoid this uncertainty about how much you’ll have to spend from month to month and year to year.
Flexibility to Downsize for Financial Reasons
It’s a tough world out there, and the economy’s still not all that great. Anything can happen, and sometimes things go terribly wrong. When you own your home, you’re stuck – it can take many months to sell a house. But when you’re renting a house, you have the option to downsize to a more affordable house or apartment when your lease is up. It takes a lot of pressure off when you know you have the kind of flexibility to be able to live within your means no matter what happens.
When renting a house in Chicago, because you don’t have to worry about repairs and maintenance and because your monthly expenditures are fixed, you’ll have a lot less stress. And even if it turns out that you can’t make your rent payment, you can’t be foreclosed on. Anything that offers to lower your stress levels in this day and age is worth looking into.
If you’re trying to decide between renting or buying a house in Chicago, consider these benefits of renting. And then consult a good local real estate agent to get her professional insight. Whatever you decide, your agent can help you find what you need. Are you interested in renting or buying a house in Chicago? Contact us today – we can help! 773.233.8180