While financial experts often point out the benefits of buying a home as an investment, renting is still a common choice for young couples. Not having money to make a down payment on a home and the ability to move if needed are among reasons to rent. There are some differences between renting a house and renting an apartment.
Before renting a home, consider whether you are up to mowing the lawn and doing other basic upkeep of the property. When you rent an apartment, landlords or building superintendents usually oversee these activities. Some homeowners may take care of these maintenance issues, but people typically rent their home because they had to move for another job. This means you play a more active role in keeping the property livable.
When you rent an apartment, your landlord outlines the terms of your lease and any rules in the lease agreement. He also explains them to you verbally. When you rent a house, be sure the property owner makes you aware of all important information about the home and its location. Some homes are in neighborhoods or community associations that have rules on such things as noise level, snow removal, leaf burning and grass length.
Renting a home rarely offers the indefinite living arrangement that you usually get with an apartment. Apartments are built for rental so the property owners can make money. Houses often are rented by homeowners because they cannot afford the mortgage payments and have to move. They may rent the home while trying to sell it. You may have to deal with potential buyers coming in to look at the home. You can sign a lease for three months, six months or a year, but if the home sells during your lease period, you have to come up with a new place to live. If the home is a short-term living arrangement for you, this may not be a problem.
Renting a house can give you more freedom and control over your living environment than renting an apartment, but that control is limited compared to buying a home in that the homeowner may be difficult to reach when issues come up. Homeowners typically cover the costs of repairs and maintenance on the rental. When the heating or air conditioning break down, though, you don't want to be stuck for a couple days waiting to get in touch with the homeowner. Basement flooding and broken windows are other things that you would deal with quickly in your own home but could face a delay when someone else is supposed to be taking care of it. An additional concern is a homeowner who is intrusive about your living in the home and constantly checks in to see what is going on.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.