Although buying a condo, coop, or house involves saving money for a sizable down payment, the total financial outlay may wind up to be less than what you'd pay to rent your home in the same city.
Trulia.com, a leading residential real estate site, looked at how home prices compare to rents in 100 U.S. metropolitan areas and determined if it makes more financial sense to buy or rent. Nationwide, according to Trulia, if you plan on purchasing a home and staying put for seven years, you'll save an average of 38% as compared to renting for the same period (down from 44% one year ago).
Check out 10 U.S. markets where it's cheaper to buy than rent, courtesy of CNNMoney.com.
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When you hear about a landlord hauling off a tenant's belongings to the dump, it's often an attempt at a "self-help eviction." But recently, a New York City landlord ordered a contractor to enter a tenant's apartment and throw away his belongings -- completely by mistake. Rather than clear out some items left by a former tenant who rented Apartment 2B, the contractor inaccurately targeted Apartment 2D, which clearly showed signs of a currently occupied living space, according to a report from the New York Post.
The tenant is now suing the landlord, management company, and contractor for the costly error, claiming to have lost everything from furniture to important government documents and credit cards, prized possessions, and irreplaceable items of sentimental value, with the exception of his TV and PlayStation 3, and not having received compensation.
The tenant estimated the damage at $40,000. Do you think he deserves more for the trouble and emotional distress he experienced? How much? Are the landlord, management company, and the trash remover contractor equally liable?
Are you single and looking for an apartment? If so, it could be helpful to know which cities are the most attractive for people who've never been married or who are divorced or widowed.
Kiplinger scanned the country's metropolitan areas with at least 125,000 people to find single-friendly destinations, looking at factors such as household income, unemployment, education, and cost of living, while favoring areas with a larger-than-average singles population.
Topping the list this year is the Santa Barbara, Calif., metro area, which offers residents "affordability and a sunny climate" with "plenty of opportunities for long walks on the beach, plus hiking and biking trails for a more-active outing."
Check out the top-10 list and full methodology at Kiplinger's slideshow, "10 Best Cities for Singles."
Imagine living in a building where you didn't have to worry about whether your landlord has gotten around to taking care of shoveling the sidewalk. Read about heated sidewalks, which is turning out to be "the ultimate amenity in an unrelenting winter," according to a report from The New York Times. Although residential buildings with heated sidewalks are hard to find even at luxury buildings, it may appear increasingly attractive to landlords after snowy, icy winters.
Would you pay more rent to live in a building that's serviced by heated sidewalks? Or do you think it's an overpriced amenity?
Don't like reaching into your pocket or bag to find the key as you're approaching your apartment building? For tenants at Knickerbocker Village in New York City, there's no need. Rather than give out keys, which can get lost or stolen, the landlord has installed a new biometric system that unlocks the door at the mere sight of a current occupant's face.
The system's designer claims it's secure because the database is self-contained to the entity using it, according to a report from MyFOXNY.com. Would you welcome a face-recognition system as an added security measure and convenience for your apartment building? Or do you think it could make your building more susceptible to crime?
Many renters who are new to an apartment building like to get to know their neighbors. But aside from a friendly hello when checking the mail or a polite exchange in the laundry room, it can be difficult to find the right situation for learning more about the people who live just beyond your apartment's walls.
Responding to such frustrations, some apartment buildings offer renters shareable amenities. For example, some landlords offer a basement lounge, party rooms, scenic terraces, and large fitness centers, according to a New York Times report. As for these amenities' effect on your wallet, some landlords make access optional and require a separate fee for interested renters.
Do you think shareable amenities are good ways to get to know your neighbors? Would you pay extra to enjoy these amenities?
If you're one of many renters who sign the lease for an apartment and later decide it's time to get that dog or cat you've always wanted, be aware that some landlords don't allow pets or place certain restrictions on the types of pets you may keep in your apartment.
To avoid frustrations and putting your tenancy at risk, take a moment before you buy or adopt a pet to check what your lease has to say about keeping a pet in your apartment.
(Photo © Andersen Ross / Getty Images)
When looking for the perfect apartment with a dog or cat, the last thing you want is to waste time checking out available apartments in buildings where pets aren't allowed. If you don't take your pet into consideration when starting your apartment hunting, you might fall in love with a certain building only to discover it's not a place for Rover or Fluffy.
Find out what steps you can take to help streamline your apartment search for you and your pet.
- Mention Pet at Start of Apartment Search
- Check Apartment Lease Before Buying a Pet
- Find the Right Apartment
(Photo © Amy Palm / SXC)
Apartment hunters who wish to live with a pet are usually happy if they can find landlords who allow pets in their buildings. But the owner of one residential building in North Hollywood, California, actually requires tenants to have a pet.
To live in one of the 12 apartments at the building, tenants may keep up to two dogs of any size and up to three cats, according to a report from the Los Angeles Daily News. In addition, tenants must follow certain pet rules, such as making sure that dogs are vaccinated, wear an up-to-date ID tag, don't engage in excessive barking or bad behavior, and are leashed when outside the apartment. Cats must be neutered.
If you have a dog or cat, would you be interested in a building where the landlord requires all tenants to have a pet?
According to the recent Rent.com survey mentioned in the last blog post, the presentation of a date's apartment has a big impact on many renters.
67% of respondents overall said that a potential partner's nice-looking apartment would make them more interested. The figures varied, however, depending on the respondent's age. 79% of renters aged 18-24 said a nice apartment would make them more interested in a potential partner while only 54% of renters aged 48-67 made the same claim.
For more information, check out the Rent.com blog post, "Is Your Apartment a Dating Dealbreaker?" which includes a helpful infographic.