Should you rent or own your home? For decades, the resounding answer was “own!” Having a house was an essential part of the American dream.

Not anymore. 34% of Americans are currently renting. The number of renters has climbed twice as fast as the number of homeowners. Why? From high-income professionals to young people with significant debt, many Americans see the benefits of renting their homes. What are some reasons people rent instead of own? Read on to find out.

You can manage your ecological impact more easily

Living green is more important than ever, and it’s gaining traction among Americans of every income level. The impact you have on the environment is much higher if you own a home. A house tends to be larger, which uses more energy. It takes up more land, and you create more waste.

Having a smaller space makes it much easier to avoid collecting clutter and unnecessary belongings, so you live a simpler life.

Living in a planet-friendly way isn’t always easy, but there are steps you can take to make a big difference. Best of all, green living saves you money!

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Renting gives you flexibility in your career

The days of finding a single employer and working with them until retirement are long gone. Today, the average person changes jobs 12 times in their lifetime. People spend five years or less in any given position, so flexibility and mobility are essential.

Selling and buying a house can take months. On the other hand, moving out of a rental is as simple as subletting or getting to the end of a lease. You can quickly start renting elsewhere. The moving process shortens to a few weeks.

For those who want or need to move for work, renting makes a lot of sense no matter how much money they earn. This is one of the key reasons why even high-earners rent rather than buy.

Renting also allows you to live closer to where you work. Buying near a city center can be expensive while renting close to work is convenient and affordable.

Renting is often far less expensive

It’s no secret that people are graduating from college with more debt than ever. Not only that, young people often don’t have the credit or income required to qualify for a mortgage. As a result, they end up renting.

Even higher-earning professionals may have had a foreclosure or other credit problems during an economic downturn. Renting can be a great way to build or rebuild your credit if you’ve had financial problems. It allows you to make steady payments without taking out more credit, and your accounts’ healthy maintenance will improve your credit.

Renting can also be a lot less expensive than homeownership, and we’re not just talking about monthly rent. Utilities are less, the landlord covers your maintenance costs, and you don’t have to worry about unexpected expenses. This is especially true if you look around to find the best rental deal you can.

Finally, many professionals enjoy the companionship and lower costs of having a roommate. Finding the right roommate may seem intimidating, but it’s not as hard as it sounds. When you share a rental with someone else, your expenses are lower, and you have the possibility of a low-key friendship.

Many apartments come with amenities

How will you access a gym, swimming pool, or entertainment space if you own your home? You’ll have to pay for them. This is an added expense that many renters can skip because these amenities are part of the apartment community.

Having access to a gym or pool can help you stay healthy and fit, but monthly gym memberships are expensive, and getting to the center is often inconvenient. If you rent an apartment in a complex that includes these benefits, you can walk to your gym or take a dip in the pool anytime.

Other luxuries that a complex might offer include game rooms, conference rooms, and quiet spaces for remote office work. Renters don’t have to leave their community to care for their needs, saving time and money.

Best of all, renters don’t have to maintain the gym, pool, or other public spaces. The management company takes care of everything.

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You can rent with flexible terms

If you haven’t rented in a while, you might think that every renter is stuck in a standard 12-month lease. That’s not the case. Many property owners will offer single-month, three-month, or even month-to-month rental options.

This gives those who are new to an area the ability to rent a place for a short period as they get used to the city. Then they can decide where they want to put down more long-term roots. Or, they may enjoy the short-term rental lifestyle as they travel or relocate often.

The flexibility of renting is impossible to replicate when you own a home. Even if you leave your home for some time, you’re responsible for utilities, the property’s safety, and any damage that occurs. Renting gives those who crave a flexible lifestyle precisely what they need.

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Should you rent or own?

There are still reasons to own a home, of course. If you need the space for a growing family or want the security of owning the property after several years, buying may be perfect for you.

However, for millions of Americans, renting is the new American dream. It gives them the flexibility to pursue their dreams, the ability to live green, and a host of amenities they don’t have to pay for or maintain.

Should you rent or own? Only you know the answer to this question, but there are more benefits to renting than ever. Think carefully about your decision!