Did you know that home ownership is on the decline in the United States? And thanks to today's blustery economic climate, it may not come as a shock that not everyone can afford to buy their own house from a real estate agent. If you're a person looking to rent a home, it is important that you understand the pros and cons of each different set of living arrangements. By learning about the various types of homes to rent, real estate options and how they can work to suit your wants and needs, you'll be better equipped to make the right decision when it comes time to sign a lease.
When you first set out on your search for a rental property, you'll probably encounter hundreds upon thousands of apartments in your area, due in part to the relative ease of operating and maintaining them. Apartments are generally swarming with neighbors, making them one of the least-private rental units. And while renting an apartment entitles you to four walls and running water, there often isn't much else included in the lease. Utilities such as microwaves, washing machines, and even light fixtures are often excluded from apartments. Because of this, it is important to take a tour of the property before signing a lease.
Not quite a house, but not quite an apartment, a townhouse is viewed by many as a "best of both worlds" type of deal. Townhouses generally come with an upstairs and a downstairs, but tend to be thinner and more narrow than a traditional house. However, many townhouses will come equipped with a washing machine, dryer, and even its own yard, which helps to give them a substantial edge over your run-of-the-mill apartment.
A single-family rental home is exactly what it sounds like: A home that you live in, but don't quite own outright. Because single-family homes are located on their own individual properties, they usually come with a yard, and are much more private than the other forms of renting. However, the area in which single-family homes really tend to shine is the extras. Unlike apartments, single-family homes will often come completely furnished. This saves first-time renters with the hassle of shopping around for a beds, a couch, and other such amenities. A washer/dryer situation is generally standard as well.
Picture a single-family home, then imagine what it would be like to share the property with another group of people. Multi-family homes are similar to townhouses, except that they are guaranteed to come with their own yard and driveway. Unfortunately, some multi-family homes will require renters to enter a "communal bathroom" situation, in which they share the sink, shower, and even toilet with one or more other families. Make sure that you visit the property beforehand to avoid being taken off-guard by this.