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The Top Three Advantages of Renting Around Boston

rentingAcross almost all of Massachusetts the median price of homes has seen double digit 5-year growth.  Some rapidly growing neighborhoods like East Boston are seeing an increase of over 150%, while neighboring Cambridge and Somerville have experienced a boost of approximately 86% and 48% respectively.  Not surprisingly, this surge in home values has made it cost prohibitive for a large number of Boston buyers to purchase homes.  Instead, many of these buyers have chosen to join the large population of residents who find it more economical and less stressful to rent apartments and condos in Boston and neighboring towns.  But while affordability is the most cited reason for renting, it’s just one on a long list of advantages offered by leasing a home that belongs to someone else.  Let’s take a look at some of the other benefits of renting.

Flexibility

In order to have a fighting chance in today’s hyper-competitive real estate market, buyers must make fast and aggressive offers that sometimes waive contingencies like home inspections.  In many cases this means that buyers must make what is likely the biggest financial decision of their life after spending less than an hour in a home, leaving little to no time for pragmatic thought about the strengths and shortcomings of the home or the possible structural or foundational problems that may exist.  Once they close, these buyers (now owners) are stuck with the home no matter how their lifestyle may change or what issues may arise. Renters, on the other hand, have significantly more control in their selection process, and oftentimes can evaluate several different layouts and sizes to find one that suits their needs.  Proto Kendall Square for example, has studio apartments for rent, as well as 1 and 2 bedroom apartments and a variety of layouts and features like apartments with city views.  Because renters generally sign one-year leases, they have the flexibility to upgrade or downgrade the size of their unit if their lifestyle changes, or to move on to another building or neighborhood.  For some people who rent Kendall Square apartments, this is ideal as they’ve relocated to the neighborhood for enrollment at MIT, or jobs at nearby Google, Sanofi, Biogen, Akamai or one of the many high-tech, life sciences or start-up businesses in the neighborhood.

Stress Free Living

Unless you choose new construction, you will incur the costs and stresses of maintenance and repairs if you decide to buy a home, some of which can be cataclysmic.  Owning a home requires careful attention – to the lawn, the roof, the gutters, the landscaping, the appliances, snow removal and more – and overlooking these chores can cause serious damage.  But for many people who rent Kendall Square apartments there’s little time to complete these tasks due to the demands of work or school, and budget predictability is an important consideration for everyone.  Fortunately for renters, all of the work and cost associated with maintenance and repair of the home and common space shared with other building residents falls under the responsibility of the landlord.  This gives renters the flexibility to invest their time and money in other things, like these fun Kendall Square.

Cool Apartment Amenities

One ancillary benefit of the existing Boston housing market is an increase in rental development, which means a great supply of modern apartment buildings and competing lists of amenities. Many renters choose to do so primarily because of the access they get to these amenities, which would be exorbitantly expensive and in some cases cost prohibitive on their own.  Very few homeowners have on premise fitness centers, yoga-spin studios, outdoor terraces with city views and fire pits, free Wi-Fi or an on-site pet spa, but at Proto, the new luxury apartment complex in Kendall Square, these amenities are just the beginning.  Beyond luxury apartment amenities, many modern apartment buildings like Proto have restricted access to ensure resident safety, covered parking to protect both car and driver from the harsh New England elements, and areas to gather, collaborate and develop relationships with fellow residents, an invaluable accommodation in today’s connected world.

Being a homeowner can certainly have advantages, but it’s not the right decision for everybody.  In and around Boston, it can take years for home ownership to be financially advantageous, and for those who live more fluid lifestyles or haven’t committed to being in an area or neighborhood long-term, it doesn’t make sense practically or economically.  Until you are ready to buy, make the most of renting by finding an apartment building that suits your exact needs for space and layout, is optimally located near work, restaurants and transportation, and has a long list of useful and thoughtful amenities.  It will be the best investment in lifestyle you can make.

SOURCES: Boston neighborhood and town median home prices provided by the Massachusetts Association of Realtors (marealtor.com) and MLS Property Information Network (mlspin.com).

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