More Than Forty-Three Percent of Renters Choose to Rent for a Maintenance Free Lifestyle survey examines renters opinions regarding the choice to rent vs. own


CHICAGO, November 15, 2006 – As the demand for apartment housing rises, surveyed current renters regarding their choice to rent versus purchasing a home. survey results reveal that maintenance free living, cost and flexibility are the most common motivating factors for renting. The survey was conducted between October 5 and November 9, 2006.

The largest number of respondents (43.7%) indicate that they rent primarily for the maintenance free living apartments provide. Many respondents state a strong desire for the convenience of a maintenance person available for common household repairs as well as the freedom of not needing to tend to a lawn, garden or landscaping. "Renting allows residents the freedom to live on their own without the hassle of day to day maintenance issues that homeowners are faced with," states Julia VanderRoest, chief marketing specialist at Fogelman Management Group.

More than twenty-three percent of renters state they choose to rent for financial reasons. According to the National Multi-Housing Council (NMHC), if an individual plans to live in one place for less than five years, it may make the most financial sense to rent. The costs of buying and selling a home can total 10 percent or more of the price of the home. Additionally, home ownership in a desired neighborhood may be much more expensive than renting in the same neighborhood. A number of survey respondents indicated that they chose to rent in a preferred school district when owning in the area was not within their budget. Renting also affords individuals the freedom to invest in a variety of stocks, bonds and mutual funds that can provide a higher return on investment as opposed to property ownership. According to the NMHC the average home value increases only five percent each year, whereas the average stock value increases seven percent and bond value increases eight percent each year.

Nineteen percent of respondents indicate that relocation flexibility and the lack of a long term commitment in an apartment is the primary reason they choose to rent.

The NMHC suggests that renting may be a good choice for the following types of individuals:

  • Young adults just beginning their careers.
  • Single parents who do not have time for maintenance or the money to buy a house in a desired school district.
  • Empty nesters who want to travel.
  • Anyone tired of long commutes to work.
  • Anyone who wants abundant amenities and social activities where they live.
  • Professionals who transfer often.

For those who choose to rent, apartment selection hinges on specific available amenities and community features. The survey reveals that in-unit washers and dryers and air conditioning are the most desirable amenities. Properties that allow pets and have ample parking for tenants top the list of community features that increase renter satisfaction.

As part of its monthly "What Renters Want" series, surveys renters on various topics. For more information on these surveys or to receive a copy of survey results, please contact Lisa DeVries at

About The National Multi-Housing Council
Based in Washington, DC, NMHC is a national association representing the interests of the larger and most prominent apartment firms in the U.S. NMHC's members are the principal officers of firms engaged in all aspects of the apartment industry, including owners, developers, managers and financiers. Nearly one-third of Americans rent their housing and almost 14 percent live in a rental apartment. For more information, contact NMHC at 202/974-2300, e-mail the Council at, or visit NMHC's web site at

About is the most visited national apartment Internet listing subscription service distinguished by more than two million rental listings from managed properties, newspaper classifieds and for-rent-by-owner units. Its personalized searches, highly visual ads featuring 360-degree virtual tours and professional photography, and comprehensive community listings, make it possible for in-market renters to access rental inventory from across town or across the country and make informed decisions quickly. The site's foundation of solid partnerships with the local newspaper and television station Web sites of more than 170 affiliates across the country includes the Chicago Tribune (, The Washington Post ( and the Los Angeles Times (, a division of Chicago-based Classified Ventures, LLC, delivers highly qualified, ready-to-rent prospects to more than 14,500 trade customers, which increases closure rates and decreases the average cost of leasing an apartment.