The age-old debate about whether you should rent or buy is one that has been a part of the real estate market ever since the American Dream of homeownership was conceived. Today, amidst a real estate market marked by rising home prices and falling inventory – as well as continued difficulty with qualifying for a home loan for many – the “dream” of homeownership isn’t a dream at all for an increasing number of Americans. According to a survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, 18 percent of Americans believe a home mortgage isn’t worth the risk associated with buying a house and taking on that much debt. This correlates strongly to a previous finding from the Census Bureau – one that showed the lowest rate of home ownership in 19 years (64.8 percent). The reasons vary; some Americans still can’t qualify for a loan, or don’t have the down payment saved up for a loan (even for loans that don’t require the traditional 20 percent down). Even people who can qualify for a loan, though, are choosing not to in greater numbers. There is more perceived risk in owning a home, as the recent housing market crash showed us. Plus, owning a home cuts down on mobility; it is far easier to relocate if you have a lease than if you own a mortgage and are suddenly faced with the prospect of selling your home. Not to mention, people who rent believe they save money in the long run by forgoing taxes, maintenance costs, and other associated costs. For those in the rental market, reports like these are good signs that the rental market is healthier than ever and continuing to go strong. As professional Alabama rental managers, we’ve definitely noticed a surge in this area alone in the number of people looking to rent, and expect it to continue. What do you think? Is owning a home still a part of the American Dream? Contact gkhouses today to learn how our professional Alabama rental managers can help!