How many times have you heard your parents say: “You need to buy a house!”? I know I’ve heard it a couple of times and as much as I understand homeownership was an entire generation’s dream, I can’t help but wonder: is it the best choice for us?
There are many instances when renting can be a far better alternative, especially if you’re not planning to stay put more than five years, and Chicago has a lot to offer in terms of rental housing.
Apartment living is a great choice for young adults, fresh out of college or just starting families. In this economy, you never know where life takes you next. Then again renting is not such a bad idea for empty nesters either, people who like to travel or single parents that don’t have time for maintenance and yard work.
Diving into homeownership means you have to always be prepared for the unexpected, like the boiler that needs to be replaced, the roof that needs to be fixed or the leaking pipes in the basement. Renting, on the other hand, provides a sort of budgeting discipline where you can know beforehand what to expect in terms of housing costs every month.
Apartments in the city offer great amenity packages that often times surpass the comfort that you could afford in a single-family residence that comes attached with a 20-year mortgage. Alan Mosey has moved to Chicago eight years ago and instantly fell in love with the city. “Education and job opportunities are great here” he says. “There is always something to do and public transportation makes it super easy to get around the city”.
Alan chose settling down in Des Plaines because he got right about everything he could wish for, both convenience and affordability. The housing options in the area are extremely varied, ranging from high-rise condominiums to new single-family homes and townhomes. “Renting here provides more bang for the buck. One bedroom condos that are actually very nice, come at about $780 a month”, Alan explains. “It’s not as vibrant as the city itself, but there are plenty of options to have fun around here.”
“If there’s something I just love about renting, it’s the fact that I do not have to worry about maintenance like repair works, shoveling snow out or taking care of landscaping. I work a lot and just don’t have the time to deal with stuff like that”, he added.
Des Plaines abounds in recreational offerings, from bike and hiking paths to lake parks and golf courses, family aquatic centers, gyms and tennis courts, horseback riding trails, and the world’s largest nonresidential YMCA.