We're very lucky. Our landlord lives in Germany and lets his sister manage the property. (She in the mortgage business locally, and she's an awesome landlady!) He bought the home over 15 years ago when housing prices were much more reasonable. Our rent has increased a very small amount since 1996. It's at the point where we're paying in rent for a house what most people pay a month for an apartment! This is such a great situation for us.
Why we love renting:
- There's no possible way we can buy a house right now. We'd be beyond "house poor". Since renting is the only option, we're secure in our rent and that it's not going to shoot up. He's actually making a profit off us and that's enough for him to be happy.
- We don't have to pay for any repairs. We do pay for small repairs, do them ourselves, and send in the receipt with a reduced rent check. We don't mind and we've earned some serious points with the owner because we don't get on the phone about every little thing. In the past few years we've had a water heater replaced, an A/C unit replaced, the thermostat for the A/C replaced (within 8 hours!), the roof fixed, and some other medium-sized things done. It didn't cost us a penny.
- We have the ability to move without worrying about selling the house. I have several friends who want to move out of state and are chained to their homes in this awful market.
- We don't have to deal with property taxes. The tax situation in this county is crazy and makes very little sense. Many people bought houses they could afford and are now in big trouble because the property value shot through the roof and they have hundreds more in taxes.