Justin Bajema  |  January 10, 2012


There’s been a shift in the “American Dream”. We’re learning from recent trends and first hand experience that people are choosing to rent rather than purchase a home. Lenders have tightened up lending and home ownership is no longer an attractive investment nor available to all and more a liability than ever. Being a home owner means being tied down to a specific location and the responsibilities that come with owning a home.

  1. Cost. Buying a home, maintaining a home, paying property taxes, paying property insurance: all are expensive. The myths of the financial benefits of home ownership are quickly fading as home values drop and property taxes and insurance costs increase. Even if you could count on staying in your home for many years, the once “guaranteed” appreciation of your home’s value is no longer a sure thing and the risk of depreciated value is a real concern.
  2. Credit. If you’re  starting out on your own or recovering after a significant change in your life that ruined your credit, renting can offer you options that are usually not available to people with no credit or damaged credit. You can expect higher security deposits and maybe a requirement for a co-signer, but at least you’ll have options even if your credit is non-existent or less than perfect.
  3. Maintenance. Home ownership brings with it the responsibility of home maintenance. While some like to consider themselves “handy” and enjoy small projects around the house, the scope and cost of many home maintenance projects are significantly greater than many people realize. When your water heater stops working on Sunday morning would you like to call your landlord and have it fixed that day for free or would you like to call the 24 hour plumber and pay overtime and weekend rates to have it fixed that day? What about that roof leak or plumbing back-up or refrigerator stops working? The list is endless.
  4. Mobility. We all know how tough it is to sell a home these days and we also know about the uncertainty of the job market. Renting provides more options to stay mobile as your job and life situations change. Getting out of a lease usually requires a 30-day notice and some form of a “buy-out” fee, but this is significantly less than the cost and hassle of selling a home. Staying mobile has become a key factor to many employers looking to get employees in the right place at the right time. Being able to fill that need gives you an advantage over the person who says “I need to sell my home first.”

It is certainly a personal decision on what and where you call “home,” but don’t get caught thinking that renting is creating something less than “home.” Some of our longest term tenants continually tell us how much they enjoy living in a home where everything is taken care of for them. Renting is a great option for all stages of your life and should be considered carefully when looking for your next home. Access Property Management Group manages single family homes as well as multi-family units in the Grand Rapids area. Our residents like us because of our exceptional customer service, online maintenance requests (meaning quick turn around), easy online rent payments and real-time access to their ledgers through our online resident portal. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you find the home you’ve been searching for!



About the author

Justin Bajema, CPM® is the Founder & President of Access Investment Group, LLC and Access Property Management Group, LLC. He holds the coveted CPM® designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM).

His love for everything Real Estate and business began with one book sent to him while he was returning back from the war in Iraq in 2003, "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki.

Justin is a proud U.S. Marine combat veteran who served 2 tours in Iraq as an infantryman. He received the Purple Heart from Commander in Chief President George Bush for his wounds received in action while fighting in Iraq.

He has successfully put together numerous real estate investment holdings from single-family homes to multi-million dollar apartment community deals.