Hand holding apartment keyAt first glance, the idea of buying an apartment might seem counterintuitive. After all, you had excellent reasons for renting an apartment in the first place!

But look a little closer and buying your apartment could make sense by…

  • Saving you money. According to real estate agent John Wake, buying the place you’re currently renting might help you avoid getting a real estate agent. And if you don’t need an agent, you don’t need to pay the commission for one.
  • Increasing your comfort. When you buy new shoes, you know you’re going to have to break them in. The same is true for where you live. It takes time to make a place feel like home. If you’ve been renting your apartment for awhile, you’ve already customized your apartment to your particular wants and needs.
  • Improving your community. Research suggests that a higher percentage of property owners within a community increases civic involvement, volunteerism and more. You can be one of those property owners!

Countries such as Australia and Canada have something called “strata” titles. Strata titles allow renters of apartments and other multi-unit spaces to buy their dwellings. Such titles still allow for access to common areas such as laundry rooms and shared gyms.

If that sounds a lot like a condo or co-op to you, you’re right. The difference is that in the majority of cases, condos and co-ops offer a clear path to ownership from the start. There’s no such clear path to buying the apartment you currently rent. But don’t let that stop you. There are a handful of scenarios that can get you what you want. Just remember that….

  • Everything is negotiable. Landlords are in the business of making tenants happy and generating income. And you’re bringing them an idea that accomplishes both of those things.
  • The early bird gets the worm. Reduced construction of multifamily units in your city might be an opportunity for building owners to convert apartments to condos. Plans to sell individual units in your building might already be in motion. If so, approaching your landlord proactively gives you an opportunity to get ahead of the competition.
  • Changing demographics are on your side. Fewer multifamily units isn’t the only scenario that puts the numbers on your side. Tens of millions of baby boomers are retiring in the coming years. Many of them may want to unburden themselves from too-large homes and live somewhere more manageable, without sacrificing private ownership.

Buying the property you’re renting isn’t unheard of. Approximately five percent of renters purchase their rental each year. Simply because you’re renting an apartment doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

Before you buy an apartment, though, you’ll definitely want to start by renting a place in the area you’re interested in. Start your apartment hunt on ApartmentSearch.com, the only apartment locator that actually pays you for using it!

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