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A majority of former homeowners say they'd rather keep renting than buy another home. Here's all our advice for the new breed of nomads...

3 minute read

The new American dream is affordable rent.

“Underscoring a growing trend, previous homeowners are turning toward renting,” says Just over half of more than 2,000 former homeowners said they prefer renting in the company’s new national survey. The top reasons: no unexpected repairs (70 percent), low maintenance (54 percent), and the flexibility to move (39 percent).

Just after that, 38 percent said renting was more affordable than ownership. But the same study says the national average rent is $1,194 and still climbing. Another study, from rental site HotPads, looks at how much you can save in major cities by rooming with someone in a bigger apartment rather than getting a studio for yourself.

Former homeowners don’t have to deal with fluctuating taxes, flood insurance, and fixing their own roof leaks anymore, but there’s still a lot to learn. For instance, 84 percent of Americans don’t know how much renters insurance costs and 22 percent believe it costs more than $1,000 a year, according to Actually, it averages less than $16 per month.

Fortunately, has an expert who learned it all the hard way — Angela Colley’s got strategies to save on rent, the ins and outs of renter’s insurance, and finding roommates you don’t want to murder. Now’s a good time to round up all her advice for these new renters…

1. 7 ways to beat the high cost of rent

You’ll find tips anywhere you look online, but not everybody talks to the president of a property management firm. Angela explains how save as much as half and still live in walking distance of downtown, how to fight illegal rent increases, and what hidden fees to look for.

2. How to spot a terrible landlord before you rent

Angela knows enough about bad landlords herself — she once caught one snooping around her apartment in the middle of the night while she was showering — but gets advice from an expert. Some of the tell-tale signs: Rushing you through a tour of the place, and failing to call you back within a few hours.

3. 8 myths about renters insurance

If you’re not sure whether your landlord’s property insurance does anything for you, don’t know what natural disasters are covered by renters insurance, and aren’t sure how much coverage you get, Angela’s interview with an insurance agent will clear things up.

4. Don’t sell your home when you move. Rent it and profit

Even if you haven’t left your home for apartment life yet, Angela has advice for you: Become a landlord and a renter. She talked to a real estate agent about turning your former home into a moneymaker.

5. 6 steps to renting a pet-friendly apartment

Moving with pets brings a lot of extra hassle — some places don’t allow them, or have size and breed restrictions. There are almost always pet deposits, but there may even be pet rent. Angela explains how she and her 68-pound beast have survived in New Orleans, and shares advice from another property management firm.

6. 7 tips to renting an apartment online without getting scammed

It’s a lot easier to find an apartment with a computer than by driving around looking for signs — but it’s riskier, too. Angela compiles a list of the most reputable sites, offers advice on analyzing everything from the promotional photos to the reviews.

7. 8 big renting myths landlords and tenants believe

You might think your landlord knows more about renting law than you do — but you might be wrong. You definitely will know more than they do after reading a real estate attorney’s insights on security deposits, evictions, and court costs.

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About the Author

Brandon Ballenger

Brandon Ballenger

Having more than $10,000 in student loan debt has a way of piquing your interest in personal finance. And because my degree was in English and public communication, I get to share that interest with you. My wide-ranging stories on money and business have run on Business Insider, the Christian Science Monitor, Reader's Digest, the front pages of and Yahoo! Finance, Money Talks News, and the South Florida Business Journal. In my free time, I like to jump off skyscrapers and play video games.

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