Get renters value for money and why do houses look in home-proud countries differently? Do market rents based on the number of bedrooms reflect the rental value?
Market Rents—expensive or not
Get Renters Value for Money?
Home proud homes and rentals—what is the difference?
Housing rebuilt after war’s devastations have been insulated, double glazed and heating in all rooms is in Europe standard. In comparison NZ’s houses are dated and haven’t been designed for comfort or energy efficiency. Houses with a single wood-fire are the warmer ones.
True, lifestyles have changed. Both parents work, leaving a cold house in the morning and returning to a cold house— nobody is home to keep the fire going. To run Heat-pumps cost a fortune because of poor heat retention.
Despite high demand on residential housing surprisingly past policies of discouraging new investment in rental housing have worked. Both taxes and relentless housing rhetoric resulted in a unique renting culture.
That raises another question to be seen on the photo above — why do houses look in home-proud countries differently? And refining that question—why can you easily identify what house is rented or owner-occupied?
Rental housing—what do you get?
New built rental housing is mostly high-density housing such as apartments, town-houses and multi-flats on sub-divisions. That brings little relief for life-style renters looking for a long-term commitment as illustrated here. In 2014 again housing was a hot election topic as many elections before. Sure, changes to the housing policies are to be expected but as long as new ideas are not backed up financially, who is willing to increase the level of debts without anything in return?
Let me explain, I rented in Europe based on square meters, old and new housing with different rents by square meter, convenience (type of heating, energy efficiency) and facilities attached to the rental home (garage, laundry, basement/storage). Before moving in I re-decorated “my home” and everything inside the rental belongs to the tenant.
Rentals in NZ are expected to be decorated and dressed with curtains or blinds, carpets and wardrobes. Tenants are generally not allowed to change anything. Why should a tenant live with something dated, maybe stained and aged appliances. For landlords is that a problem too, when tenants treat appliances with disrespect (TVNZ series “Renters” gives you examples).
Market rents relate to the number of bedrooms, not square meters of living space, design, comfort, health standards, etc. And from taxation point of view the depreciation for rental homes has been set to zero—where should the money for upgrading dated rental housing come from?
Market rents with hidden costs
Take a three bedroom rental as example—that is what you get, market rent is just a number. There is no transparency about size of living space, comfort, heating/insulation or related council levies. I would be interested to know what councils charge renters (included in their rent payments).
The consequences are not surprising as the housing market battles with high costs, leaking homes newly built, dated rental stock and housing shortage in cities with jobs and infrastructure.
It makes really sense rather than merely looking at the market rents to take into consideration better paid jobs in areas with good infrastructure .
Comparing rental properties requires you to take a broaden view at the desired lifestyle, the value of services you get and the potential of the chosen location/area in terms of job security, income potential and your plans in future. If you reached a certain level of maturity, you already know it is not the brand of your car, homeownership or not, the size of your home, etc that increase happiness. Satisfaction comes from the little things in life like feeling well and comfortable at home, having good relationships and being healthy to enjoy when striving for your goals. Good luck.
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Klauster Properties Ltd - Renter’s Blog
Rent or Own - Decision at some stage in life?
Renter’s Blog lead to a real person, IT professional, investor, landlord and business owner with interests in sharing experiences. Life is a dream with a deadline, happiness comes from making the right choices and having realistic expectations.
Confession: I have been a happy renter for more than 25 years before buying a family home and later becoming involved in property investments and developments.
I used to live in apartments or rental homes, worked in many different countries and experienced different housing standards and renting cultures. I would love to see a social and legal frame work around housing policies that supports renters and landlords alike.