What is the misconception about renting and how can renters take advantage of the rental housing market? The Renter’s Blog looks at the wider picture, the pros and cons helping you to make informed decisions to rent or own at some stage in life.


Renter’s Blog

Make Informed Decisions—Why would you rent or own?


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Rent or Own - Lifestyle or budget decision?

Trendy Lifestyle or budget decision?


International trends especially in developed countries throughout the EU and US show that the majority of people prefer to live in cities and are willing to pay for that convenience. Modern lifestyles are focussed on career, good income, travelling and consume.


On the other hand, because the land is already owned by somebody, price and land scarcity are driving up housing costs, while not surprisingly urban dwellers such as young professionals and retirees accept being disconnected from the land. 


Living in compact housing and high-rise buildings is for many people not only a budget decision. Flats and apartments become increasingly popular due to massive demographic changes such as single households and couples with no kids. If you look at the question above again—yes, renting is a lifestyle and budget decision, but often in cities the only option.



Historical reasons to rent or own


In countries with developed industries people enjoy good paid jobs and social security that covers people’s needs inclusive sufficient old pension funds. That is why people are less interested in home ownership to retire in a mortgage free  house.


That is quite opposite in rural societies with historical high home ownership rates such in AU and NZ. In such countries people live from the land and prefer home ownership to raise a family and retire  in a mortgage free home.


For decades the rising housing costs in NZ have been consuming the incomes of homeowners and renters. You can see the stagnation in terms of housing quality and comfort when looking at homes built between the 40s and 80s (original conditions frozen in time). The 90s added the leaky house crisis to the historical poor built, damp and cold homes.


Housing has Kiwis divided in those who could afford a new-built house and the rest sharing the dated housing stock homeowner-occupied or rented. Since housing has become the playground for politicians not investors, housing rich areas lack in infrastructure investments or jobs and preferred cities suffer from housing shortage and skyrocketing house prices.


Kiwi media commentators use this stressed social climate for catching stories about unaffordable house prices, immigration rules and declining home ownership rates.  To victimise renters and condemn “renting” as the second rated option are not a realistic response to global trends that renting is the preferred choice in cities with plenty of lifestyle opportunities.



What are the challenges for renters?


Taking a neutral view this blog might help you to make informed decisions and enable the benefits when renting in your individual situation. You don’t necessarily agree here with illustrated views, but re-thinking your own position might bring you ahead of the competition when applying for a tenancy and renting a home for you and your loved ones.



First question—Rent or Own?


In most cases it hits like a bolt out of the blue sky when circumstances change such as getting married, a baby, or a new career. Rushing into the housing market certainly is an emotional rollercoaster ride. For the inexperienced house hunter making mistakes when choosing a rental home are easy to fix and not so costly as buying the wrong house in the wrong street. For comparing costs—read here more.



Get rid of the old stigma associated with renting


Renting is the second option of choice because paying rent is wasted money, right? - Wrong!

The rent in NZ covers the running costs associated with your rental home (expenses for finance, maintenance, repair and management) and renter’s expenses charged by the local government  for local services, water supply and levies (paid by the landlord on tenant’s behalf). These expenses have to be paid by homeowner-occupiers as well and are equal regardless you rent or own!


The reason that homeowners commonly spend more for housing is due to expensive renovations and lifestyle decisions while investors are driven by ROI (returns on investment). These housing costs result in fair market rents you can check out online  at the Tenancy Services website.



Fair market rents


The fluctuation of rents are the reflection of the housing market (economy, demand and supply of housing). The housing market itself is cyclical and so the demand for housing. Property values and fair market rents are responding to the housing market and causing frustration especially when house prices are going out of sync with people’s income (affordability). Note, homeowners and renters are sitting in the same boat.



Renter vs. tenant


Just to clarify—we use in this blog the term “renter” for people who used to rent or are actively looking for a rental property. In contrast  a “tenant” actually occupies a rental property and signed a rental agreement (tenancy).



The challenge for renters


The  challenge to find the right rental home, use the application process to be identified as preferred tenant and much more are actually the interesting parts, and what the Renter’s Blog is all about.


Hopefully this blog will chip away the (old) renting stigma. Among other things, the following blog post examples illustrate why you would follow this blog:


Have a good look at the tenant screening process

Know about tenancy application supporting documents

Due diligence and landlord reference check

For more—visit the Blog posts library.





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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.



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.

Share your view—follow this blog!