Foundering economy means more people are looking at renting over buying

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PHOENIX – With Valley housing prices taking yet another tumble – they’re down another 8.4 percent since last year for a total plunge of nearly 56 percent since 2006 -- many people are abandoning their hope of buying a home in favor of renting.

Patrick Boyd, the founder of RentalWall.com, sat down with Tara Hitchcock to discuss the benefits of renting over buying.

“I think with the economic climate being what it is, a lot more people want the flexibility of renting,” Boyd said. “It’s a hassle-free way of living.”

Flexibility is only one of a number of inherent advantages to renting. First, you won’t have to deal with or pay for maintenance hassles. Those expenses are on your landlord.

Because many leases are only a year long, you have more freedom to move as circumstances in your life dictate. You’re not hampered by a 15- or 30-year mortgage.

Not only are there some great rental deals out there, renting a home is a good way to rebuild your credit if you have a ding or two. You can generally get into a better property to start with and move up from there.

Finding the right place to rent does take some legwork, and that doesn’t mean learning about the location you’re considering. Boyd says you should take a close look at the lease terms and make sure they mesh with your terms and what you want.

“Knowing your contract is extremely important,” he said.

The key is doing your research, including looking into the management company and its track record.

Boyd says social media can be a great way to find and learn about prospective homes.

For more information, visit RentalWall.com.