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Real Estate Bubbles, Rental Properties and the American Dream

It used to be that the American dream was owning your own home with a neat row of bushes in front and a white picket fence blocking your property off from the world. Today, more people than ever are renting properties rather than buying their own homes, and the lease option is changing the American dream.

There are a variety of factors influencing the direction of the real estate market right now:
  • Millions of foreclosures continue to drag home prices in most neighborhoods down.
  • Foreign and American investors are buying up the lowest priced properties and foreclosures.
  • Many investors are turning their new house acquisitions into rental properties.
  • There is massive demand for single family homes with rental agreements, and that demand is driving the price of rentals up.

Experts are predicting different outcomes for the real estate market at this point. Some say the trend toward renting properties will continue, allowing investors to continue picking off the lowest priced homes for sale and turning them into rental properties. Others say the millions now renting homes will realize that it is a great time to become a buyer, and there will be a new real estate bubble as they start jumping in and competing with investors for the best priced houses.

No one knows which direction the housing market will take at this point, which is why there is so much debate from professionals and confusion from renters and homeowners. What is clear is that the future will be determined by the choices that ordinary people make when deciding whether they want to rent or own their own home.

There will always be some people who prefer to rent. They don’t want the responsibility that comes with home ownership and they don’t buy into the concept of the American dream as much as others. Yet, there will always be a yearning in most people to own their own homes. Many of these people are now waking up and realizing that it is a great time to become a homeowner, and for many reasons:

  •  All of the foreclosures hitting the market provide great prices for those able to buy at this time. That is why investors are all over the market right now.
  • Interest rates remain remarkably low, and you can still find loans with no down payment required. Those who could not have afforded the down payment in the past can now afford it.
  • There are more and more rent-to-own homes hitting the market, so the lease option is allowing more people than ever to own their own homes.
This last point is particularly interesting. One reason many people are now renting is because they have gone through a recent foreclosure or have other issues with their credit which prevent them from getting a loan through the banks. They rent because they thought it was their only option. Once they see that they can also take advantage of rent-to-own homes, they decide to give themselves another shot at home ownership.

With the lease option on the table, many renters will turn towards owning their own homes, since there is no equity earned from renting and rental prices continue to soar.

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