Nearly 80% of Renters Are Eyeing This Housing Type

The American Dream without the mortgage.

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As traditional homeownership continues to present challenges, people are getting more flexible with their definition of the American Dream by leaning into renting. But signing a lease doesn’t mean you’re destined to spend the next 12 months sharing a wall with noisy neighbors. 

According to recent data, the number of built-to-rent single-family houses has skyrocketed from 9,928 in 2021 to 14,500 in 2022. A report from that surveyed 3,300 renters confirms the trend, with 78 percent of respondents saying they’d be down to live in a community of rental homes. Although these residences may not be your forever home, it doesn’t mean you have to settle for builder-grade finishes or boring design. Here are a few tried-and-true ways to make these spaces your own, minus the mortgage.  

Present a Plan

In the seven years that Keyanna Bowen has been renting in Maryland, she’s completed about $5,000 worth of renovations—all on her landlord’s dime. Her secret? She presents a proposal for jazzing up a room and her landlord agrees to a budget, either deducting the expenses from the rent or covering the majority of the costs up front.

Start From the Ground Up

The four-bedroom Victorian that Katherine Ormerod was planning to stay in for two years had character, but the gray-silver carpet that covers all the bedrooms and the stairs had seen better days. Because she couldn’t tear it out, she incorporated it into her color schemes where possible, then bought huge rugs to cover it where she couldn’t.

If You Can’t Change It, Hide It

As a longtime renter, Sara Toufali knows that picture-perfect apartments are far and few between, but when she found a gem in Los Angeles, she was willing to overlook the dreary brown tile that lined the bathtub, sink, and shower. After a little digging on Etsy, she discovered Bleucoin’s genius tile stickers and attests that they’ve held up over time. “Everyone is so surprised when I tell them that they’re stickers,” she says. “They look so real.”