• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Renters' paradise

Home ownership may be the American dream, but it's nice to keep the renters happy, too:

Fort Wayne topped the list of cities in the United States with the most satisfied apartment renters. According to ApartmentRatings.com, a large database of reviews for apartments in the 100 most populous U.S. cities, Wayne has earned first place in the site's 2009 poll for the top ten cities as of Wednesday, December 8. Among the criteria, voters had the option to rate their apartment experience on a number of specific factors including noise, safety and maintenance.

I'm not sure how useful such a rating is, though. It's based on surveys of opinion, not exactly as objective as, say, being ranked No. 1 for amateur athletics (you've either got the teams and the attendance or you don't). And how would you make use of it in attracting people? "Come to Fort Wayne and enjoy yourselves, but don't stay too long!"

As a renter of varied experience before succumbing to the joys of home ownership, I learned how vastly different the renting adventure can be. There are two basic forms, each with its own dictates. If you rent part of a house with only two or three units total, it's necessary to have a good relationship with the landlord, and it matters a lot who your neighbors are. If you live in a big apartment complex, you never meet the landlord and barely pay attention to your neighbors; the rules tend to be more uniform and formal.

I rented mostly because that's what I could afford to do. But these days, I associate the experience with the footloose days of youth. Bless those selective memories.


Larry Morris
Thu, 12/10/2009 - 11:28am

As of 2008 the home ownership rate was 67.8 % (nationally), that means 32.2 % don't own a home. If you assume some people simply live with other people and some are in nursing homes, etc., you could probably say 20 % or more rent. One in 5, that's a pretty big number, and with the housing market the way it is, it's apt to get larger - and probably should, one of the reasons we're in the mess we're in is selling houses to people who couldn't afford them and should have been renters. The fact that Ft. Wayne ranked #1 among renters means a lot to 1 in 5, ...