Isra Hashmi is one of the lucky ones.
She’s watched her mother sink under a $700,000 mortgage for a home that she never could not afford and eventually had to walk away from. Her brother had to abandon his home after his business failed and he was foreclosed on. She watched a friend lose tens of thousands of dollars in a short sale.
Hashmi never had to face what her friends, family and millions more Americans have as the crippling housing crisis unfolded. She might be the only one she knows who hasn’t.
That’s because Hashmi has never owned a home — and she may never after seeing what’s happened to everyone around her.
A lifelong renter, Hashmi is in the minority of Americans who have never owned a home. But she is among a majority of lifelong renters who count themselves blessed or lucky that they’ve never owned a home. These are the few who have made it through the housing crash and resulting foreclosure crisis virtually unscathed.
Relief when the housing bubble burst
The couple decided against buying. A few years later, the housing crash would hit, as millions defaulted on loans that they couldn’t afford and shouldn’t have been able to qualify for in the first place. Four million people would lose their homes to foreclosure, and more than double that would face the same possibility.
Today, the couple rent an apartment with their three children, and they don’t have any plans to buy in the future, even amid record-low mortgage rates and far lower home prices.
Lifelong renters “have played the smart money for the last five years” by staying out of the buyer’s market.
The renters who avoided catastrophe during the housing slump have mostly stayed away from buying because of the overwhelming responsibility of owning a home or difficulty in amassing the downpayment.
“Your home starts to dominate every aspect of your life,” one renter said. “You stay in a job you hate just to keep up with the house.” And when the housing bubble burst, it only affirmed his decision to remain a renter.
“It’s the most amazing feeling to go to bed at night and be debt-free,” Hashmi said. “There’s nothing else like it.”
Interested in renting an apartment in West Columbia, SC? If so, contact Abberly Village.