A lot of people believe that you can only get a sense of being settled when you buy your own home. Until then, you are essentially living in someone else’s home, and cannot plan too far ahead or do too much to make yourself feel like you belong. Peace of mind is not something we associate with rentals, especially not in a state like California where change is fast-paced.
However, not everyone aspires to buy their own home. And even those who do should not have to wait for peace of mind. You should be able to settle in your rented home, safe in the knowledge that you have a place to rest your head that feels like yours.
The good news is that you can create your own peace of mind while living in a rented home in California. Here’s how.
Rent in a quiet area
In many Californian cities, everyone wants to be at the epicenter of everything. Los Angeles and San Francisco (as well as just about every other city in California) have incredibly vibrant areas in which it feels momentous just to live. While the pandemic has muted that vibrancy over the past year, we all expect these spots to rebound soon.
Unfortunately, renting in one of those hotspots is not only expensive, but comes with a fair amount of uncertainty as well. It is in these spaces that everything is constantly changing. Businesses are opening, young professionals are moving in, modern landmarks are being built. The very nature of the city is in constant flux.
This leads to unpredictable rises in rent and property changing hands regularly. You will struggle to find peace of mind, because your future in an apartment is rarely secure.
For more peace of mind, consider staying in a quiet area. This doesn’t have to be too far from the city center, but considering how much more accepted remote working is becoming, this might not even matter too much to you. You will feel more settled, knowing that rent should not change too much year-on-year and that the sale of the property is unlikely.
Get California renters insurance
One major factor that makes it difficult for renters to find peace of mind is that they do not have the security of household insurance. While homeowners know they will be able to rebuild in the case of a disaster, renters feel like they will lose everything and have to start from scratch. And this will be the case if you don’t get renters insurance.
Renters insurance in California has become more affordable and accessible than ever. Click here to see one example and learn more. Renters insurance covers your possessions while you are renting, so that you will be able to claim if worse comes to worst.
You can also get personal liability cover with your renters insurance, which safeguards you in case your landlord or someone else claims against you for accidental damages to them or their property.
Have savings for a month’s rent in California
You can only do so much to protect against having to leave your rented home. Circumstances inevitably change for your landlord, and you may be left having to find a new place to stay in a hurry. If your landlord will not or cannot return your security deposit, you will need to pay two months worth of rent in a new place.
Everyone should have savings – ideally of a few months’ worth of your salary. But at the least you should have a month’s rent (at California rates). If you do not have this safety cushion, you risk having to scramble to find what will probably amount to around fifteen hundred dollars. That’s a lot of money on top of all your regular expenses.
The assurance that you can manage to find a place to stay even in the worst case scenario gives you an increased peace of mind. Remember that this should serve as the very baseline of your savings.
Having peace of mind as a tenant in California is not that difficult to achieve. You may never have the sense of permanence that you would if you bought a home, but you can rest assured that you have a place to stay that is unlikely to change in the short term.