Is Renting the New American Dream?


Today's homeowners aspire to ... rent?

That's what the majority of respondents to a Harris Interactive poll said when asked about attitudes toward renting. Seventy-six percent of those who responded to the May survey said that they believe that renting is a better option that buying a home in the current real estate market. Most interesting: 78 percent of those responding to the survey were homeowners.

Even with mortgage rates at historic lows, it seems that more and more people are considering putting their hard-earned dollars into a security deposit rather than a down payment on a home. With the national unemployment rate stuck at 10 percent, people are cautious about committing to a 30-year mortgage.

Tenant Steve Hamilton told The Wall Street Journal that since selling his Carlsbad, Calif., home two years ago, he prefers to rent. "When I see a steady increase in local jobs, that's when we'll step back into the market," he said. His current rent is just one-half of what he used to pay monthly for his mortgage.