Bentley….oh Mr. Bentley. He came to us almost five years ago through a wonderful woman in Spring Valley that has dedicated her time to rescuing these amazing dogs from the local animal shelters. These amazing life-long friends are deemed “un-adoptable” by the local shelters because of injuries or illnesses that no one wants to spend money to repair. Most of these injuries or illnesses are correctable, and most of these animals are rescued right off of the euthanization table by this wonderful woman.
And such was the case of this little dude.
Enter Penny. Dogs are her passion. Rescuing them, her job. She is selfless and cares tremendously about each dog she adopts. And, because she visits the shelters almost daily, she is able to stop so many faithful pets from being euthanized for no reason.
This is where Bentley’s story begins.
He is taken from the shelter and immediately taken to the vet. He is poked, prodded, cleaned, vaccinated, swaddled, and sent home for some TLC. Days later, he returns to the vet for his check up and Penny finds that his leg is on the road to healing. No surgery needed!
A few more weeks go by and he is good as new. And the most heartwarming part of this story is how amazing this little guy is. He is so unbelievably loving and loyal, and he has the most amazing personality. Everyone who meets him falls in love with him. And you know by looking in his eyes the pain he has endured, and I believe he knows how truly lucky he was that Penny found him. He would have been killed for no reason…..his injuries were not that severe.
The attitude toward housing in this country is clear: Buy. We
“aspire” to own a home and, if we’re good citizens, finally “attain”
homeownership, all in proper pursuit of the American dream.
meanwhile, are relegated to the lingua of Middle Age fiefdom, their
tenancy dependant on the (land)lords and (land)ladies of the nation.
Even a malicious landlord retains his royal title today, albeit
somewhat marred, as in “slumlord” or “ghetto lord.”
culture of homeownership and the presumption is that homeownership is
the right or best tenure choice,” says Eric Belsky, executive director
of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. “The language we use underscores that.”
don’t talk about rentership rates, we talk about homeownership rates,”
says Belsky, who catches himself referring to owners who “revert back”
to renting. “See, I’m doing it myself.”
And yet, one-third of Americans, or nearly 37 million families, rent
instead of own. (This doesn’t include vacation homes.) For some, it’s a
question of affordability, while for others it’s a lifestyle choice.
Here, renters share their rationale for the renting life.
1. To escape the hidden costs of homeownership:
In the nation’s capital, homeownership is an affordable option only for
those families earning more than 120% of the median income of $95,000,
says Peter Tatian, a senior research associate at the Urban Institute, a research organization in Washington, D.C., that focuses on social and economic problems and issues.
who drive out of the nation’s metro areas to find more affordable
housing dump those savings right back into transportation costs, with
families earning $20,000 to $50,000 spending an average of 57% of their
income to cover both, according to research by the Center for Housing
Even in more-affordable areas, homeownership can prove too costly.
Buck Bannister and his partner bought a two-story carriage house with a
big yard in South Carolina for $60,000. Then came needed incidental
repairs, along with a roof fix and a new sewer line.
After practically draining the home loans, each suddenly was hospitalized with a serious medical condition.
that point if you have a home, as the conventional wisdom plays out,
your home is your greatest asset and you can tap into those assets. The
problem is if you’ve had to tap into those assets to make the home
livable, they’re not there for other things,” Bannister says.
and his partner each recovered, and they sold the home. They could
easily have afforded another, but now happily rent a $675-a-month
duplex in Tucson, where they landscape the yard and enjoy the
“It’s home to us, it’s not just a place to crash,” Bannister says.
“We love it. The only way we would do anything else is if we won the
lottery and were independently wealthy.
“I have friends who have
bought a house and something happens and they realize: I don’t own this
house, I rent it from my bank and I have to pay to keep it up,” he says.
2. Access to urban amenities:
“Everything I need is within a mile or two,” says Sam Higgins, 29, who
rents with his fiancé in Austin, Texas “I can be downtown in five
His fiancé’s aunt, a real-estate agent, frequently pitches the idea of buying, which the couple shakes off.
could afford something, but it would be more money and a smaller space
for us to do that,” Higgins says. “And if I’m an hour’s drive from what
the city has to offer, then it’s not really worth it to me.”
3. Cash availability: Joshua Crumbaugh, 27, works
for a mortgage company but resisted the temptation to buy when, he
jokes, “you could more easily get a mortgage than a cell-phone plan.”
he rents “a lot of house” for himself, his wife and their two children
for $1,100 a month in Huntsville, Ala., and keeps his cash free for a
potential business launch.
“There are a lot of things that you
can do as opposed to purchasing a home,” Crumbaugh says. Plus, a buyer
who ends up in the hole on a home investment “has got no room to borrow
anything against the house.”
“I’m in the mortgage business. I
want everyone to believe that (their home’s value is) always going to
go up. But the reality is it’s not always going to go up.”
in the long-term market, a house doesn’t necessarily make for the best
financial payout. Unless a home’s value rises at a substantially
greater rate than inflation, the money might be better off in
alternative investments. (Read “Why rent? To get richer,” on MSN Money.)
to the National Multi-Housing Council, an industry trade association,
$100 put into a house in 1985 would have been worth $210 in 2008; in
stocks, the same amount would have been $710. Even if your portfolio
took a 50 percent hit in the past 18 months, the figure would still be
Furthermore, home prices remain overvalued compared to rents in many areas, say experts. (Read “34 cities where it’s still better to rent.”)
only rental drawback for Crumbaugh is the tax inequity. If he owned and
paid the same monthly check, he’d be getting $2,700 in refunds this
year instead of $700. “It makes a very big difference,” he says.
“We got rid of half of the things we owned and we haven’t missed a
single one of those things,” says Beth Perry, a United Methodist
minister who rents in Queens with her husband.
Zipporah Sandler also appreciates the simplicity of renting.
always ask, ‘Why don’t you buy?’ ” says Sandler, a 50-something retiree
who rents a 2,700-square-foot Mediterranean house in a luxury South
Florida community for less than it would cost to own a
She and her husband had planned to buy,
using cash from the sale of their New England home, but to their
surprise discovered after five years of renting that “life has become
much easier,” she says. “I absolutely love it.”
Perry’s husband is an actor who recently auditioned for a part in
London. That could mean a sudden relocation. “You never know what will
come next,” Perry says.
Eric M. Hamilton, 36, a civilian public
affairs specialist for the Army, echoes this sentiment. He owned a
house in Anchorage and loved it, even sunk money into renovations. Then
the military transferred his job to California.
“I moved in June,
and I’m hoping to close on the Anchorage house by the middle of May, so
11 months of paying a rent and a house payment together does not for a
happy bankbook make,” says Hamilton, who is married with three
children. He now plans to keep renting. He likes that he can easily
upgrade to another house nearby, without worrying about having to sell,
and that he can take advantage of military amenities that exist close
to rental units.
“My grandmother rented her home for 50 years in
Oakland, lived there ’til the day she died,” Hamilton says. She owned a
business, and “took fantastic care of the house. I know that being a
renter doesn’t mean being a transient or being a shiftless person.”
6. Diversity: “I
find the people refreshing,” Bill Moore, 59, says of the tenants in the
downtown Chicago high-rise where he and his wife rent a unit on the
39th floor. Many are young business professionals, and they mingle
frequently in common areas.
He and his wife own a house downstate
and had planned to buy a condo in the city, but their rental apartment
has turned out to be comparable in cost while offering better service,
a higher floor and a wider variety of neighbors.
Stage Two Drought Coming July 1, 2009
Most cities in San Diego County have adopted a four-stage drought response plan and have already declared a Stage One alert. In the absence of significant rainfall or snowfall, a Stage Two alert was declared in January 2009 and will go into effect on July 1, 2009.
Stage One – 10 percent water conservation requirements (voluntary conservation – also known as the “20 Gallon Challenge”)
Stage Two – 20 percent water conservation requirements (mandatory conservation)
Stage Three – 40 percent conservation requirements (mandatory conservation)
Stage Four – 40+ percent conservation requirements (mandatory conservation)
Water conservation is now a way of life!
California is experiencing one of the worst droughts in history, as evidenced by the declaration of a statewide drought by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on June 4, 2008.
More than 90 percent of San Diego County’s water supply is imported from other regions. Record low snow and rainfalls, limited water supplies, and water transportation deficiencies all combine to put San Diego in the midst of a severe water shortage.
How You Can Help
In some ways apartment dwellers can do more to conserve water than homeowners. Think of it this way: if everyone in your building does a little something to save water, that small water savings is multiplied by the number of units. So, if everyone saves just two gallons of water a day, your building may be saving 10, 50, or 100 gallons a day, depending on the number of units.
Some apartment dwellers pay their own water bills, and some do not. But whether or not you have an individual water bill, it benefits you to conserve water. Conservation helps keep water costs down, and water costs impact the price of necessitates such as food…and rent. Because water rates are already going up, it’s unlikely that your rent will decrease by conserving, but it may not go up as fast if you do conserve.
Tips for A Water-Friendly Apartment, Inside & Out…
• If your toilet runs constantly, report it to your property manager immediately.
• Drop your tissue in the trash instead of flushing it down the drain. This saves between 1.5-3.5 gallons each flush.
• Teach your children to turn off faucets tightly after each use.
• Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save 25 gallons a month.
• Turn off the water while you shave. Shower & Baths
• Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.
• Turn of the water while you wash your hair to save up to 150 gallons a month.
• When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
• Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them.
• Use the garbage disposal sparingly.
• For cold drinks, keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. This way, every drop goes down you and not the drain.
• Don’t use running water to thaw food. Use a microwave or defrost food in the refrigerator for water efficiency and food safety.
• Run your dishwasher only when it’s full. You can save up to 500 gallons a month.
• Designate one glass for your drinking water each day or refill a water bottle. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash.
• When doing laundry match the water level to the size of the load.
• Washing clothes in cold water saves both on water and energy. There are detergents especially for cold water.
• Share water conservation tips with friends and neighbors.
• Report broken pipes, open hydrants and errant sprinklers to the property manager immediately.
Miscellaneous Conservation Tips
• Listen for dripping faucets and running toilets. Fixing a leak can save 300 gallons a month or more.
• Check with your property manager to ensure they have installed low-flow faucet aerators and inexpensive low-flow shower heads. Low-flow aerators use 1.5 gallons of water per minute (older faucets use between three and seven gallons per minute).
Information in this brochure was compiled from various sources, including, www.wateruseitwisely.com, Cal Water, City of Atlanta, and others. The intent of this brochure is to increase water conservation in multifamily communities by the San Diego County Apartment Association (SDCAA).