What is causing the preference for leasing over owning? Marcus Hiles believes that, in Texas and around the country, people are enjoying the flexibility the rental lifestyle allows. “We’re a mobile population,” he demonstrates. “The idea of settling in one place for a decade – or for the length of a 30-year mortgage – doesn’t hold the same appeal as it did a generation or two ago.” Debunking the concept that owners have an edge in personal happiness, Hiles points to research explaining that renters come out ahead. He explains, “People who rent actually spend more time engaging in leisure activities and interacting with their friends and neighbors.”
Marcus Hiles discusses environmentally minded construction practices such as permeable paving. The practice dates back thousands of years, originating unintentionally when the first roads were built by putting stones in beds over the ground. By allowing rain to pass through four layers of filtration before being absorbed into the ground, runoff pollution is reduced, the flow of storm water is controlled, local groundwater supplies are replenished, and a skid resistance surface is created on walkways, patios and driveways.
Marcus Hiles, the founder and CEO of Dallas-based Western Rim Property Services, appreciates that state policies have generated more jobs than anywhere across the nation. Overall, the Lone Star State succeeded in its post-recession job recovery more than two years ahead of the rest of the country, and by January 2016 had launched more than 1.3 million jobs, in addition to its pre-recession employment peak. As the unemployment rate has always been lower in Texas than in the rest of the country, reaching 4.4 percent in April as opposed to 5 percent nationwide – consumer confidence has been vigorous. May’s Texas Consumer Confidence Index (CCI), which evaluates economic optimism based on savings and spending habits, was 117.6, while this number was 92.6 for the entire U.S. CCI ratings. Texas vibrant economy – stimulated by more than $5 billion in tax cuts over the last three years – has also been a value added to the housing market. The price of existing homes increased by 5.9 percent in comparison to previous years, while the number of single-family residences rose by 6 percent.
“When renters choose to live in communities that align with their lifestyles, they achieve a greater work-life balance,” says Western Rim Property Services CEO Marcus Hiles. His knowledge comes from years of crafting communities with resort-like amenities. That work-life equilibrium is particularly important given that a third of apartment tenants are between the ages of 30 and 44 – the prime of their careers – and an additional 30 percent are between 45 and 64 years old. Hiles’ continues to design apartments delivering resort-like amenities while maintaining an enviable commute distance, helping to ensure that Dallas will continue to trend toward renting over home ownership.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR voluntary labeling program, launched in 1992, has become a powerful influence in purchasing decisions. Marcus Hiles fully endorses renters’ and buyers’ insistence upon having the latest ENERGY STAR rated appliances in their homes. Consumers and program partners buy 320 million energy efficient products that shave utility bills by more than $31 billion each year. “Compared to appliances just ten years old, with ENERGY STAR you can save almost half on your energy bill,” Hiles notes.