Renters Vs. Owners – Who’s Really Better Off?

Posted by: admin  :  Category: Boise Market Trends, Market Trends, Real Estate, Real Estate & Housing

Renters Vs. Owners – and other interesting Boise and Ada County Demographics.

When it comes to the percentage of their income that goes toward housing, owners are better off than renters. At least according to Census data, which reports about 50% of renters put less than 30% of their income toward housing costs, compared to 66% of homeowners who have the majority their income leftover after the housing-related bills are paid.

This Census data from American Communities Surveys suggests that about half of local renters would meet a common rental criteria – that monthly income must be three times the rent. Two-thirds of owners would meet the same criteria.

The catch. Home repairs are not included in the lists of costs. The costs included are mortgage, taxes, insurance and utilities. Let’s not forget that renters have the fortune of calling landlords when repairs are needed. This surely would sway those numbers a bit. It also provides renters with the advantage of being less prone to expensive surprises, if they carry renter’s insurance. Without renters insurance, which also isn’t included in the housing costs, a water heater leak could become a big expense for a renter, in terms of damaged material goods. I recommend renters insurance!


Know Your Market

Delving Into the Demographics of Ada County

  • Median rent in Ada County $806 (compared to $790 the two years prior and $860 before that).
  • Rental Vacancy Rate 3.7%
  • Homeowner Vacancy Rate 1.6%
  • 161,876 housing units with a median of 5.8 rooms, with three bedroom units being the most popular (46.9% of houses)
  • Population of people 16 years of age and older – 315,225 in Ada County and 171,487 in Boise
  • 65% of homes are owner-occupied and 35% are renter occupied.
  • 77.5% have a mortgage (of the 100,000 owner-occupied units)
  • The median mortgage is $1,295
  • Average household size is 2.52-2.64, with the higher number representing owner-occupied units
  • It appears that moving has expedited – more people moved within the past several years in 2012 than in the two years preceding
  • Median earnings for full-time workers $36,000- $48,000 (depending on gender)
  • Median household income and benefits $53,909 in Ada County (slightly lower with just Boise)
  • Mean household income and benefits $69,768
  • Median family income 63,736
  • Mean family income 81,963
  • 20 minutes – the mean travel time to work
  • 4.8% are unemployed, 62.3% are employed and 32.7% are not in the work force
  • 12% of people and 8.4% of families are below the poverty line

Data source


If you filled out the ongoing and longer Census survey that supplements the ten-question decennial Census, this was your 2012 data at work. Thank you for populating my latest Foster Boise Blog post with your efforts! PS – way to make it this far, through all that data!

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The average rent in Ada County Idaho is $806, however this is not for a specific size or number of bedrooms.

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