There are a lot of benefits to renting that homeowners don’t get to take advantage of, and these shouldn’t be overlooked when trying to find a new place to live.

To begin, it’s a money-saver. Sure, there’s usually a deposit required that seems like a big chunk of change, but it’s nothing compared to that 20% down payment for a house. Also, you’re not paying real estate taxes or insurance directly, some of your utility bills may be included in the rent, and you’re not responsible for maintenance like plumbing or electrical.

A big plus for anyone who’s either trying to establish a career or start a new one, is that renting provides a level of flexibility that owning a home just doesn’t. Found a job in a different city? Let your landlord know and find a new place. If you’ve kept the apartment in good shape, you get your deposit back and use it toward the new one. Selling a home, on the other hand, is a long, expensive, and stressful process – we won’t dwell on that right now.
It’s true that around Sonoma County right now the rental market is fairly tight, but if you’re patient, the apartments are out there.

Since we looked at homes below the median in Petaluma last week, here’s a list of the 7 apartments currently for rent there at below $2,000 a month. Scroll through the gallery to take a look…