Owning nothing now a luxury, all thanks to subscription startups

Many urban young Americans have resigned themselves to a life of no property, abandoning the dreams of their parents and grandparents and great-grandparents before them, often because of financial need.

But it's not just a matter of need these days. It has become almost elegant. While paying for decoration, clothing and offices is nothing new, the options have increased considerably in recent years. In fact, some would say that we are living in the Golden Age of rent.

We were brought up to save and invest, buy a house and do all these things, said Miki Reynolds, 38, who pays a monthly fee for much of what she uses in her daily life in Los Angeles. But my mentality of renting now - it's not YOLO. It is more to live in the present as well as to plan for the future because I feel that nothing is guaranteed.

Reynolds, the executive director of a non-profit organization, rents both her apartment in the center and herself. It is easy and flexible to live this way, Reynolds said. Feel that you are getting a deal in modern clothes and not getting stuck with any of that. And she likes being able to get up and move if she wanted to, no moving trucks are required. The property point, Reynolds said, is not possessing at all, but rather experiencing the thing.

It is appropriate that these options are resonating with a set of young professionals with university education about a decade after the financial crisis of 2007-08, which continues to shape the notions of prosperity in the United States. Ownership of the home remains around a minimum of three decades for Americans of 20 and 30 years. That is particularly evident in cities, where many can not buy. However, some people really prefer rental flexibility because they explore jobs, neighborhoods and relationships.

The items offered for temporary ownership of this cohort are very far from the world's Rent-A-Centers, which target consumers with cash problems who often lack access to credit. Fernish, for example, is aimed at young people whose sense of design comes directly from Instagram or Pinterest. The company, founded in 2017, commercializes mid-century style wooden sideboards and bar trolleys inspired by the Art Deco style.

They do not necessarily want to commit, but they have disposable income and they want good brands and good furniture, and they appreciate good design, said Neela Montgomery, executive director of retail chain Crate u0026 Barrel.

The co-founders of Fernish created the company for urban professionals with university education like themselves, who moved between cities and apartments, jobs and graduate schools, and threw cheap furniture or lost time and money in temporary pieces in the process.

The recession accelerated it, but I think there is a value that has been placed on intelligence and on being smart about how to spend your money and that has also coincided with the increase in, said Jennifer Hyman, executive director of Rent the Runway. Rent the Runway, which announced a $ 1 billion valuation in March, began in 2009 as a rental service for high-end formal gowns and has since introduced subscriptions for everyday clothing items.

Said Joe Fernandez, founder of a new company called Joymode that offers rental products: People, in terms of looking for a more satisfying life and ways of connecting in the real world, want to have these experiences without the hangover of consumption.