If you haven’t already heard, there are far fewer people looking to buy a home than there were 10 years ago. For a number of reasons, including the lack of funds for a down payment as well as the desire to live more simple lifestyle, young professionals and middle-agers alike are opting to rent instead of buy–and many are choosing to rent a house. This real estate trend is affecting a lot of other things beyond the market itself, including the face of neighborhoods.

Picture the traditional American Dream: a large home in a nice neighborhood with a big yard and a maybe a front porch or swimming pool. Now that people are opting, or are financially forced to, live within their means, homes that did embody this desire are going by the wayside. Neighborhoods that once featured all single-family homes that were exclusively purchased are now boasting a mix of homeowners and renters.

If you are renting a house instead of an apartment, be the renter who lives like an owner. Just because you rent and don’t plan stay in one place for an extended amount of time doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be taking care of the property. Make sure that you stay on top of yard work, snow plowing and leaf blowing.  

Along with keeping a beautiful home, knowing your neighbors is a big factor in being a part of the community. When there is a mix of renters and owners, that neighborly vibe can be tricky to navigate. After moving into a single-family rental home, invite your neighbors over for a barbecue or to watch the next football game. These relationships may even help you make decisions in the future about whether or not you’d like to continue renting in the same neighborhood.