That's exactly what I'm talking about, suburban areas. How does a rural area go bad anyway? What? You get even more rural people????<quoted text>
That explains alot! You are a suburbanite. Get out to the the rural areas of Ohio and it is a different world. As far a s the rentalpart of your statement, I charge more than anyone else in my area and have no trouble keeping my units full. I have come to find out in my 33 years of being a landlord that people don't mind paying a little more if you give them a few bells and whistles.
As you stated, if you are charging more, then you are giving more. That's perfectly logical. But if you are charging more for nearly the same as others are offering, then you are likely not getting more or have extremely low competition.
Here where I live, there is only so much you can charge. You have to set your base price on what comparable units are going for within a 5 mile range, and usually, there are dozens of them. In my area, some landlords are offering no credit check, no security deposit, and first months rent free. That's how competition is in suburbia.