My whole life I've heard you should buy a home because it's the American Dream, its a great investment and comes with so many other perks. Well, I've considered all them and I've found renting to be more beneficial for my lifestyle. I think it works for lots of people as well. Here are my reasons why I don't own a home.
I love the amenities my apartment affords me. I have a pool, workout facility, package receiving service, a tennis court, and a club house I can rent out for parties. All these are included in my rent. I don't even have to maintain my pool! That in itself is worth it.
I've lived in my apartment for about 4 years now. In those 4 years I've had a refrigerator, washing machine, water heater, and AC blower replaced. I've also had my kitchen retiled and carpet replaced because of a busted pipe. I haven't had to pay anything for these repairs. If I owned a home, those costs would come out of my pocket.
Let me get this straight. I buy a home and pay for it for 20 years and sell it for a profit? Seems legit. But what if your home decreases in value? There are so many factors that play into that final home value. You can buy a home and then the neighborhood goes down the tank and you're left with a loss. That's not a very sound investment if the point of investing is to make a profit. Meanwhile I've added more to my work 401k, I have an IRA, and my Apple, Google and other stocks are doing ok. There are many different types of investments. I also pay rent that is significantly cheaper than any mortgage in a great neighborhood, so I'm able to invest more.
Because I've been in my apt so long, I'm on a month to month lease. Basically, I can leave whenever I want. I'm not locked into a lease or mortgage. If I don't like my neighbors, it's easy for me to pick up and move. I don't have to worry about trying to sell or rent my home out when I want to leave. Having that peace of mind is priceless.
This is by far my favorite aspect. I've heard that I'm throwing my money away by renting, but I don't see it that way. I pay rent and I get to live there. Kinda like a mortgage. Realistically, no one owns their home unless they pay it off. Until then, the bank that owns the loan actually owns the home and you're paying rent to them. I know thats not exactly the most accurate description but it's the gist. I love that I don't own it. It kinda goes hand and hand with reason number 4. Because it's not mine, I can leave when I want and I have the piece of mind of having less frustration over repairs, taxes, etc. It's someone else's problem to deal with
I have the worst allergies known to man and the thought of a lawn scares the hell out of me. My dad's lawn was his pride and joy. It looked like something you should play golf on. He won yard of the month in his neighborhood pretty much every month. In order for me to duplicate that, I would have to take an antihistamine beforehand and wear a mask while cutting or being in the grass. Not worth the hassle. Sure I could pay someone else to do it, but that's another added expense. My apartment takes care of all my landscaping needs. I do have a plant on my patio though. So I'm pretty proud of that.
I go out a lot. I think if you read this blog then you pretty much know that. Outside of going out, I play in a kickball league, I play basketball a few days a week, I go exploring, I travel and I have the world's coolest kid to run after. In all that, I don't have time to take care of the maintenance and upkeep of a house. At this point, I need a maid as well. My home would be so neglected and no one would invite me over for a beer lol.
Owning a home has always seemed like something a family does. Call me old fashioned, but in my head you meet a girl, you get married, you buy a house and you have a kid. In that order. I don't want to jump several steps. Having a family would at least ensure I had some help at the house as well. I can barely get my 9 year old to put empty dishes in the dishwasher.
Oh God the burbs!! How I loathe the burbs! In my opinion, its where you go when you've decided to never be cool again. All the SUVs and minivans with the little soccer stickers. All the chain restaurants and the traffic! Try going down Germantown Parkway on a Saturday afternoon. Not only that but I hate those cookies cutter homes! I want more than just the shutter colors diffrientiating my home from my neighbors home.
I pay less than $1000 in rent currently. I won't reveal my apartment because it's a diamond in the rough. If I could find a home in the area I wanted for less than my rent, I would jump on it. I've never been able to. I would need it total cost to be less than 1,000 in order to live the life I currently enjoy. That includes any association fees, homeowners insurance and property taxes. That's probably my biggest reason why I don't own a home. Because my rent is so low, I have a greater quality of life. I'm able to do a lot of things I normally wouldn't like travel or eat out each day. A home would alter my quality of life. That's not something I'm willing to sacrifice currently.
I don't knock homeownership. I think it can be great in the right situations, but it doesn't fit my lifestyle right now. If I were married, I'm sure my thoughts would change but as a single man it's just not for me. When I think of the American Dream, I think of buying a home and staying put until the kids are grown and gone. That's not the case these days. Families expand, neighborhood change, and tastes change as well. Most people don't live in their first home very long. Last I read the average time in a home is about 7 years. So the remaining 8 to 13 years have to be paid off and then you start back over. That doesn't sound like a dream to me at all. It was a dream my father had to own a home and I saw how proud he was of his home. Maybe one day I will have that same feeling, but for right now it's the renters life for me. There's no denying that homeownership can be great, but it's also not for everyone. I believe in everyone doing what's best for them.
What are your thoughts on renting vs buying? Have you done both? Which was better for you? Are you a renter considering home ownership? What factors are you considering? Drop a comment!!