MSN Money has an article entitled “The 3 worst reasons to buy a house“. They make some interesting points.
The three reasons they list are:
- ‘Better than the stock market’
- ‘I’m tired of throwing away money on rent’
- ‘I need the tax deduction’
Of those, the only one we were thinking was #2, the rent issue. While we were thinking of the house as being an investment, I don’t think we’d thought about whether or not it would be “better than the stock market”. The main reason I wanted a home was so I could design everything about it–for example, landscape the yard, or put in a Japanese-style bath. To be honest, I didn’t like the idea of owning a house in some ways, because home ownership means you’re tied to the area. Even if you decide to move out and keep the property for rentals, you pretty much have to stay close by to supervise it. (And if you simply move out, it’s a huge hassle, and you’ve lost money.)
And speaking of real estate speculation and investment, it seems to me that the only way to be successful at that is if you start out with a nice chunk of investment capital and are able to pay the property off early, so you can start making money from it right away. That is simply not our situation–thanks, yes, to my not having a job, but also to our being relatively young and not having any savings or investments.
The last paragraph in the “throwing away money on rent” section says:
In other words, homeownership is more like marriage; renting is more like living together. Make sure you’re ready to be wedded to a house before you propose to leave behind life as a renter.
I’m really starting to think Sean’s right. We’re not ready for the responsibility and expense of owning a home. And I don’t think I’m ready emotionally. After all, if we’re renting, it’s much easier for us to move. And there is a large part of me that is dissatisfied with living in Augusta. I like the idea that I can get out quickly if I want or need to.
Now, the only sticking point is that I’m kind of afraid of apartments, after having ours burn down. We may end up renting a house. Who knows.