I might never buy a house again
Last week, Mrs. Stew started a sentence with the words, “next time we buy a house . . . ” and then finished the sentence with her idea for our home at some point in the future. I responded that I did not think we were going to buy a house anytime soon, if ever. Of course, Mrs. Stew has heard the statement from me on many occasions over the past two years. I think she had been mostly dreaming out loud while making her buy-a-house plans.
Our troubles with selling our home are well documented on this site. Fortunately, home ownership did not destroy us financially, however, I do not plan to take that chance ever again even if my financial situation improves a great deal. Here are my thoughts:
- There is no indication that we will be moving in the near future, but nowadays, you never know. My profession is one that typically involves relocation about every three to five years, even though I have had the blessing of only having to move once in fifteen years. Until I am in a job with really steady prospects for the future, I am going to keep on renting.
- I generally like mowing the lawn and sometimes even shoveling snow, but if I do not have to do it, why change a good thing?
- If it was a question of mortgage payments, owning a home would make a lot of sense for us. But as those of you who own a home know, home ownership comes with all kinds of hidden costs.
- The down payment is the big issue when it comes to home ownership for us right now and even if I had the kind of cash that a down payment requires, I would be much more likely to save it. We have a ton of other financial issues that need attention.
- I am not even sure that I would enter into a mortgage for fifty or even sixty percent of the home’s value right now. If I could build my own home and truly own it without a mortgage, I might move toward true home ownership.
For most of my lifetime, home ownership has been sold to Americans as the ideal purchase, a financial priority, the thing that every responsible person does at the earliest possible time. I certainly believed that idea. My wife and I purchased a home withing a year of getting married and thought that we were in great shape since we had bought a home about 10 years earlier than either of our parents had been able to afford one. What we failed to understand was that while we could afford a ten percent down payment and the monthly mortgage, we could not afford to own a home.
I have come to understand the real cost of home ownership quite clearly and I plan to be a contented renter for a long, long time.
Article by Stew
Photo by ugraland