Many people think that homeownership is the American dream, but I disagree.
I’m a proud renter, and it’s not that I can’t afford a house – I can actually afford a really nice, big house. I just choose to rent a nice big house instead. Here’s why…
Staying Debt Free
I am very anti-debt and so is my wife, and we’ve agreed to be debt free. When thinking about buying a house and looking at how much I can borrow, it made me pretty uncomfortable. It was scary to think that for just a few signatures, I could borrow over $500,000 for a home, which could lose value! We used a mortgage calculator to figure out how much out monthly payments would be, and found out that it was quite a bit more than our rent for a similar sized property.
In addition, if we’re to buy a home we’d have to take a huge chunk out of our savings for a down payment. And unless you qualify for one of those “buy to let mortgages,” most lenders are requiring 10-20% down right now.
Keeping Out Expenses Down
Beyond the mortgage, owning a home involved so many more expenses that we just don’t have a renters. First, we don’t pay any property taxes and that is great! I couldn’t image having to pay another $5,000 to $6,000 per year in taxes beyond my regular income tax.
Also, we pay a lot less insurance, since we keep our renters policy to just cover our possessions. If we had a home, our insurance payments would increase substantially.
Finally, forget maintenance. When the toilet clogged, I don’t have to deal with it. I just call the landlord, and he takes care of it. If I was a homeowner, I would have to deal with both the hassles of problems arising, as well as the monetary cost.
Renting also just allows us to continue saving and live the lifestyle we want. By avoiding those expenses, we have saved and feel comfortable traveling whenever we want, and we don’t sweat going out to dinner if we feel like it. I couldn’t imagine the burden of a home at this point, both the financial cost and emotional stress of having to make so many different payments.
We may change our minds in the future, but for now – we are perfectly happy renting!
Photo by Universal Pops**