Renters are Cool.

Updated: Nov 21, 2021

As a consultant, one of my favorite things is to support people who do not want to own a house. You're asking yourself, why would a guy who worked on houses for a living encourage people not to buy? Your mind takes off, reminding you of all the supposed reasons to own a home. More closet space, an excellent investment, freedom to live the way you like, a big yard, and of course lot's of room to entertain. All valid reasons, for many, but not all.

A lot of people don't have that much to put in closets. Many people are private, preferring to keep their living space to themselves. People who travel a lot don't need a house project.

America has done a pretty good job of convincing us it's best to own a house as if renting is for kids in their 20s and those whose credit rating has not yet reached acceptable levels. It's all bunk. Many renters I've talked to love the freedom of renting or leasing. They like calling the landlord for maintenance and repairs, done at the landlord's cost. Many families rent too, raising kids, dogs, cats, and whole families in a property they will never own.

But what about the investment value of buying a home? Put a pencil on it. I'll argue many home buying adventures are not an investment but an expense. Add it up, start with the price of the house, add the loan fees and interest, maintenance, repairs, improvements, insurance, remodels, taxes, and other costs involved in homeownership. You'll find that many home purchases are a loss or an expense, just like renting. This is especially true if extensive repairs like foundations, sewer lines, major plumbing, and electrical are done. If you take out a line of credit against the house, it has to be paid off some time, adding another expense to the ledger. Americans are famous for finding themselves upside down in their homes financially.

So don't feel like your missing out by not buying a house. It's your choice to live the life that feels best in your gut if you don't like working on homes and don't want to spend the money to maintain one. No shame, no judgment. It's your journey. Stand at the helm and call the shots. You'll be happiest in the long run when you do.


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