On September 17,2009
Owning a home is a big piece of the puzzle known as the American Dream. Despite this, there is a group of people who believe that owning a home is a bad decision no matter what the market is doing or no matter who you are.
I had an agent that I used to work with that was consistently making over $300,000 per year and - rumor had it - didn't own a single piece of real estate. Not even his principal residence.
People that maintain this position typically point to the fact that renters don't have to make repairs to a home and are free to move whenever they want. They also note that the responsibilty for paying for utilities, property taxes and insurance rests with the owner not the tenant.
All this would be fine except for one fundamental point - control.
When I first got into the real estate business my broker gave me an article about a woman that had been living in Newport Beach for years. Her rent started at $400.00 per month or thereabout. Over the years she found herself in a position where her rent had jumped up so much that she could no longer afford to live there. She was forced to move out of an area that she had planted roots in for much of her life.
The irony of this story is that if she would have just bought the property - my recollection about this story is that she was in a position to do so at some point during her tenancy - it would have been completely paid off.
Life changing decisions like "Should I rent or buy?" should not be taken lightly. I get that. I also understand that there is no one size fits all solution to anything.
I just think it's tragic when we get in our own way.