house-money-forbiddenIn expensive cities Like New York, it’s cheaper to rent housing than to buy, which is fine by me. I’ve never even considered buying a home. Here are five reasons why:

  1. A Home Means WORK! The second your pen hits that mortgage, your work commences. Weeks, months, and years of painting inside and out, of furnishing rooms and planting flowers and building additions and cleaning gutters and replacing windows and cutting down damaged trees and weeding weeds that laugh in your face when they return a week later.  And let us not forget all that land you own that needs mowing in summer heat waves and shoveling in winter blizzards. It’s not that I’m against work. It’s that I hate boring circular work that goes round and round like a carousel — but without the fun.
  2. You can kiss Your Savings Toodle-oo! POOF — All those years of saving and sweat immediately shot down the own-a-house-tubes. On top of your down payment, you can count on transaction costs (inspections, legal costs, real estate agent, etc.) of 7% to 10% of the house’s price. Which can translate to $30,000 for a $300,000 home. Yike!
  3. You alone will support your Home’s Addiction: Like a drug addict, a home’s need for cash is voracious and never ending. Forget nickel and dime stuff. Have you priced a new furnace lately? A new roof? An updated kitchen? Well don’t, if you have a tendency to faint at astronomical costs barreling your way. As far as maintenance and repairs, some estimate it at 1% yearly of a home’s price. That’s $3,000 bucks a year for a $300,000 home if YOU’RE doing the work. More, if you’re hiring out.
  4. Hidden Problems: The place could look absolutely stunning and trouble free before you move in. But once all your stuff’s in that door — POW!  How are you supposed to sleep with those neighborhood dogs howling their heads off all night long?  And what’s the scoop on those oddballs next door who never turn their lights on at night. Satanic get-togethers?  A bunch of suburban Miss Havisham’s? Pauper City? And what’s that sudden putrid smell in the neighborhood? Termites? Killer vapors from some factory somewhere? And yes, these vexing problems can pop up in rentals too, but at least in a rental you can clear out and escape far more easily.
  5. You’re shackled to Sticks and Bricks: What if you suddenly want out from your job or receive a smashing offer from a company thousands of miles away? Or feel just plain itchy and want to resettle in a fresh new atmosphere? And what if any of those things occur during a lousy housing market when getting out could lose you buckets of dough — not to mention tons of nail biting time trying to find a buyer.  Being shackled to that pile of bricks and wood could mean adios to opportunity, freedom and peaceful sleep.

Or do you say phooey to all these negatives? You want a house of your own anyway.

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