Do I ever want to own a home?

Posted in Living, Money by

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There’s an overarching theme in the pf blogosphere – it seems like everyone is saving for or has recently purchased a house. (I can only think of two blogs that I read regularly that don’t fit that description, and even if the bloggers are saving for it, they don’t post about it regularly.) I’m thinking about it a lot more since one of my friends and her husband just spent a few months looking for a house and are in the process of buying it, and my boss is in the beginning stages of selling the house he and his wife bought a few years ago and moving on up (already? This is just crazy to me. They can’t have been in this place for more than three years, and it’s great.)

Thinking about it even in high school, I knew I never wanted a house. I pictured myself in a trendy downtown loft apartment of some fancy city, either living with my man or solo. And while that’s certainly not how my life has turned out (I live in a pretty typical apartment with a roommate, two cats, and an upstairs roommate who has a more infrequent schedule than my nurse roommate), I’m still not sure I’d want to settle into a house.

Pros:

  • I could paint, redecorate, or anything on my own whim.
  • It’s mine, mine, mine.
  • There wouldn’t be so much moving around, and the risk of payments going up every year would be smaller.
  • Would be putting rent money toward property that I would own

Cons:

  • In choosing a traditional house, I’d lose the convenience of an office to have packages dropped off to. (This seems like something trivial, but I lost HOURS of my life last year having to drive out to the UPS facility to retrieve packages.) 
  • Anything that goes wrong is my responsibility.
  • All the bills are mine – no complex covering trash, or even utilities that many companies offer to cover.
  • Maybe it’s just the stage of my life, maybe it’s my profession, or maybe it’s just who I am – but I’m still moving around a lot. I certainly don’t want to buy a house here, when I don’t plan to be here much longer than two years (barring some giant promotion that would make it worth it.) Relatedly, I don’t know where the place I would want to settle down and have a home-ownership life would be.
  • The worst thing would be to commit to a house, then move during another housing market crash and be unable to sell. No matter how much I would be making, there wouldn’t be any amount where I could pay rent and a mortgage on an empty house.

Are there other things I should be considering, or am I just a weirdo for not wanting that kind of life?

January 27, 2013
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