Owning vs. Renting: Should I Buy a House?

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I read this blog and I read this and then I read the comments to both. I spend a lot of time working on my house so I think I’m in a good position to answer this question.

Should I buy a house?

Yes

Why?

Because it’s stupid not to.

That’s a little harsh. I have at least a thousand reasons why renting is better. Let me list them for…

Hold on there sport; why don’t you ask yourself should I rent a car every time I need to go for a drive?

That’s not the same.

No it’s literally the same thing. You can rent both. It’s just a matter for how long.

Okay smart guy. You want to be smart; let’s be smart. I could invest in the stock market and make 6.5% vs. real estate which is 0.3% according to your Washington Post article.

I worked in Equity Research. I can say this unequivocally. The stock market is a sham for the rich and powerful to take money off the rest of us. Don’t believe me? Watch Wolf of Wall Street: the most honest banking movie since the last big-budget movie about banking: Wall Street.

Right…next you’ll be telling me to buy gold and vote Ron Paul I bet.

No, I’ll be telling you to buy a house and tend your garden.

But I want to be rich; I’m going to rent and invest in the stock market.christmas fireplace

Walk into a bank and tell them you’re going to put 5% down and you want them to front you the other 95% for your stock purchase; tell them that you’ll be repaying them with interest over the next 30 years while you spend your time scavenging back alleys for nice dumpsters to sleep in while working your day job and paying back the loan. Promise them you’ll make the payments on time and if you don’t they can seize all the stock you bought and try to resell it at a margin they are happy with.

There are very few ways to get someone to front you $100k on a bet. One of the least hazardous to your health is a mortgage on a house.

Pfft…well there is your problem. You need a mortgage you pleb.

Maybe you should rephrase your question then and say you want to be more rich because you already have more disposable income than most, but that is still not good enough for you. Where’s a Jacobin when you need one?

Fine, but I can’t afford to buy where I want to live.

That is a lifestyle choice not a choice between renting and buying. Ownership is always better than renting be it in a slum or on Park Avenue.

What if my appliances break?

What if your arm breaks? It heals or you replace it or you somehow carry on. Tend your garden.

There’s yard work?

Yes there is.

I don’t want to do yard work or maintenance or my dishes. I hate doing dishes and doing things that aren’t fun.

Buy a dishwasher. Tend your garden.

That’s overly simplistic and you keep repeating that line.

All I want is a good home and a wife and a children, and some food to feed them every night.

Voltaire and Gill Scott-Heron and Kanye West have this in common: they understand or pretend to that life is hard and full of struggle and if you want to continue living without responsibility, you can do that, but don’t pretend the other half out there who do dishes, fix their appliances, and rake their yards made a mistake for choosing hard work over mental gymnastics.

rentHonestly, should I rent or buy?

Buy.

Should I rent in a neighbourhood I want to live in or settle for a house I own somewhere I don’t?

That’s up to you, but in the long term, buying is always better no matter what any lying liar tells you.

Let’s talk just plain investments, should I invest in the stock market or buy a house?

I was a terrible banker, but if you’re going to ask I would say evaluate each on a case-by-case basis. If there is value in a particular company, put your money there. If there is value in a house, go in that direction. Economists lie to you with their big picture view. A quarter will land on heads 50% of the time, but that doesn’t mean it will not crush you, your family, and all your loved ones on a bad run. Buy a house; tend your garden.

I might have to move in 4.5 years and I don’t think I’ll make the money back. Should I still buy?

Dealing with scenarios like this is pointless. There is obviously no one size fits all answer. Are you balloons moving to war-torn Syria for work where your very survival may be an issue? Don’t buy. Are you relocating and need to park your money somewhere that is low-risk and don’t like your rental prospects? Maybe buy maybe don’t. I have no idea and no one else does either. I’m not you. Wait… yes I am… At least in the context of the question written in bold and of this last thought… Mind…. Blown…..

 


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  1. I like this weblog very much so much good info. It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backward. by Lewis Carroll. deddaeadageeckbc

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