I get the distinct feeling from reading my own posts that I might be too strong on my point of not wanting to buy a home.
So to clear the air, what I am really saying is:
I want to rent for as long as possible, not because I have a problem with buying a home
….but because I have a bigger problem with being tied down to one country, one state, one city, one neighbourhood.
I have more of a desire not to invest in something so permanent. And big. There’s something about it that scares me and I realized that it was because I would feel like I would be tied down to one spot and chained.
I want to feel ‘free’. Whether it be financially by saving a lot of money and living on less, or not wanting to buy a place and be stuck forever.
Things change very quickly in my profession — one day I am in one city, the next I am in another city because they need me to go check out the factory there.
I also never know where my next contract will be located, and I know this will all be very helter-skelter once we have kids, especially since I won’t want to leave them when I go on projects and have to travel Monday to Thursday.
I don’t plan on hopping from city to city until I retire, and I’d like to settle down into a city, but I don’t want to financially tie myself down to a place in case things change. We aren’t in the golden ages any more, where people bought ONE home and had the same job and address until they retired with a nice healthy retirement package.
AVERSION FACTOR #1: MY PARENTS & SIBLINGS
When they first bought their home — it was a great neighbourhood. Well-established, houses and families there for 30+ years, and a great community sort of feel.
Lately, I can feel the neighbourhood is starting to turn a bit ghetto-fabulous and the people on the street are not the same as they were before.
My parents have noticed and are starting to worry about their safety. They just don’t want it to turn into an area with drug dealers and with my mom watching horror shows I mean newscasts late into the night, you can see why she gets paranoid.
When I see situations like this, it can be easy for me to say: Well just sell and move!
The problem is that my parents are getting older and they will never find another home as centrally located to her work and downtown as this one, for the same price.
PEOPLE ARE HOARDERS
My parents are also hoarders, and just thinking about all the junk they have makes me exhausted. It isn’t that easy for them to move the way it is, the way it is for us.
My siblings have homes (huge ones), but they have so much junk and can’t move without having to plan and pack for 3-5 months, which doesn’t even include having to list and sell the home! They also say it’s a real money pit to have a home, you always want to do more to it, which it not to say that everyone feels the same way, but I can see that happening to me.
I am not sure I wouldn’t turn into some crazy hoarder if I had a home.
In a rental, I wouldn’t care and I try to keep my things down to a minimum, knowing that it isn’t really permanent. It’s a nice security blanket for me.
IT IS A LOT OF WORK TO MOVE
Having to de-clutter, clean your home, put it up for sale, stage it and host all these strangers coming through and making disparaging remarks to try and get you to lower your price, is a lot of headache and stress.
To top it all off, you may never get the price you wanted for what you feel you’ve put into it.
AVERSION FACTOR#2: HGTV
Ever since we’ve had a TV included in our hotel room rate, we’ve been watching a lot of HGTV (Home and Garden Television).
(We’d normally keep the Food Channel on 24/7, but they didn’t upgrade the service for that.)
In those episodes about buying, selling and owning a home, it seems like a lot of stress to me.
I know it’s worth it in the end for those homeowners, but having to go through the process of finding a place, inspections, negotiating prices, getting a massive mortgage and then finding out when you go to sell it, no one wants the place because you haven’t put in tons of money to redo it, maintain the structure and stage it nicely? Gosh.
I am not saying all homes, neighbourhoods and homeowners are like my parents or HGTV (they are VERY dramatic on there), but I can see how their experience has influenced my own averse reaction to wanting to “settle down”.
I was already a modern nomad to begin with, but all of these observations have just solidified my feelings.
AVERSION FACTOR #3: PEOPLE I KNOW/READ BLOGS OF
There are not many people I read blogs of online, or know of in real life who absolutely love their home.
Like love it to death and would never think of renting again, and it was the best decision of their lives, they didn’t overpay and are not frustrated.
They seem so rare.
All I hear are people and friends who tell me:
GAH. My home needs a new [insert $5000 fix here], and the mortgage is starting to get out of control. I wish we had no mortgage and we were just DONE with that already.
In retrospect, I wish I had waited to buy a home. I never should have bought one, knowing what I do now.
I wish we had rented, because now I’m divorced and we have to try to sell this monster that is sucking up my mortgage payments while she’s stabbing me in the wallet on the other side.
These may just be minor complaints in the big picture of homeownership, but they certainly make me shy away from owning a home seeing as the majority of the people I know with homes, seem to really hate them.
I don’t want you to NOT buy a home, nor am I discouraging you to. I’m only stating what I prefer.
I want the option and the freedom to be able to leave when things don’t work out the way they should have, with the city, with the neighbourhood or with my job.
I don’t see anything wrong with renting, just as I don’t see anything wrong with people wanting a home.
Also, I don’t see it as being immature to never want to ‘settle down and grow up’ with a house of my own, or that I’m wasting my money by renting. I’m paying for shelter, which is what a mortgage on a home is — prepaid shelter plus interest.
I daresay that out of my friends who own homes, most are less financially secure and more immature than I am for all other aspects of their life.
They are lost in their careers, their relationships are becoming unhealthy but they bought a house together so they’re trying to make it work, and they feel like they can’t seem to gain any traction financially with a house payment and so on.
I find it kind of silly that buying a home is considered a stage in North American Adulthood, just as for couples who don’t want to have children are constantly pressured to “grow up” and have kids.
I don’t think that people who own homes are silly, either. I think they made a choice for themselves and while some might regret it, they’re toughing it out.
I don’t do what I don’t want to do.
I might make stupid impulsive decisions but I made them. Not someone else.
I hope that helps!