I finished reading Suze Orman’s The Money Class: Learn to Create Your New American Dream last week. One of the issues that she discusses in the book is re-thinking the American dream of owning a home. While I still want to own a home one day, I’ve stopped feeling guilty about not wanting to own a home right now. It’s a great time to be a first time homeowner, but looking at the “Four Signs You Should Rent Instead of Buy a Home,” makes me feel more confident that I’m not throwing money away with my monthly rent payment.
1. You have credit card debt or you have yet to save 10 to 20 percent for a down payment.
I don’t have any credit card debt (yay!) and I have enough money for a down payment on a condo similar to the one I live in now. There are a ton of new condominium buildings near mine, so I’m sure I could get a pretty good deal on a nice place with good amenities. If I want to buy a house, I’ll have to move further away from work.
2. You envision moving within five to seven years.
I’m not sure where I’ll be in five to seven years, so it freaks me out to be tied to a piece of property. The condo market is oversaturated and I think it will still be very difficult to sell a condo in a few years. I love Atlanta, but I like the idea of being able to be transient too.
3. Your calculations show that the cost of renting is a better deal than the cost of buying.
My calculations show that renting may be the smarter move if I stay put for awhile, but that doesn’t factor in association fees fees, repairs and other random expenses associated with owning a home.
4. You don’t really want the responsibilities and risks associated with being a homeowner.
This is my key reason for not wanting to be a homeowner. I love my apartment, but it needed a new water heater, new windows and required a couple of trips from the plumber during the past year. I like knowing that I’m not responsible for fixing things when they break or paying the rising association fees associated with renovating the building.
I’m not ready to be a homeowner now, but I’ll keep saving for when it’s the right time for me to buy. There can be a stigma to renting, but sometimes it doesn’t make sense to own.