One of us owns a house and one of us doesn’t. The one who doesn’t (me) is in a location where I *could* afford to buy, but I’m not.
Linda wanted a post on why I rent instead of buy, so here it is! (Because Grumpy Rumblings aims to please! Also, we needed a Monday Money post, so this seemed like a good idea.)
My first answer is, “Because I always planned on leaving this shit-hole of a state.” I would like to own a house, but not here.
#2, however, points out that once I was more optimistic. A little. I thought that if my partner moved here we could buy a big house (instead of renting a tiny apartment) and we could try to be happy here. After all I’ve always wanted to own my own house and paint my own walls and just own it. (#2 thinks homeownership is over-rated, but #2 also doesn’t mind vertical blinds or wallpaper.) It’s been so long since those days that I can’t remember them, but #2 swears we had those discussions. [She may even have gchat proof that she’s too lazy to search for, but totally could if she cared enough which she doesn’t.]
At first I wasn’t living with my partner so there was no reason to buy. Then I was saving up money. Then, I never bought one because I didn’t want to have to sell it later, when I left. By the time I had partner and down-payment, I wasn’t ready to commit to living in the house for at least 5 years. And selling it later can be really obnoxious. Who wants the hassle and the risk?
My friend did the buy-now-and-sell-when-you-leave route, and they took a bath on the finances because they had to unload it or else be long-distance landlords (NOOOOoooooo). Personally, I would not have made the decision to buy when hir partner didn’t have a job here despite 2 years of looking, but oh well. Now they are both employed and homeowners in a different state!
So, there you have it.
How did you make the rent vs. buy decision?