Author Topic: Renting vs Owning a house  (Read 1208 times)

Bearded Man

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Renting vs Owning a house
« on: September 02, 2015, 08:36:26 AM »
Having a paid off house (which I already have) is part of my FI plan. I've lived in a house for the past 5 years, but lived in apartments for 10 years before that, give or take.

I like the idea of having a paid off place to live since it allows me to require less money to FIRE. Down side is, if you have crappy neighbors it's tough to move. With transaction costs and excise tax, a significant chunk of change is lost that could have been used to buy a new place. Unless one is relocating to a LCOL area, you might be stuck dealing with that neighbor until they move. Even if you had good neighbors when you bought the place, things change. At one of my houses, which is now a rental, the renter behind me changed, and the houses to my left and right foreclosed and have been sold in the past 5 years. One of them is up for sale again right now...Goes to show you, even if you have good neighbors now, it won't always be the case as people move.

There is an advantage to being able to rent out rooms to cover utilities, taxes and insurance. At one of my houses, if I had even one room mate, even with my mortgage, I'd basically be living free as far as housing goes. It's a 3 bedroom 3 bath with two living rooms, etc.

Then again, I do miss having an apartment sometimes. The lack of maintenance, the amenities. I drove through the complex I lived in for 10 years recently while visiting another house I have under contract, and it was nice seeing the pool, the gym, the tennis court, the club house with computers and internet access, tanning (my gf would be pleased), etc. Rent hadn't gone up much either maybe, $100 since I lived there 5 years ago, though it had almost doubled during the 10 years I lived there. They did a lot of improvements over that time so rent went up fast, but it is still reasonable at $900/month in a very walkable neighborhood.

So that begs the question, what do you prefer? Renting or owning? I think if I were to rent, I'd rent an apartment so I could have the amenities. If I was to own, I'd own a house. I still like owning a house better right now, and it does help with FIRE plans to have a paid off place to live, but I sometimes wonder which is really better.

JLee

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Re: Renting vs Owning a house
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2015, 08:40:08 AM »
I prefer owning a house, as apartment living violently clashes with my preferred hobbies (they generally frown upon major automotive repairs being done in the parking lot :P).

vhalros

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Re: Renting vs Owning a house
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2015, 09:39:44 AM »
When I buy a house, I'm planning on putting a gym in it. By which I mean a barbell in the garage or basement.

AZDude

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Re: Renting vs Owning a house
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2015, 09:48:18 AM »
Both work for me. Apartments are nice because they are worry free. No maintenance, no landscaping, plenty of amenities. However, apartment communities often are filled with younger, single people, so finding neighbors with kids was harder, although not impossible.