Author Topic: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?  (Read 3861 times)

Jacobi

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Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« on: November 29, 2019, 11:40:56 AM »
Curious what you all think about this question: If one's ONLY assets are stock and bond index funds, and one owns no real estate of any sort -- is that a risky place to be? I think about this question because I live in a VHCOL area and probably want to stay here long term, but cannot afford a house. At the same time, I am quite frugal and am doing a good job investing more than half my income, meaning I could be on track to FIRE.

Part of me feels like home ownership will ultimately be important, because if the whole financial system collapses and you lose most of the value of your investment portfolio, at least you have a place to live. That's no small thing, right? If you go through life with only the non-physical assets of stocks and bonds, that seems risky. Or maybe it's not -- what do you all think about being a lifelong renter with no real estate assets?

GuitarStv

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2019, 11:49:20 AM »
Yes and no.

You're more flexible . . . in that if you decide it's necessary to leave where you're currently living, you can do so without the hassle of (and potential losses that could be incurred by) selling your house.  But you're also at the whim of the market . . . so if housing prices jump, you've got to pay more or move.  If your landlord decides you need to get out . . . you have to be ready to leave pretty much at any time.

If the whole financial system collapses, I'm not sure how well the gangs of reavers and cannibals roaming the country will respect property ownership.  :P

Wrenchturner

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2019, 12:32:57 PM »
If the whole financial system collapses, I'm not sure how well the gangs of reavers and cannibals roaming the country will respect property ownership.  :P

This.  Also you could maybe buy other instruments like mutual funds if you're worried about etfs.  I'm not well versed in other options I'll admit.

And there's plenty of risk in mortgaging a house or condo too.  Foundation problems, flood plains, tying yourself more rigidly to a local employment market, etc.

DeniseNJ

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2019, 01:02:40 PM »
I think owning a home can be an unnecessary weight.  If you have a mortgage and can't pay for any reason the bank can take your house, whether you owe 100K or 1M, regardless of how much equity you have.  Plus there is the constant burden of maintenence.  Plus with NJ property taxes, you never actually own your house.  Then if you need the money you have to find a buyer and then pay 6% off the entire price, not just the profit, to pay a realtor.  All of this leave you very vulnerable. 

Money in stocks is no gaurentee but as far as vulnerability, in general it's a better option.  If you want to own real estate, REITs are a better option.  Your house is NOT an investment.

raincoast

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2019, 01:18:03 PM »
I think the main vulnerability is not being able to afford your current neighbourhood/city if you get evicted. This happens a lot in my city - landlords are tearing down old, low-rise rental buildings and putting up expensive condo towers, or doing superficial "renovations" that let them kick out long-term tenants. Seniors who were in those units for decades can't afford anything in their neighbourhood, or even the whole city, and it's much harder to move at that age then when you're younger.

If you are committed to living in a certain place forever, then owning may be the best option. But if you're flexible and willing to move if your neighbourhood or city becomes unaffordable, then renting is less risky.

It also depends on the tenancy laws in your jurisdiction and how they apply to your home. For example, is it rent-controlled? On what grounds can the landlord evict you? Getting randomly evicted can be a huge hassle, even if you can still afford your city. Here, if you're just renting a condo or a house you can get evicted if the landlord wants to move in or they sell to someone who wants to move in. But if you're in a "purpose-built rental", they have more limited grounds for eviction.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2019, 01:28:57 PM »
When you buy a home you lock in your price. If you're in a neighborhood that you really, really don't want to leave, you would do well to purchase your home. Prices in Seattle have doubled since we moved here a decade ago. If we had been renting all this time we'd probably be having second thoughts about staying here in FIRE, but because we bought our home at a price we can afford, we plan to stay.

If the possibility of being forced to move cities in the event of rent doubling or tripling doesn't bother you too much, renting can be a great option.

jim555

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2019, 04:38:29 PM »
Taxes and maintenance go up, but rents really go up.  Locking down your costs are important in retirement.

SeattleCPA

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2019, 05:53:56 PM »
Lots of wise advice in the preceding comments. I think I agree with everything shared/suggested thus far.

Let me try to continue the useful discussion by adding two other comments:

1. Housing not only delivers good returns on average, it also probably works pretty well in tandem with your stock investments. That's one lesson from the "Rate of Return of Everything" research paper which has been discussed in threads at Bogleheads. I've also discussed how one might start to think about acting on research in this post, Lessons from the Rate of Return of Everything, and also in this one, Rate of Return of Everything Charts.

2. A house can be a good investment. BTW I know some blogsters want to argue that's not true. But what these arguments often fail to do is the "math." The folks who want to argue housing isn't a good investment don't do standard "capital budgeting" analysis to determine what the "rate of return" looks like. More info here: Are Houses Investments

Travis

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2019, 07:05:29 PM »
If you're going to buy as a hedge against whatever economic possibility concerns you, it still needs to be affordable.  A mistake far too many folks made 2003-2007 was buying a house at any price for the reasons OP stated.

Buffaloski Boris

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2019, 08:05:49 PM »
Depends. If you are stuck in a specific area due to family or other issues, then you probably should try to figure out a way to buy a modest home during the next downturn in the home market for that area. If you have no real ties to the area, then renting probably is the better economic alternative.

I didn’t quite understand the reference to the next financial system collapse. If you’re seriously expecting that the system will collapse, then you probably shouldn’t have any financial assets anyway. Food will be more the issue than investment return.

MKinVA

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2019, 08:21:27 PM »
To expand a little on what I think Travis is saying, too many people purchase way more house than they need. Realtors love to say "you'll grow into it" trying to get you to spend more money. Buy just as much house as you need and be content. You could start a house fund (money set aside in your buckets for future purchse). A few years before you retire, buy a home that suits for the long term and pay it off as quickly as possible. It is hard to fully retire with a mortgage or rent over your head. I think renting far into retirement is risky. Or maybe I should say owning provides a lot of security over and above just a roof over your head. Caveat: there will come a time when you cannot physically take care of a home on your own. May we all live that long.

MustacheAndaHalf

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2019, 12:24:36 AM »
Years ago I looked at how my rent had changed over the past 7 years.  I realized that with rents going up at the same rate, rents would catch up with a fixed rate mortgage over 7 years.  For areas that are developing rapidly, locking in your monthly housing costs may be worth it.

The reverse can also be true: renting a house can be so much cheaper than owning, that it doesn't make to buy.

Malcat

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2019, 04:38:08 AM »
To expand a little on what I think Travis is saying, too many people purchase way more house than they need. Realtors love to say "you'll grow into it" trying to get you to spend more money. Buy just as much house as you need and be content. You could start a house fund (money set aside in your buckets for future purchse). A few years before you retire, buy a home that suits for the long term and pay it off as quickly as possible. It is hard to fully retire with a mortgage or rent over your head. I think renting far into retirement is risky. Or maybe I should say owning provides a lot of security over and above just a roof over your head. Caveat: there will come a time when you cannot physically take care of a home on your own. May we all live that long.

Why is it hard to retire with rent or a mortgage?

MKinVA

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2019, 07:49:43 AM »
I probably phrased that improperly. What I meant was it is more secure to have a paid off home in retirement which is what the OP was asking. Having a place to live where you can't be forced to leave (bar failing to pay taxes or you becoming unable to care for yourself) has a lot of value when you quit working and live off savings. The arguments for being a life long renter are valid, but too often really depend on where you live, rents in comparison to mortgages, and other things related to the individual person's circumstance. Also, the older you get the harder it is to move, to find a rental, to qualify for a rental no matter how much you have in the bank (they want income proof). So I say yes, it is riskier going into retirement without owning your home. Can it be done? Absolutely. For the record, I am retired and I have a mortgage. I do have enough equity that I could sell and move elsewhere in my area using just those proceeds.

vand

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2019, 08:00:55 AM »
Great question.

IMO it is desirable to eventually own your own home.

Perhaps not from a mathematical point of view, but from a psychological and risk-mitigation point of view I think it is entirely reasonable argument to make.

Investor Behaviour trumps everything else when it comes to investing.  If your base is built on quicksand you are much less likely to be able to weather the downturns and take advantage of the winters.

This is not a view I used to hold, but as your grow older you gain wisdom to temper your technical knowledge. Knowledge is knowing facts, history, technique etc. Wisdom is knowing people, the most important of which is of course the person you see in the mirror.

Warren Buffett owns his own home and categorically alludes to it being one the best investments he ever made, even though I venture that his dollars in Berkshire have delivered far superior monetary returns.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2019, 08:03:50 AM by vand »

SeattleCPA

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2019, 08:25:28 AM »
If you're going to buy as a hedge against whatever economic possibility concerns you, it still needs to be affordable.  A mistake far too many folks made 2003-2007 was buying a house at any price for the reasons OP stated.

+1 totally agree.

Housing isn't always a good investment. And it's never such a good investment that it lets you make foolish or wasteful choices.

jim555

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2019, 08:28:27 AM »
Another factor to consider is pre Medicare health insurance.  A paid off home will let you live on low income and that will qualify you for large subsidies or free coverage.  The equity in the home earns no income but you get the benefit by not being forced to pay high rents.  It is implied income that is effectively tax free.  Also a home should appreciate in value over time.  Cap gain home tax exclusion is a gift as well.

Wrenchturner

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2019, 08:38:04 AM »
Another factor to consider is pre Medicare health insurance.  A paid off home will let you live on low income and that will qualify you for large subsidies or free coverage.  The equity in the home earns no income but you get the benefit by not being forced to pay high rents.  It is implied income that is effectively tax free.  Also a home should appreciate in value over time.  Cap gain home tax exclusion is a gift as well.

Good point, the lower income and spending would also yield tax benefits elsewhere too.

FINate

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2019, 09:12:46 AM »
what do you all think about being a lifelong renter with no real estate assets?

I think it's perfectly fine, and this is coming from someone with significant RE holdings for close to 20 years now. There is nothing magical about home ownership, and my spidey senses start tingling when lots of people believe otherwise.

For starters, the old adage that correlation does not imply causation: Home ownership is correlated with wealth because it usually takes a good chunk of money and income to purchase RE. I know, duh!, but for whatever reason many think that home ownership is always a good "investment" because wealthy people tend to own homes.

As others have alluded to in this thread, a primary residence is not an investment per se, but rather is a place to live. Owning can lock-in a long term cost of living because a 30 year fixed mortgage remains static while the cost of housing [potentially] increases.

But there is no such thing as a free lunch. The lock-in-a-fixed-cost-of-living strategy is a very long game. Think decades. And it is not without risk. Americans have very short memories -- urban cores are hip again (thankfully) but it was within my lifetime that capital left the cities and blight set in (white flight and so on). It's difficult to imagine now, but in 1980 Flint, MI had the highest median income in the nation. Now do I think this is a huge risk on average in most metro areas? No. However, when you own a house you own a specific house in a specific location, so it has its own specific risks (as many in NorCal cities are now learning with fire hazards).

IMHO, the RE game is won on the front end, it's all about making a smart purchase. In my VHCOL area I'm not seeing any good deals. YMMV. If you really plan to stay in your area for the long term (10 years, min!) and you want the benefits and headaches of home ownership then be strategic and patient. Save, save, save a healthy down payment and wait for the next downturn. Be the person with the means to snap up a great deal when everyone else is panicked.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2019, 09:44:53 AM by FINate »

SwordGuy

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2019, 09:30:29 AM »

IMHO, the RE game is won on the front end, it's all about making a smart purchase. In my VHCOL area I'm not seeing any good deals. YMMV. If you really plan to stay in your area for the long term (10 years, min!) and you want the benefits and headaches of home ownership then be strategic and patient. Save, save, save a healthy down payment and wait for the next downturn. Be the person with the means to snap up a great deal when everyone else is panicked.

Lots of great comments in your full statement, @FINate !    But the bolded part is particularly well said.

We spent 4 years looking for a house that would suit our needs at a good price.   We identified houses on or off the market that looked appropriate for us and we kept tabs on them.   The prices on them were more than we were willing to pay.   Finally, one of them came on the market at a greatly reduced price.   We snapped it up and had $96K in equity BEFORE we included our down payment!     We love living in it and we love not financing the other $96K as well!


SwordGuy

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2019, 09:47:54 AM »
I also would not like to have to move at the whim of my landlord when I was in my 70s, 80s, 90s or 100s!   

MKinVA

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2019, 10:11:35 AM »
OP hasn't been back to comment, but I hope you have gotten something from the discussion. Like a lot in life, it comes down to what is important to you. Security? Investment? Mobility? Frugality? Some people know that barring a zombie apocalypse, they are where they want to be for life. Others not. Just choose what makes you the most comfortable. What feels the most secure and doable.

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2019, 10:49:17 AM »
Curious what you all think about this question: If one's ONLY assets are stock and bond index funds, and one owns no real estate of any sort -- is that a risky place to be? I think about this question because I live in a VHCOL area and probably want to stay here long term, but cannot afford a house. At the same time, I am quite frugal and am doing a good job investing more than half my income, meaning I could be on track to FIRE.

Part of me feels like home ownership will ultimately be important, because if the whole financial system collapses and you lose most of the value of your investment portfolio, at least you have a place to live. That's no small thing, right?

Right. I emphatically agree


 If you go through life with only the non-physical assets of stocks and bonds, that seems risky. Or maybe it's not -- what do you all think about being a lifelong renter with no real estate assets?


If I did not own my home (the mortgage is paid) I could not consider myself FIREd. By owning  my home free and clear  I'm not vulnerable to a sell-off that could reduce the $ available to pay a mortgage. I don't like personal debt or owing $ so a lifetime of recurring rent payments is definitely not for me.




Do not misconstrue my post to mean that I think you or anyone else who rents is not, or  cannot be,  FIREd.

« Last Edit: November 30, 2019, 01:50:15 PM by John Galt incarnate! »

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2019, 10:54:53 AM »

  If your landlord decides you need to get out . . . you have to be ready to leave pretty much at any time.



^

This is another reason I wouldn't want to rent.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2019, 10:56:56 AM by John Galt incarnate! »

Jacobi

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2019, 11:41:39 AM »
Thank you all for the great comments -- I'm always impressed by the caliber of MMM forum posts :)

In line with the general sentiment of the thread, I would certainly PREFER to end up owning my own home, all other things being equal. For me it feels like a question of location tradeoff -- I don't know if I COULD afford to own one where I am (SF Bay Area) even if I wanted to. To save a down payment alone would take me probably 7-8 years.

A follow-up question for you all is, if I did funnel my best efforts at saving towards a sizable downpayment on that time frame, would you suggest I do so in investments (such as a conservative stock/bond mix) so that it can grow, or to simply keep it in cash?

Thanks again.

Shane

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2019, 03:24:03 PM »
Thank you all for the great comments -- I'm always impressed by the caliber of MMM forum posts :)

In line with the general sentiment of the thread, I would certainly PREFER to end up owning my own home, all other things being equal. For me it feels like a question of location tradeoff -- I don't know if I COULD afford to own one where I am (SF Bay Area) even if I wanted to. To save a down payment alone would take me probably 7-8 years.

A follow-up question for you all is, if I did funnel my best efforts at saving towards a sizable downpayment on that time frame, would you suggest I do so in investments (such as a conservative stock/bond mix) so that it can grow, or to simply keep it in cash?

Thanks again.

In a VHCOL area, buying a house is NOT a good idea unless you make a LOT of money. If the total cost of the house you want to buy represents a relatively small percentage of your total net worth, e.g., you have $1MM+ already invested in stocks and bonds, and you can buy a house you like in a place you want to stay for a long time for, say, <$200K, then it makes sense to buy. If you need to save up for "7-8 years" just to come up with a down payment, and you can't afford to invest in the stock market in the meantime, then the house is too expensive. Whatever you do, don't buy it. Owning a particular home, in a particular neighborhood, in a particular city, in a particular state, in a particular part of the world, is super risky. Diversification is your friend. Don't put all of your eggs in one basket.

https://www.gocurrycracker.com/renters-for-life/

GuitarStv

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2019, 03:28:53 PM »
Invest in your asset allocation of bonds/stocks for all your savings (including your down payment).  If markets tank when you want to buy the house then you'll have money in your bonds to buy.  If markets do well then you'll have money in your stocks to buy.  If things go completely tits up, wait a couple years until your bonds/stock recover and you'll have lots of money to put towards the down payment.

Freedomin5

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2019, 04:08:33 PM »
Another idea is to buy where you want to retire, which is the strategy followed by a lot of expats where it doesn’t make sense to buy where you work but you also want the psychological peace of knowing that you wouldn’t be homeless if you were to lose your job. Typically, the retirement city is lower COL, and in the meantime you can rent out the place to help cover the mortgage. You don’t even have to buy a big a place as you might need. It’s just to get your foot in the market. If the local real estate market goes up, the value of your unit will also go up, which you can then sell or take out a HELOC to provide the down payment for the house you want.

former player

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2019, 04:35:46 PM »
I'm definitely in the "buy (modestly) and hold" camp for my home.  The security of living in a home I love in an area I love for a low expenditure out of income works well for me.

I do see one problem with owning a home in retirement that hasn't been mentioned yet and that is the issue of keeping up with maintenance.  The frailties of old age make it more difficult to keep up the maintenance on a home and I'm not even talking about doing it yourself, I'm talking about having the mental, physical and emotional bandwith to find and employ suitable people to do the work for you, and to put up with the disruption while it is being done.  It's very easy to see houses coming on the market that have "old person's house" stamped all over them, with outdated fittings, lack of recent decoration and maintenance and an owner who has no doubt either died or gone into supported accommodation. Some of them would have been living in pretty poor conditions.  It's not a problem that existed before home ownership became widespread, but that first generation of home owners who maybe don't have family living with or near them any more is dying off and the problems of ownership in old age are becoming very obvious.

If you are going to own property into old age, it's a good idea to make it easy to maintain and to be well plugged into the local community so as to have support in maintaining it.

EscapedApe

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2019, 10:50:03 AM »
If the whole financial system collapses, I'm not sure how well the gangs of reavers and cannibals roaming the country will respect property ownership.  :P

That's fine. Everyone respects bullets.

MoneyQuirk

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2019, 03:09:04 PM »
I think you're probably plenty fine.

You can always diversify in REITs if you choose to do so.

Zamboni

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2019, 03:37:36 PM »
I also would not like to have to move at the whim of my landlord when I was in my 70s, 80s, 90s or 100s!

This is why I own. We have no rent control laws here, and last time I lived in an apartment the landlord wanted a 10% increase in our rent to renew the lease . . . at a time when rents were not increasing in the local area at all and inflation was under 2%.

Also, the deferred maintenance I've experienced in so many rentals drives me nuts. Leaking roof reports ignored, climate control left broken for weeks after reporting (AC in August in my case and a friend was without heat in winter for a couple of weeks), leaking gas stoves so unsafe that they have been literally condemned by the gas company repairman, sewage blockage "solved" by simply unscrewing the outside pipe cap and letting raw sewage run into the lot . . . yuck! I've experienced some pretty low brow slum-lording in my life, unfortunately, even in single family home rentals where the rent was expensive and you would have thought they would do better. As nice as it is to be a renter who is not responsible for maintenance costs, it does leave you at the whim of the landlord's maintenance timetable and standards.

mtnrider

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2019, 04:15:50 PM »
To expand a little on what I think Travis is saying, too many people purchase way more house than they need. Realtors love to say "you'll grow into it" trying to get you to spend more money. Buy just as much house as you need and be content. You could start a house fund (money set aside in your buckets for future purchse). A few years before you retire, buy a home that suits for the long term and pay it off as quickly as possible. It is hard to fully retire with a mortgage or rent over your head. I think renting far into retirement is risky. Or maybe I should say owning provides a lot of security over and above just a roof over your head. Caveat: there will come a time when you cannot physically take care of a home on your own. May we all live that long.

Why is it hard to retire with rent or a mortgage?

Not so much hard as risky.

If you retire with a mortgage, you're more open to the sequence of returns risk.  You have to continue to pay the mortgage, even if there is a down market early in your retirement.  Paying significant inflexible costs early in retirement during a down market can reduce the likelihood that your nest egg will last until your death.

See also https://earlyretirementnow.com/safe-withdrawal-rate-series/


ChpBstrd

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2019, 04:48:06 PM »
I don’t think home ownership vs renting is the risk that leaves one vulnerable. The vulnerability is committing to live in a VHCOL area even in retirement. Rent or own, there is no way to ultimately escape the costs of that decision. It is the same financial situation as the person who buys a 4,500 sf McMansion in a LCOL area for $500k and then wants to know if their housing choice has imperiled the sustainability of their retirement. Well, of course it has. Renting the same McMansion would do the same damage, although at least then one could escape the situation easier upon coming to one’s senses.

VHCOL areas are luxuries- the national equivalent of the “fancy” neighborhood that exists in every city. The main amenity of HCOL areas are high paying jobs. So being a retiree there is like paying extra to live on a golf course and never playing golf, or to have a pool and never swim in it. To reduce risk, make your stash in the VHCOL area and then GTFO. Lots of beautiful places out there.

Bernard

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2019, 06:27:20 PM »
Approach that math question with a time machine in mind.

I, too, live in a HCOL area. I would like to stay here forever, but I can't afford it, so I'll have to move after I retire.

I bought my house 2-1/2 years ago for $555,000, and it was/still somewhat is, a fixer upper. My neighbor bought his comparable house in 2000 for $199,000.
That means a 150% increase in value in 20 years. Since it's a HCOL area, I don't expect prices to go down again. On the contrary.

If I were to rent out my house, the rent would be around $2,800 per month. What would it cost to rent 20 years from now?
If my neighbor put down 20% back in 1999 (39,800) and refinanced when rates were low, his mortgage of $159,200 is about $1,200 per month.

So here is the answer to your question.

You live in a HCOL area. Would you rather pay $1,200 per month for 30 years, and then live rent free for the rest of your natural life and still own the place, worth many hundreds of thousands of dollars, or would you prefer to pay $2,800 now, $3,800 eventually, and $4,800 years later, even after retirement, and don't own any of it. That's the mathematical answer, and I personally think it's a no brainer.

Add to this the emotional component. I lived twice in a rented house that the landlord promised he would never, ever, not in a million, gazillion years sell. The first time, after living there for 13 years, I was graciously given 60 days to get the f*ck out of there. Due to my stellar credit, and the grace of God and all the angels combined, i was able to rent house 2. I was one of probably 25 applicants. Then, 2-1/2 years later, the landlords moved away and gave me, again, 60 days. In both instances I aged years do to the stress of no rental houses being available. You may enjoy that, but I never want to be at the grace of somebody else again.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 06:28:59 PM by Bernard »

trollwithamustache

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Re: Does renting for life leave one too vulnerable?
« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2019, 08:51:37 PM »
OP do you live in an area with rent control?  That would change things potentially.