Buying a House, a Good-or Bad Idea?

HouseIs Buying a House a Good Idea or a Bad Idea?

I have always believed (because my parents told me) that owning a house was better than paying rent. The house will go up in value – the rent goes to a landlord and you get nothing in return. Now that I am at the stage of life that I can start thinking of owning a home, I am questioning – should I do it? When I pay rent, if anything goes wrong, I phone the building superintendent and it gets fixed a few days later while I am at work. And yes, rent does go up each year, but only a little. And if I decide to move, my only cost is the moving company. My friends who have bought a house talk about the negotiations with the mortgage company or bank. Plus, after they move in, they had to buy drapes, carpets, insurance, security equipment, gardening equipment and G-d knows what else. They tell me that the house will go up in value and it will be their retirement. I ask what will happen if mortgage rates go up or the roof leaks or windows need to be replaced. They tell me that they will get a line of credit secured on the house – but is this not just eating up the equity for their retirement? I keep thinking about ketchup soup, K D dinners that I sometimes had in college. I really like the freedom that I have.

So, what is my plan? I realize that I will retire someday and will need money to do that. I am not going to buy the biggest house that I can afford and then, if anything bad happens, my debt load will rule my life. I will hedge my bet by buying a small house (hopefully not too far in the burbs) or a condo in the city to cut down the travel time and cost. Works for me and keeps my sanity.

But what if I meet someone and we talk marriage and kids – OMG. All bets are off.


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