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(Reason Magazine)   New survey suggests owning a house in U.S. is dumb   (reason.com) divider line 242
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19443 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 May 2011 at 12:00 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-05-30 01:27:03 PM
Someone has to own the houses. Why pay a landlord to own it when I can be a land lord?

/bought 8 years ago from a distressed seller
//not upside down but did refinance a 6.5 to a 5% a couple of years ago and can now put the difference back towards principal
///csb
 
2011-05-30 01:35:06 PM

middleoftheday: I wonder how many "rent is like throwing your money away" people are upside down on their mortgages.


Interest is rent on money. Most loanowners can't get their minds around that simple fact.
 
2011-05-30 01:35:59 PM
My house has lost $4900 in "estimated" monies in the last three years thanks to how cheap new houses have been going for as developers desperately try to get rid of unsellable plots. In reality, it's probably worth about the same as it was then because we've made upgrades that make it more attractive than those cheaply built new houses.

Fortunately, the roof and walls haven't been informed of this fact yet and are still holding out the wind and rain as good as they did when I bought it.

/ buying a primary house with any expectation other than that it will be a long-term expense means you're a very stupid person
 
2011-05-30 01:36:03 PM
Man, really, when you don't have stable employment, owning a house is a really bad idea. If you are secure in your job, it may make a lot of sense. I don't own a home, because the last time my employer found out I take pills to correct schizoaffective disorder, they freaked out and my coworkers spread insane rumors that I was planning a mass murder spree. *Sigh* Most people are dumb, and at this point I don't feel safe in any job from idiots, bigotry, ignorance and insane gossip. I won't own a home until I land a job in a field where idiots can't make it through the rank. That means staying the hell out of social work and probably governmental work in general, which is what I was originally trained for and moving up in.
 
2011-05-30 01:36:21 PM

mekkab: I hate sharing walls with anyone. I seriously do not want to farking hear you. Apartments/Condo/Townhouse are all out.


Oh so much this.
 
2011-05-30 01:41:02 PM

Splinshints: My house has lost $4900 in "estimated" monies in the last three years thanks to how cheap new houses have been going for as developers desperately try to get rid of unsellable plots. In reality, it's probably worth about the same as it was then because we've made upgrades that make it more attractive than those cheaply built new houses.

Fortunately, the roof and walls haven't been informed of this fact yet and are still holding out the wind and rain as good as they did when I bought it.

/ buying a primary house with any expectation other than that it will be a long-term expense means you're a very stupid person


THIS.

I'll never understand the people who have no plans to move anytime soon, but are worried that their house has dropped in value. If you're not selling it, your house is worthless to anyone but you.
 
2011-05-30 01:41:58 PM
If you're more willing to pack up and move than make it a better place then our communities are doomed.

This is why home ownership is the cornerstone of what makes a society great. You have an investment in a home then you have an investment in the community. You are tethered and thusly you are forced to care about the things around you.
 
2011-05-30 01:42:55 PM

otterly_delicious: Someone has to own the houses. Why pay a landlord to own it when I can be a land lord?

/bought 8 years ago from a distressed seller
//not upside down but did refinance a 6.5 to a 5% a couple of years ago and can now put the difference back towards principal
///csb


Many landlords are losing their asses right now. Why be one of them?
 
2011-05-30 01:45:43 PM

ihatedumbpeople: Yeah...because when I research buying a home, I check what is 'hip' that week and go that way. this week it's dumb, next week maybe it'll be wise again.

shoosh already.

buy a home or don't. quit treating home purchases like stock investments. If the house is too expensive, it's too expensive. buy what you can afford, yadda yadda.


The big benefit of the housing crisis is that for the most part people do seem to have stopped treating them like investments. We have ACTUAL things that are supposed to be invested in, you want to play the stock market then do so. Imagine how annoying it would be if people created an artificial scarity in every freaking important commodity people wanted to buy.
/Can't buy water today, everyone decided it's worth 500% market
//Well water's a bad example
 
2011-05-30 01:47:38 PM

Kurty Pie:

THIS.

I'll never understand the people who have no plans to move anytime soon, but are worried that their house has dropped in value. If you're not selling it, your house is worthless to anyone but you.


And the county...

The less my house is estimated to be worth, the less my taxes.
 
2011-05-30 01:50:21 PM

AcneVulgaris: otterly_delicious: Someone has to own the houses. Why pay a landlord to own it when I can be a land lord?

/bought 8 years ago from a distressed seller
//not upside down but did refinance a 6.5 to a 5% a couple of years ago and can now put the difference back towards principal
///csb

Many landlords are losing their asses right now. Why be one of them?


I didnt say I was a landlord... but a land lord. Implying that I own the land. Geez.

You sound bitter.
 
2011-05-30 01:50:43 PM
Meh, I married into a property-owning family, so I don't mind paying rent. Also, since we don't know where we're going to be in five years, it doesn't make sense to buy now.
 
2011-05-30 01:56:09 PM

AcneVulgaris: otterly_delicious: Someone has to own the houses. Why pay a landlord to own it when I can be a land lord?

/bought 8 years ago from a distressed seller
//not upside down but did refinance a 6.5 to a 5% a couple of years ago and can now put the difference back towards principal
///csb

Many landlords are losing their asses right now. Why be one of them?


Because the majority is not "many."
 
2011-05-30 01:59:00 PM
We're w/in a couple years of paying off the mortgage, and could buy it today with savings. What's the dumb part?
 
2011-05-30 02:01:54 PM

ihatedumbpeople: Yeah...because when I research buying a home, I check what is 'hip' that week and go that way. this week it's dumb, next week maybe it'll be wise again.

shoosh already.

buy a home or don't. quit treating home purchases like stock investments. If the house is too expensive, it's too expensive. buy what you can afford, yadda yadda.



No kidding. I have a friend who wanks about how houses are a great investment... but he doesn't plan to move.

If it's a place to live, don't treat it as an investment.
 
2011-05-30 02:02:27 PM
I would like to thank people who get their homes foreclosed. In January I bought a house at about 60% of the appraised value. The previous owners lived there for about 2 years, completely trashed the place, and couldn't afford it. They were just meant to live it an apartment. I bought it from the bank, fixed it up, and moved in. My mortgage payment is about 1/3 of the rent at my old apartment. I don't see how my home purchase was dumb at all.
 
2011-05-30 02:06:44 PM

AcneVulgaris: middleoftheday: I wonder how many "rent is like throwing your money away" people are upside down on their mortgages.

Interest is rent on money. Most loanowners can't get their minds around that simple fact.


Huh? The loan owners are the banks. I'm pretty sure they understand how interest works.
 
2011-05-30 02:08:09 PM

Ragingwookiee: I'm closing on a short sale this Friday (maybe) so I'm getting a kick out of all the replies.


Good luck!
 
2011-05-30 02:08:56 PM
B-B-B-But they're not making any more land!

/well if you put in ridiculous land use restrictions and refuse to build transport infrastructure, what do you expect?
//really hard not to notice the bubble happened in about 10 cities, and none of them were Dallas or Houston
 
2011-05-30 02:09:04 PM
Yeah, the whole 'mortgage cost less than renting' thing? Not so much in some places. Just try to find a place that isn't in a shiat-hole anywhere less than 2 hours away from NYC where you'll pay less on a mortgage/taxes/fees than just renting an apartment with some people in the city. And hell, unless your making mucho moolah, you won't even be able to afford the mortgage/taxes/fees on a place outside of a shiat-hole that doesn't require you to spend 5 hours a day commuting.

It's nice for all of you that live in places where you can pay so little on property that it makes sense to own. Some of us are tied to places where it isn't. Generalizations do not work here.
 
2011-05-30 02:14:28 PM

Semper Gumby: I love having color in my house. I was tired of boring white walls and neighbors. Tired of renting and being told I can't have a dog.

I love that whenever I have to move away, I'm going to recoup all of the money that I've been paid for housing every month, instead of just tossing it to the breeze.


Except when you die... you can't recoup it then.

I love that condo life suits me.
 
2011-05-30 02:17:54 PM
I bought in 1999. Despite the market storm, the estimated value is twice what I paid for it. I've refinanced twice and have a low fixed rate. I'm considering a 15/fixed refi but the numbers show it's a washout so far.

Winning?
 
dwg
2011-05-30 02:20:32 PM

noYOUare: Semper Gumby: My house is small but coveted.

This.

I bought a sweet little house in a nice old neighborhood. With the improvements I make and the fact that I have no plans to move, I'm not concerned about losing money on resale.


Double this. Bought my house with the ex and decided to keep it. Even after paying twice for the improvements, I still have a house I paid less than half what my neighbors sold theirs for in the slump a few years ago. Never moving unless I leave the state.
 
2011-05-30 02:22:04 PM

hipcheckgrl: This thread is more fun if you change "houses" to "horses" when you read it.


kukukupo: Living in a house you own is awesome. Night and day.


i471.photobucket.com

First thing I thought of. Love your "horse for house" game!

/This was originally a wedding cake...
 
2011-05-30 02:23:22 PM

lohphat: I bought in 1999. Despite the market storm, the estimated value is twice what I paid for it. I've refinanced twice and have a low fixed rate. I'm considering a 15/fixed refi but the numbers show it's a washout so far.

Winning?


It all comes down to your own quality of life.

When I lived in an apartment I hated having to make a night of doing laundry. I hated not being able to modify the place as I desired. I hated holding off on a few sizable purchases that would take up more space than the apartment had available or were unreasonable to move multiple times. I hated my idiot neighbors that always seemed to be doing something big and loud when I was hungover. I hated how the rent got jacked up slowly over time. I hated how the landlord became less interested in fixing things the longer we were there. I hated how every month I wrote a check and wondered if I was paying for anything more than just a service rather than something that was actually tangible and physical.
 
2011-05-30 02:23:22 PM
Houses won't really be a good deal again until they go back to requiring the buyer to provide 20% of his own cash as a down payment.

Paying rent ate up all the money we needed for a down payment. Had 5% down (borrowed from parents) and took the PMI. Still paying about the same as we would on a much smaller apartment, and gaining equity as well.

middleoftheday: I wonder how many "rent is like throwing your money away" people are upside down on their mortgages.

I wonder how many have been told they could plant a garden only to have their downstairs neighbor get a dog that shiats all over it.

I wonder how many have had their rent raised because they complained about the lead paint in their apartment, only to have the landlord's brother-in-law drunkenly paint over it and get paint everywhere. Later the landlord keeps the security deposit because of 'stains on the carpet near the windows".

I wonder how many were told to find another place to live when a family member of the landlord needed a place to stay.


I wonder how many were told to find another place to live (despite paying on time every month) when the building owner decided to sell or goes bankrupt.

I wonder how many are paying rent that increases $25 a year despite no improvements going into the building.

I wonder how many are paying full rent when their apartment has some piece of necessary equipment (refrigerator, toilet, heater, etc...) that is broken, which the owner "hasn't gotten around to" fixing.
 
2011-05-30 02:27:42 PM
The way the economy is going along with insane housing market pricing and unstable job market, i'll stick with Apt and condo living for a good while longer. I can just pick up and leave for the most part. Not so much with a 250k morgage. Still in my first apt after moving away from folks house 6 years ago.

I would love a garage and maybe even a yard someday but for now, i'll deal with the drawbacks of apt living compared to the hair pulling stress of house ownership


/rent all utilities paid $575 flat a month
//beat that
///hate my stuck up daddies little girl biatch neighbor though, slams doors all the time
 
2011-05-30 02:28:44 PM

nlscb: //really hard not to notice the bubble happened in about 10 cities, and none of them were Dallas or Houston


Uh, sure thing there sport. In your happy fantasy land, I guess there wasn't a bubble in Houston - nevermind actual reality. I bet in your world Texas has a balanced budget too (of course, in
And as a last comment on Texas, I think the headline says it all: a href="http://reason.com/blog/2011/05/26/go-ahead-and-mess-with-texas-i">Go Ahead and Mess With Texas; It's Run by Pussies
 
2011-05-30 02:29:55 PM

URAPNIS: 1100 square ft.
2 car garage.
Nice yard.
It's a modest, well built house and most of my friends have a much nicer one.
Installed new windows, redid kitchen, next is bathrooms.
I paid if off in 10 years and my Jeep is also paid for.
No kids, no wife, no bills.



Just don't lose your job.
 
2011-05-30 02:31:26 PM

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: Houses won't really be a good deal again until they go back to requiring the buyer to provide 20% of his own cash as a down payment.



No thanks, that could pay for alot of rent with minimual strings attached.
 
2011-05-30 02:31:51 PM
Holy broken html batman. Lets try that again, then I'm off to do something even less productive than Fark for the day.

nlscb: //really hard not to notice the bubble happened in about 10 cities, and none of them were Dallas or Houston


Uh, sure thing there sport. In your happy fantasy land, I guess there wasn't a bubble in Houston - nevermind actual reality. I bet in your world Texas has a balanced budget too (of course, in pesky reality Texas has a larger deficit than CA as a percentage of their budget).

And as a last comment on Texas, I think the headline says it all: Go Ahead and Mess With Texas; It's Run by Pussies
 
2011-05-30 02:31:52 PM

hipcheckgrl: We didn't overpay in the first place, so it's manageable.


We didn't overpay either, we bought a fixer upper, the cheapest in the area. It's still worth just over half of what we owe. Didn't even take out a second mortgage to do the big projects we wanted to. The first mortgage was exactly half of what we were approved for too. Not everyone who is upside down bought an overpriced McMansion without thinking long term.
 
2011-05-30 02:31:54 PM

AllYourFarkAreBelongToMe: AcneVulgaris: middleoftheday: I wonder how many "rent is like throwing your money away" people are upside down on their mortgages.

Interest is rent on money. Most loanowners can't get their minds around that simple fact.

Huh? The loan owners are the banks. I'm pretty sure they understand how interest works.


Maybe that was too much of a leap. Replace "loanowner" with "debt slave".
 
2011-05-30 02:36:14 PM
I don't click Reason articles because they're too right-slanted. So I'm going to assume the reason why they say houses = bad is because that money you're investing into your house needs to be given to corporations as welfare.
 
2011-05-30 02:37:23 PM

Guidette Frankentits: I don't click Reason articles because they're too right-slanted. So I'm going to assume the reason why they say houses = bad is because that money you're investing into your house needs to be given to corporations as welfare.


Obviously you haven't read their gay rights or drug war articles.
 
2011-05-30 02:37:58 PM
If you bought a home as an investment, you probably failed. If you bought more home than you could rationally afford, you probably failed.

We official olde pharts remember when farm values were skyrocketing in the 60s and 70s, largely due to inflation. Farmers were told to "get big or get out" and banks and agri-lending institutions were more than willing to let farmers borrow to the hilt because, with the inflationary spiral, the farmers would be paying off those loans with inflated dollars. Farm lenders confidently told farmers that it was foolish to actually own anything - be it land or equipment - because any equity you had should be leveraged to get bigger.

When the inflationary spiral ground to a halt, land values also plummeted and farmers found themselves upside down. Since there were plenty of investors, foreign and domestic, who wanted to buy land, banks and lenders foreclosed in droves, farmers were forced out of business or were allowed to rent their previously owned land and try to make a go of it. The cash rent for their land now varies from year to year based on commodity prices and how many farmers want to rent a piece of land. The bottom line is that landowners make money, even though farmers may not.

The purpose of buying a home is to own real property on which one can live. If you enter the work force, spend a few years renting until you save up a down payment, get a modest house and a 15 year mortgage, and pay it off, barring taxes and utilities (which you will pay regardless) you have no more mortgage payment. Regardless of the value of the home, you have a place to live. Assuming you chose the location well and had good luck with the neighborhood, nothing prevents you from staying in that house long after you retire.

If you look at the house as an investment and finagle financing to get in with zero down (which also means no equity) you are setting yourself up for a catastrophic downfall, just like those farmers that leveraged everything in the 70s.

In the recent housing bubble, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac played the same role for home owners that farm lending services played - suckering the unwitting into situations where they lost everything and the banks and lenders profited.
 
2011-05-30 02:38:54 PM
Newsflash homeowners: You don't take your house with you when you die.
 
2011-05-30 02:41:32 PM

Freezebyte: Newsflash homeowners: You don't take your house with you when you die.


Using that logic, why own anything if you can't take it with you.
 
2011-05-30 02:45:45 PM

Guidette Frankentits: I don't click Reason articles because they're too right-slanted. So I'm going to assume the reason why they say houses = bad is because that money you're investing into your house needs to be given to corporations as welfare.


I subscribed to Reason for a year and did not renew. Why?

The last straw was an anti-immigrant article on how they were causing all the problems. No mention of the businesses profiting form their labor without having to pay benefits, pay a competitive wage, payroll taxes.

The immigration problem could be solved in a matter of months if we jailed a few agri-business CEOs and seized their assets for hiring illegal workers.

But nooooo......it's easier to attack those who cannot defend themselves with proper representation.

Reason mag is Free Republic lite.
 
2011-05-30 02:46:20 PM

Freezebyte: URAPNIS: 1100 square ft.
2 car garage.
Nice yard.
It's a modest, well built house and most of my friends have a much nicer one.
Installed new windows, redid kitchen, next is bathrooms.
I paid if off in 10 years and my Jeep is also paid for.
No kids, no wife, no bills.


Just don't lose your job.


I'm not sure that I'm following..
Are you saying that I would be better off renting if I lost my job?
 
2011-05-30 02:49:45 PM
The immigration problem could be solved in a matter of months if we jailed a few agri-business CEOs and seized their assets for hiring illegal workers.

^ that would be nice...
 
2011-05-30 02:52:05 PM

ebbyfish: The immigration problem could be solved in a matter of months if we jailed a few agri-business CEOs and seized their assets for hiring illegal workers.

^ that would be nice...


Also illegal immigrants should never buy a home. They never know when they could be deported.
 
2011-05-30 02:53:21 PM

Freezebyte: Newsflash homeowners: You don't take your house with you when you die.


True.

But I could use the sale of it post-death to pay for my funeral and leave a tidy sum to hire some young kid to call you once a day, every day, and remind you what an asshat you are.

You have to realize; renting is buying into a service.....no more and no less. At the end of that term of service you have nothing tangible or physical other than the memories of what you had or did while you were there and the continuation of that is dependent wholly on whether you are willing to pony up for next month.
 
2011-05-30 02:55:54 PM

ebbyfish: The immigration problem could be solved in a matter of months if we jailed a few agri-business CEOs and seized their assets for hiring illegal workers.

^ that would be nice...


That's been my advice for some time. First, have some kind of biometric ID card that prevents ID fraud by illegals. Second, if you're caught hiring illegals, the first time you are fined the equivalent of 5 years salary or wages for all illegals in your employ. The second time, that fine doubles. The third time (3 strikes, you're out) all assets of the company are seized and sold at absolute auction. Someone else can try their hand at running your company.

It may sound draconian but, like the death penalty, it would reduce recidivism.
 
2011-05-30 02:57:11 PM

Freezebyte: Newsflash homeowners: You don't take your house with you when you die.


What does that matter if you can leave it to your family so they don't have to pay rent?
 
2011-05-30 02:59:05 PM

AcneVulgaris: AllYourFarkAreBelongToMe: AcneVulgaris: middleoftheday: I wonder how many "rent is like throwing your money away" people are upside down on their mortgages.

Interest is rent on money. Most loanowners can't get their minds around that simple fact.

Huh? The loan owners are the banks. I'm pretty sure they understand how interest works.

Maybe that was too much of a leap. Replace "loanowner" with "debt slave".


You rent, right?
 
2011-05-30 03:09:51 PM
Bought a house last year and the mortgage payment is less than my rent used to be. Electric, water, and gas bills are lower too because it isn't as crappy as the duplex we were renting. Kept 3 of my renters (1 travels, 1 lives in the basement so I don't even notice 2/3 of them) and they pay most of the mortgage. In addition, I can do anything I want with the landscape, have room for a garden, and can have a big dog. No complaints, but it did take some time to find a house that was just right.

I don't expect to make a profit on my house, but unless the town I live in becomes some kind of scum heap it should stay worth more than I owe on it. I would rather be paying house payments than car payments. Obviously an actual investment would be better, or putting more money in my 401k, but I do have to live somewhere...
 
2011-05-30 03:13:30 PM
Hoping to close on a house this week so I'm getting a kick...

Really, it's cheaper here to buy than to own (Metro Detroit area). My mortgage on a 3 bed/2 bath/2 car garage will be under $600 a month. The cheapest rent (in a decent place) was $650 minimum.

Am I looking at this as investment...no. But it also seems smarter to spend less, get more back on my taxes and have a place I can call my own.

/may not be smart since I do still live in Michigan
//actually love it here...suck it haters
 
2011-05-30 03:15:15 PM
Reminds me of the guy that bought the house next to us. He bought it in Nov 09 for 360,000, gutted it, chopped down all the trees, installed 12 foot evergreens (you know how expensive these are) put in expensive tiling, doors etc, redid the driveway that was done only a year before he bought the house. The house is now worth 309,000, not counting what he paid for in all the upgrades, plus the upgrades have now put him above what the neighborhood is worth, so he flushed that money down the drain.

Don't be that guy. Home ownership is great, but buy what you like, and really, this dildo didn't see a 5 year trend of prices going down? Jackass.
 
2011-05-30 03:18:18 PM
On the other hand, I have a friend who bought a house and put NO MONEY DOWN. They didn't make any improvements to the house and were basically slobs, the one time I got to see the place there was trash literally everywhere. They let their dog destroy the backyard. Then after 2 years they decided to sell their house so that they could move to Texas for 1 year so her husband could go to school. Instead of trying to rent their house (because they didn't want someone to rent it and trash it...) when it didn't sell, they simply quit paying their mortgage.

WTF? And all of this while she quit her job at the bank (oh yeah, so she should know something about loans and money right?) and was unemployed while her husband went to school. So yeah, I guess owning a home is a bad idea if you are lazy and clueless...
 
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