If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Reason Magazine)   New survey suggests owning a house in U.S. is dumb   (reason.com) divider line 242
    More: Obvious  
•       •       •

19441 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»



242 Comments   (+0 »)
   

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | » | Last | Show all
 
2011-05-30 05:44:36 PM
It's a good thing I only plan on buying a home as opposed to a house.
 
2011-05-30 05:47:44 PM

rmoody: Buying a house is great if you're planning on never moving and keeping the same secure, stable job for twenty+ years.


BEARSBEARSBEARS.JPG

/good luck with that sh*t
 
2011-05-30 06:08:29 PM
As usual in a thread like this, lots of good Farking, precious little light.
 
2011-05-30 06:15:39 PM

AllYourFarkAreBelongToMe: Every time this thread gets greened, it's the same thing over and over again. What it all really boils down to though is a bunch of renters thinking that pissing money away every month with absolutely no hope of getting ANY return on that "investment" is somehow the "right" thing do do. Because they are FARKERS, dammit!


It is more than possible to get zero return on your investment when owning a home, as millions of Americans have recently demonstrated.

Renting can be a sensible economic choice in many instances:

You're a recent college grad who is single. Chances are you will not be able to buy a home you'd live in with a future partner and certainly not with future children. You also probably have no deposit so will be buying mortgage insurance. Trading up houses is extremely expensive and you might not break even with the money you might have 'flushed down the drain' if you rented.

If you are in a position where you rent and save for 1 more year you will have enough $$$ to put 20% down and not have to pay mortgage insurance. That 1 year of 'flushing money down the drain' will save you a HEAP of cash in the years to come.

If you, like me, like to travel. In the 8 years since graduating I have lived in four cities on three continents and due to being flexible in where I can move on short notice a huge number of personal and professional opportunities have been available to me that would not have been otherwise.

If you are any person in the US between 2004 and 2007 - buying a house is probably a big mistake.

I'm not saying renting should be viewed as a permanent living arrangement - I'm in the process of moving from renting to owning myself due to a combination of factors - but that for many people buying a house isn't always the best option and it's not always a financial mistake.
 
2011-05-30 06:19:12 PM
Family owns this house. We bought for $87,000 in 1993, it's worth $95,000 at last estimate. Only way this house is getting sold, though, is if both my parents die, and my brother and I BOTH decide we don't want to live here.

Even if I do eventually want to rent out the house, I'm just gonna build myself a house on the back of the lot to live in.

It's not an investment, it's my family's home.
 
2011-05-30 06:29:05 PM

AllYourFarkAreBelongToMe: Anyway, this thread has inspired me to do some math. We bought this house in 1987. Paid 163K for it. It will be paid off next year which the following numbers correspond to.


Now how often is this going to happen for the next generation (able to stay in one place for 24 years)?

That's what's helped to screw up the housing market, and why so many don't buy. In every thread about jobs there are always some morans who spout "move to where the jobs are" to those who explain why they cannot find suitable work, or work at all, and don't take into account that some of those people may be tied to a property they have been paying on for a decade or more before they lost their jobs.

As more and more people adopt a more mobile lifestyle through economic necessity, fewer and fewer people will buy houses until the idea of owning will be but a historical relic of the past, something our great great grandparents did. You were fortunate... most future potential houseowners will never be.
/congrats on the payoff
 
2011-05-30 06:50:22 PM
What about a married guy with a family? Wife and I had no kids for the first 7 years of our marriage and renting was fine. Once our oldest wanted to play outside, it was impossible.

Now we have 2 kids. Renting a 3 bedroom house would cost $1,000/mo, plus utilities. A 3 bedroom apartment in the ghetto would be $850, plus utilities.

The landlord doesn't pay the heat bill, so he has no interest in windows or insulation.

Renting a place that's nice costs $1500/mo.


Sure, I could probably find a "deal" on craigslist but I don't want to live in a place where nothing gets fixed and wake up to find the bank changing the locks because the owner has been pocketing the rent and not paying the mortgage.
 
2011-05-30 06:52:15 PM
Get off my lawn.
img.photobucket.com
 
2011-05-30 07:11:54 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've never understood this. Every house I've rented, I've painted. ("Hey, Mr./Ms. Landlord/lady. Can my girlfriend paint this wall $weird_color? We'll agree to put the white paint back when we move out if you don't like the color." "Sure, go for it.")

The idea that you have to own a house in order to paint or drill holes in the wall is just bizarre. Rental property and its upkeep is a giant tax writeoff. The only thing the owner really cares about is getting it back with the same number of walls it had when you moved in. Everything else is negotiable, and I mean everything.

It helps if you avoid managed properties like the plague. Rent only from the owner, ideally one who lives next door.

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.

Yeah, a lot of people thought that way.
 
2011-05-30 07:22:04 PM
Renting from the owner is OK as long as it isn't either the kid who grew up in the house who won't live there because the neighborhood isn't what he likes, or a prominent business owner in the town. The former kicks you out for his family, the latter doesn't fix anything and gets away with it as enough of the bureaucracy is in his pocket.
 
2011-05-30 07:22:24 PM

Man On Pink Corner: I've never understood this. Every house I've rented, I've painted. ("Hey, Mr./Ms. Landlord/lady. Can my girlfriend paint this wall $weird_color? We'll agree to put the white paint back when we move out if you don't like the color." "Sure, go for it.")

The idea that you have to own a house in order to paint or drill holes in the wall is just bizarre. Rental property and its upkeep is a giant tax writeoff. The only thing the owner really cares about is getting it back with the same number of walls it had when you moved in. Everything else is negotiable, and I mean everything.


I'm in the military, I've moved more frequently than once a year for the last six years. I don't want to put the time and effort into somebody else's house, I don't want one accent wall. I want color surrounding me in every room.

And some people are f*cking nazis about drilling holes in walls. Some houses don't even have proper drywall, like both places I lived in Hawaii. The "walls" were wood dividers.

Not every landlord's a dream. You don't always get to interact directly with them.
 
2011-05-30 07:23:32 PM

Man On Pink Corner: I've never understood this. Every house I've rented, I've painted.


Exactly. Hell, almost every rental property I've had, I've painted and redone the floors. Took it out of the rent, of course.
 
2011-05-30 07:29:52 PM

Semper Gumby: Man On Pink Corner: I've never understood this. Every house I've rented, I've painted. ("Hey, Mr./Ms. Landlord/lady. Can my girlfriend paint this wall $weird_color? We'll agree to put the white paint back when we move out if you don't like the color." "Sure, go for it.")

The idea that you have to own a house in order to paint or drill holes in the wall is just bizarre. Rental property and its upkeep is a giant tax writeoff. The only thing the owner really cares about is getting it back with the same number of walls it had when you moved in. Everything else is negotiable, and I mean everything.

I'm in the military, I've moved more frequently than once a year for the last six years. I don't want to put the time and effort into somebody else's house, I don't want one accent wall. I want color surrounding me in every room.

And some people are f*cking nazis about drilling holes in walls. Some houses don't even have proper drywall, like both places I lived in Hawaii. The "walls" were wood dividers.

Not every landlord's a dream. You don't always get to interact directly with them.


I have had nazi-landlords who wouldn't even let me put tape on the "wood dividers".
Obviously my current landlord doesn't care, as he lets the neighbors drill screws 2 inches through the wall into my room, but it's a habit for me now. I don't put anything on the walls unless I'm using that "no-damage" sticky stuff.
 
2011-05-30 09:15:11 PM

bbcard1: I live in a small/medium market. There is startling gridlock in housing. The sellers aren't willing to come down, they buyers aren't willing to come up...so everything sits with homes often staying on the market for years. We've been looking for a bigger home for a while, but ours is paid for, we start having kids march off to college in a couple of year (I know, they should go for a science-based major not liberal arts), even the most conservative bank would love to loan to us, and it's just not worth the trouble unless we can get a great buy.


Same here. As a buyer, I won't consider the market "recovered" until prices come back down to reasonable levels.
 
2011-05-30 09:47:44 PM

Goimir: DarthBrooks: In other news, it's always a safe bet to try and make money off Americans who think renting is cheaper than owning stuff.

Exactly. When you rent, you pay for whatever it is you're getting, and the owner's lunch as well.

Yes, you pay property tax. It's included in your rent.

Yes, you pay upkeep costs. You pay ALL that stuff.

If landlording wasn't about making money, people wouldn't do it.


Well said.
 
2011-05-30 10:08:00 PM
Suburban nightmare

i.imgur.com
 
2011-05-30 10:15:36 PM

rico567: As usual in a thread like this, lots of good Farking, precious little light.


The only "light" I can offer is to hold out as long as you can in your position, and either you'll become eligible for housing assistance, or housing assistance dollars will dry up and rents will become reasonable again. When that happens being a slumlord won't be as profitable, and housing costs will come down as they get out of that business.

/subsidies break free markets
 
2011-05-30 10:19:21 PM

Goimir: /subsidies break free markets


Why do we then subsidize oil and corn then?

In addition to subsidies, I'd add speculation to that list. People driving up/down prices in commodities they won't directly consume also breaks free markets. e.g. oil, citrus, housing.
 
2011-05-30 10:23:15 PM

cyclebiff:
Solution:
Stop being retards.
Stop buying big and living big (learn efficiency and quality).
Stop procreating.
Start listening to other cultures OUTSIDE your country. Embrace them.
Go back to school and educate yourself on something that will contribute to humanity.


I've been to every continent but Antarctica; ironically, the U.S. is one of the better cultures on the planet for absorbing facets of other cultures.

You can go back to being hip now.
 
2011-05-30 10:39:34 PM

lohphat: Why do we then subsidize oil and corn then?

In addition to subsidies, I'd add speculation to that list. People driving up/down prices in commodities they won't directly consume also breaks free markets. e.g. oil, citrus, housing.


I don't know why. I'm against that too.
 
2011-05-30 11:15:53 PM
Here's the deal.

I can load myself up with debt and lock myself to an area for years. Or, I could rent for less than the cost of a mortgage, and move where I want when I need to.

I see the houses people buy, and I DO NOT WANT the crappy little suburban cookie-cutter house on 1/8 acre that will fall apart in 15 years.

Because you don't just have a mortgage. You have insurance. You have wads of interest. You have to repair your own house (better pray it's not a lemon, like the usual suburban slap-it-up junkwads).

I *appreciate* the idea of owning my own house. But until the mortgage goes away, you just are a renter from the bank, and they aren't very good landlord.

Me, I'd rather live in holes until I can buy a house on some land for cash... no debt, and in an area I *want* to die in.
 
2011-05-30 11:17:22 PM
Back in my day houses were something you bought to live in and a place to put your stuff.
 
2011-05-30 11:38:56 PM
Home ownership is a damn good idea. But like most good ideas, it might not fit your individual needs.

Home ownership is a really bad idea if you are likely to move out the local area rather soon.

Home ownership is a really bad idea if you can't afford the mortgage. (And any variable rate mortgage is probably a bad idea and if it could go to a rate you can't afford then it is an stupid idea and indeed is quackery.)

Home ownership is not a good idea if you need someone else to do all the maintenance for you.

Home ownership is a very bad idea if the only damn reason you are in it is market speculation or in a belief that the only way value can go -- even in the short term -- is up. You own houses to like in first and foremost. Yeah they can be great as long term investments (assuming you keep up the place), but are just too risky in the short term.

Home ownership is a very bad idea if you paid more than the house is worth. If market values are going up too fast and the fundamentals are not sound, then a correction can be expected.

Other than all those caveats, it can still be a great value. My mortgage + taxes + insurance + upkeep are far less than I could rent (and the living space is larger). As I have lived in the same house since 1999, this has saved my huge sums of money. And as I live in an area that has not nearly as hard hit by the bubble as most places, the increase in the value of the house exceeds what I have paid on the mortgage.
 
2011-05-30 11:48:41 PM
That article was unreadably pointless. Seriously, I couldn't make out WTF point or observation the author was trying to make. Stands to "Reason.com", I suppose.

Whatever.

/Oh, you still have a mortgage?
 
2011-05-30 11:59:21 PM

Semper Gumby: chu2dogg: If your using only a third of the house your rent should be a third of the mortgage. Go on craigslist and you'll find loads of homeowners willing to rent at a loss just to lower their own expenses.

You're still talking about sharing space or renting a room, not a whole apartment or house.

I refuse to share space with roommates that aren't the person I'm sleeping with on a regular basis. What a farking nightmare.


Oh I hear you, renting is not for everybody, just like owning is not for everyone.

Personally I like having roomates, I've met alot of cool people that way, and I would get lonely watching TV by myself on like a tuesday night or something. Even just hearing people around in the next room, or if they're having crazy sex we get a laugh out of it the next day.

I don't need alot of space for my stuff. I'm single and in my 20s. I can live pretty good for >$500 per mo, which even if I got a crappy one bedroom condo in my area I would be looking at least $900 or so. Multiply that by a few years and the savings add up.

Sure if I rented that condo I would pay $1200 per mo, but I'm not renting that condo, I'm scaling down as much as possible and renting at $500. Sure, I don't have a garden or a yoga center or a home gym or anything like that because I'm honestly not home enough to enjoy that stuff anyways.

So, I'll take that $400 per mo and throw it in my E-Trade account, and maybe when I hit my 30s and know I'm going to settle down in area for awhile, then I'll have a sizeable down payment and get an even better house with a better mortgage rate. I'll come out ahead of whatever that condo would give me after all the closing costs and don't have to worry if this is a "good year" to sell. And laugh all you want at the market but my portfolio is up.
 
2011-05-31 12:20:27 AM

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


I just closed on a short sale this past Friday, and I, too, am getting a kick out of these replies. I just want to say: good luck. There was some drama with 28 hours until the close of escrow, and I caved and brought an additional $2500 to the table.

If you make it to Friday without being arrested for strangling someone involved the the deal, you either have great self control or you're highly-skilled at evading capture, possibly a ninja.
 
2011-05-31 12:58:26 AM

rmoody: Buying a house is great if you're planning on never moving and keeping the same secure, stable job for twenty+ years.


It's great if it works.

I own, and will pay off my 15-yr mortgage in 5 1/2 years, and recently started my long-desired, great secure job with awesome benefits as a humble public servant where I plan to stay until I retire in 20 years, God willing. Oh, and it's two blocks away from home and I walk to work in the awesomely beautiful Southern California morning nearly every day.

So it works for me.
 
2011-05-31 02:20:05 AM
Of course if you live in an area like i did where half the populace is Section 8, the other half is military with paid stipend and people realize they can charge for rent whatever the hell they feel like, buying is a good idea. Seriously, noisy ass 1 bedroom apartments, $600-800 a month. 3 bedroom house in a decent neighborhood? $320 a month. Yeah, even with ownership expenses I still made out like a bandit.

/then I moved and rented it out for an exorbitant amount.
 
2011-05-31 02:34:02 AM

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


www.survivinggrady.com
 
2011-05-31 04:39:34 AM
It seems like for most of you, the decision to rent or own was a straightforward one. I can't figure out whether it's better for us to own or rent. We've always rented. We're moving in a month to a totally different part of the country. We don't know how long we'll be there - at least a year, maybe 5 years, maybe forever (hope not). We won't know for years, either, whether we'll be staying. Rent is inflated in that city because it's a college town and everyone wants to rent (but no one wants to buy). Housing prices are a little lower than in other cities for that reason and because it's not near the coast (big difference in price here). We've been renters FOREVER because of frequent moving with grad school, work transfers, etc.

We have enough saved to buy a small place in cash (no mortgage) - but it would be a small 1 bedroom apartment, not a house or anything. (No smaller than the place we'd rent, if we rented.) If we did buy, though, and then moved and tried to sell it and couldn't, we wouldn't have enough to buy someplace else, even for a down payment.

I have no idea what to do. Probably just keep renting and losing money because we're afraid of the next job transfer. I'm jealous of all of you with your stable jobs in one place who can buy your houses and plan for the future. We actually want to own because we hate renting, but we move so farking much.
 
2011-05-31 06:47:59 AM
If you have enough to buy it outright, then you have enough to put 50% down and have a tiny mortgage. Since rents are high in that college town, why not buy something you can rent out for more than the cost of the mortgage. Keep half your nest egg ready for the next house (if ever needed) and repairs/maintenance. Yur situation seems like the ideal one for buying - you have money saved to keep yourselves from being house-poor, and in that town, the right place may actually be a good investment. Research!
 
2011-05-31 07:53:57 AM
So let me get this straight... Owning a house is dumb BUT people need a place to live so owning LOTS of houses is smart?

Common sense suggests subby and article are dumb.
 
2011-05-31 08:21:13 AM
Most people would enjoy owning their own home rather than renting, but in this market it could burn you to own if you had to suddenly move out of town or lost your job.

At this point I prefer to live in really nice cities, and get together enough friends to rent out a house, and treat my bedroom as a studio apartment. Nothing beats living in a Seattle home for $300 a month. Roommates suck but whatever.

Renting and owning is different for each individual. If you love your city, love your job, never plan to move, and have kids and a dog, why the hell would you rent? If you live in a shiat city at the only local company and plan to leave in a few years, why would you buy in this market?

There are a lot of people who got seriously burned in the housing downturn, so do your homework to get a house you can afford with good resale value.
 
2011-05-31 08:31:01 AM
Yeeeessss...sheeple, listen to the hipsters.

Owning real property is totally dumb, buy disposable things...rent what you need...

So, I guess the landlord that OWNS the property that you are paying for with your rent must be the SUPER-dumb one. I mean, all you're doing is renting (free as can be!!)...He has to own the place, which is...like...hard and junk....collecting all that rent money and stuff.
 
2011-05-31 10:23:00 AM

heidi girl: It seems like for most of you, the decision to rent or own was a straightforward one. I can't figure out whether it's better for us to own or rent. We've always rented. We're moving in a month to a totally different part of the country. We don't know how long we'll be there - at least a year, maybe 5 years, maybe forever (hope not). We won't know for years, either, whether we'll be staying. Rent is inflated in that city because it's a college town and everyone wants to rent (but no one wants to buy). Housing prices are a little lower than in other cities for that reason and because it's not near the coast (big difference in price here). We've been renters FOREVER because of frequent moving with grad school, work transfers, etc.

We have enough saved to buy a small place in cash (no mortgage) - but it would be a small 1 bedroom apartment, not a house or anything. (No smaller than the place we'd rent, if we rented.) If we did buy, though, and then moved and tried to sell it and couldn't, we wouldn't have enough to buy someplace else, even for a down payment.

I have no idea what to do. Probably just keep renting and losing money because we're afraid of the next job transfer. I'm jealous of all of you with your stable jobs in one place who can buy your houses and plan for the future. We actually want to own because we hate renting, but we move so farking much.


Never buy when moving to a new place. Period. You don't know the area and can be getting into all kinds of trouble. I personally would never buy in a place I hadn't lived in for at least a year first.
 
2011-05-31 10:26:55 AM
If people at reason think it is a dumb idea it is probably a f*cking awesome idea.
 
2011-05-31 11:07:08 AM

GoBadgers: Get off my lawn.


Hello, hillbilly.
 
2011-05-31 01:01:50 PM

dr.zaeus: GoBadgers: Get off my lawn.

Hello, hillbilly.


Hello!
10 minutes to New Glarus (and the brewery), 40 minutes to the state capitol in Madison, and plenty of elbow room for bonfire parties with a band, riding horses or my quad on the trails. If that's being a hillbilly, I wouldn't want it any other way!
:^)
 
2011-05-31 01:51:12 PM
CSB time:

My grandfather dies a week before his 87th birthday.

He was a lifelong Republican, owned several restaurants (including a gay bar in the '60s I just found out), and dies with four girlfriends -- all half his age -- mourning in the front row of the church (my grandmother dies 22 years earlier). I am not worthy of his legacy.

He never owned property.

Why? He wanted his freedom to move around.

However, that freedom came with a price. He was lucky to be healthy and work doing things he liked up until the brain tumor diagnosis which incapacitated him and then killed him 5 months hence.

Because he had essentially no assets, it was the state that had to take care of his needs as Medicare and MediCal could not cover the full costs of the treatments or afford him nursing home care except at the scummiest place they could find. I was too young to have a salary to really help and my father was scraping by too due to a medical retirement fro man on the job injury with wife #2 bleeding him dry via 25K of CCard debt. The best my dad could do was basically pay his rent because they shared a rented duplex for the last 10 years of his life.

How bootstrappy of him. When the going got tough he had to fall back on state services to keep him alive and comfortable.

If he had owned a house in the area in SoCal (which he really never left for 50 years) we would have had equity and the ability to have a comfortable last few years without essentially being indigent.

The moral of the story is that if the market can support it and you're not that mobile, then buy. It is an insurance policy that allows you to draw on an asset when you need it most.
 
2011-05-31 04:49:54 PM

hipcheckgrl: I'm pretty dumb and I don't own a home. Well, I mean, technically I guess I do because I'm still on the mortgage of the house I gave the husband in our divorce...how dumb is that?


...um...yeah, I have no words. Why wouldn't you force him to refi or sell? Seems to me you left a big "what if" cloud hanging over you if he should ever stop paying on that thing.....that is if you're indeed on the "loan" and not just the "title". The title you can Quit Claim Deed off of, the loan.....unfortunately it's refi or sell...
 
2011-05-31 07:02:30 PM

btraz70: The title you can Quit Claim Deed off of, the loan.....unfortunately it's refi or sell...


If it's an asset of value, why would you do a quit claim and walk away from it if not under court order to do so?
 
2011-05-31 09:15:24 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.


No, you're not. Interest will eat you alive, though you do get a nice tax deduction.
 
Displayed 42 of 242 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | » | Last | Show all



This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report