Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Owning Vs. Renting

In the recipe known as the American Dream, it's one of the main ingredients:  Owning your own home.  With the real estate market of America in constant flux, it's not as simple as it sounds to obtain.  For those who are just starting out in the credit world, newly graduated with jobs, degrees, kids, or credit cards, the steps towards making this milestone purchase are getting steeper and steeper.  The effects can be seen across the country, as more Americans are settling for tract housing, condos, or living in rentals much longer than ever before.  Today many 30 and 40 year olds, especially single, unmarried ones, are still living in rental property because the cost of buying a home is 'just too much.'  Although the claim is often made that a good mortgage won't cost you much more per month than paying rent, some renters argue that theory.  And they're right, in a way:  the cost of home ownership far exceeds simply paying the mortgage.  What about all of those day-to-day repairs, both little (leaky faucets) and big (leaky roofs)? 

Someone living in a rental property, whether it's a home or an apartment, can reasonably expect their landlord to take care of repairs in a timely fashion.  If they don't, per laws in place in every state, the tenant has the right to vacate the property.  The cost of property repairs falls strictly on the landlord, not the tenant, provided the repairs were not brought about by any act of negligence or otherwise on the tenant's part.  So goes the rule of rental:  You pay your rent, and you keep things in good shape, and if they break, it's not your job to fix them.

This is a convenience that is hard to ignore.  Having someone mow your lawn, take care of your furnace, and patch your roof… well, it saves money.  And work.  But even with the massive costs and inconvenience that can come from owning a home, it remains an indispensable fact of life for most Americans.  They want somewhere to call their own.  Even a leaky, expensive roof that you have to pay for is better than not owning a roof at all.

In spite of the costs involved, the repairs, the down payments, and the mortgages that can last for years, this longing for ownership makes a great deal of financial sense.  A homeowner in today's market has far more pull than those whose biggest financial asset is their car.  Owning a home gives you property value, something to borrow against, and something to leave to your children for the future.  As prices of real estate skyrocket across the country, and show no signs of slowing, even a modest bungalow in a small town is an investment that you can be relatively at peace with making.  After all, human beings are always going to need a roof over their heads; ideally, one they can call their own






Dobler Consulting Inc
2339 Warwick Dr
FL 34677
United States

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