Top 10 Reasons NOT to Buy a Home

We spend most of our time on here focused on home buying—prices, economics, neighborhoods, etc.—but I thought it might be nice to have a brief reminder that buying a home isn’t for everyone.

For many people, renting is simply the better choice, even if home prices are at a reasonable level supported by the local economic fundamentals. Therefore, without further ado, I present my Top 10 Reasons NOT to Buy a Home:

  1. Renters don’t have to fix leaky plumbing, pay for a new roof, or buy major appliances.
  2. The moment you sign the closing papers, you lose ~10% of your home’s value.
  3. Better job offer in another city? Hope you can afford to sell…
  4. Lousy neighbors move in next door? Too bad, you’re basically stuck!
  5. Your down payment and equity are anything but liquid.
  6. You just moved to a new city and don’t know the area yet.
  7. You don’t have the financial discipline to save up a down payment (even 5% or 10%).
  8. Home prices may keep falling, a prospect that you can’t stomach.
  9. In some neighborhoods, renting will always be a lot cheaper than buying.
  10. You just prefer the freedom, mobility, and liquidity of renting.

What did I miss?

  

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

56 comments:

  1. 1

    #7 was the reason we moved to a HOA neighborhood.

    I’d substitute: 7. You don’t have the aptitude, ability or desire to maintain a house properly.

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  2. 2
    patient says:

    For us it comes down to priorities. Renting is simply a lot cheaper taken all housing costs into account. Our first priority is longterm financial security. This includes securing retirement, private schooling for two including college expenses. Second priority is a good life. Living in a safe, clean area with a short commute, plenty of vacations, eating out and buying what we like without having to skimp. The $1000 or more that we save by renting each month makes a difference and so does the $200k of cash we plan to use for downpayment that we risk losing by jumping in too early.

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  3. 3
    T. Y. Lee says:

    Another benefit to renting is that if you get laid off and can no longer afford to live there, you usually just pay a fee for early lease termination (mine is 1.5 months rent), give written notice, and forfeit your deposit, but then you’re done and can go find someplace cheaper, move in with a friend, etc. You’re out a few thousand bucks, but that’s it. Far less painful than what many homeowners are going through.

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  4. 4

    By T. Y. Lee @ 3:

    Another benefit to renting is that if you get laid off and can no longer afford to live there, you usually just pay a fee for early lease termination (mine is 1.5 months rent), give written notice, and forfeit your deposit, but then you’re done and can go find someplace cheaper, move in with a friend, etc. You’re out a few thousand bucks, but that’s it. Far less painful than what many homeowners are going through.

    So paying a fee is preferable to living rent free for over a year? ;-)

    Seriously, your time before being thrown out on the street is typically much shorter as a tenant.

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  5. 5
    redmondjp says:

    Your gas furnace fails on the coldest night of the year, and you don’t have an extra $4K sitting around to replace it. And the brand-new furnace that eventually does get installed has the same design defect (using a steel part in the condensing heat exchanger that will eventually corrode and ruin the furnace) as the two previous ones.

    Its a continual battle to keep the house from reverting to its natural state: rats move in (thanks to a colony at a neighbor’s house contually fed by dog food dishes that stay partially full all night long while the dogs are asleep, and the dog’s owner refuses to feed dogs in the morning instead); carpenter ants move in; racoon finds loose crawlspace vent and moves in; moss grows on everything, including the “moss-resistant” extra-cost 40-yr composition shingles that are only a few years old; all sorts of flying, stinging insects nest inside exterior walls and attic; woodpeckers that open up screened attic vents, allowing starlings to move in and nest . . . all these are actual things that have happened to either my house or the neighbors’ houses in the past ten years.

    Much of my spare time is taken up by trying to stay on top of my home’s continuing maintenance needs. And I am not in a financial position to pay others to take care of everything for me, unfortunately (and I don’t want to HELOC or refinance like many do).

    And never, ever buy a home that is on a private street. There is absolutely no upside to doing so. You pay the same retail price, city utility bills, the same property taxes, but receive a much lower level of service from your local municipality than those in similar houses on a public street a block away. And the city doesn’t care because they are already getting your money. I will never do it again . . .

    Lots of 20/20 hindsight is gained from the homebuying experience, that’s for sure!

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  6. 6

    RE: redmondjp @ 5 – Do you have a high efficiency furnace? I assume you do if it’s a $4,000 furnace. I’ve heard bad things about their longevity. I’m thinking when my 80% furnace dies I’ll get another 80 and if I want more efficiency, a heat pump.

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  7. 7
    willynilly says:

    Based on the previous post related to lively discussions on schools and education and this one it seems like a prime setup for a subsequent topic – Top 10 reasons to not have kids.

    This topic is directly related to housing and is parallel to the discussion of renting vs buying. It is also adhering to this blogs moniker “Seattle Bubble”. It is amazing how people fret over declining house prices, maintenance costs, ability to freely move about for career or quality of life, community and stability of ownership, BUT how little though, research and decision making goes into having spawn.

    ” …The dream has gone but the baby is real”. The Smiths – Louder than Bombs

    I am hoping to get at least 10 thumbs down on this one!

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  8. 8

    I tell my daughters all the time, when they see a really, really cute little tiny baby: “Girls when you see that baby I want you to think of one word: PRISON. You foreclose on 18 years of your life once you make the decision to have kids. ONLY have kids after you’ve graduated from medical school and have a solid career.” I gave you a thumbs up Willy Nilly.

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  9. 9

    I agree with redmondjp. Number 11 could be, “Consider the value of your free time, and then ask your friends and family, (exclude friends and family who have a vested interest in you becoming a homeowner) how many hours per week they spend taking care of their home’s interior and exterior. Ask yourself if you’re ready to spend many weekends doing home maintenance tasks.

    Granted some folks may be in a high wage earner category as to hire others to do all these tasks but that’s not reality for many, including first time home buyers.

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  10. 10
    Hugh Dominic says:

    It’s about time we started hearing more about the fact that you lose 10% of your value the day you drive it off the lot. That might be half your down payment.

    Or it might be 3x your down payment, meaning selling it quickly would require you to put in twice as much money as buying it!

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  11. 11
    kfhoz says:

    When is Redfin going to start listing rentals? Seems like a natural sideline. Landlords could pay a fee to list, and Redfin would show all the extra data on the house.

    If you are looking for specific features in a house, it is frustrating to find them when looking for a rental. I have wasted plenty of time responding to ads written as if it was still $2.25 per word. Here is one on Craigslist now, with less than ten words of actual information about the rental in the ad.

    “$1895 Beautiful home for rent in Liberty ridge/Renton highland. I have a five bed rooms / 2.75 bath house for rent. Will be available May 1st. ”

    This add apparently is for No Pets also (because the Dogs OK and Cats OK is no checked in listing). Tim, you left out the renting advantage of having an excuse to drop Fido and Fluffy off at the humane society.

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  12. 12

    By Jill Schlicke @ 8:

    I tell my daughters all the time, when they see a really, really cute little tiny baby: “Girls when you see that baby I want you to think of one word: PRISON.

    In my younger days I used to say you could have a choice. Have a kid or buy a new Camaro every year. Not sure why I used the Camaro as an example, because I never wanted one of those.

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  13. 13
    Objective Statement says:

    You may have missed the intentional plan to make private property ownership a thing of the past… hence the coordinated heavy focus on renting, over owning…

    per the Club of Budapest, a leading NGO of the UN —
    http://www.worldshiftnetwork.org/action/subsistence.html

    “We support the development of sustainable, decentralized, that is local, high-tech production, combined with local use of local resources. and the redesign of our monetary system according to a fourfold model: 1) economy of gifting (a basic matriarchal feature), 2) counter-trade (barter) economy, 3) complementary local monetary systems for regional trade, and 4) unified currency (for example called “terra”) for interregional and global trade. In our eyes compound interest has to be abolished. Also the concept of “owning” land must be reconsidered.”

    and also

    from “The Naked Capitalist,” by Leon Skousen…

    “[Carroll Quiqley (central banking insider who took on the role of historical documentarian) expresses the utmost contempt for members of the American middle class who think they can preserve what he calls ‘petty-bourgeois’ property rights and Constitutional privileges.”

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  14. 14
    MM says:

    you missed a big one: I feel like traveling for six months through south america or south east asia, than coming back and working for a year on the east coast, that going back to australia for a few more months than on the west coast for a year and so on….
    o, wait, they don’t teach you that in school when they brain wash you, you have to stay put, buy exorbitantly appreciated assets(that are not worth much because a house built out off paper and cheap wood literally melts out in 20-30 years and cannot be compared with a conc-brick house in europe that lasts for a few hundreds years). They want you to go in debt as much as you can, pay interest all your life and die dirt poor after they took all your assets to provide you with some basic care at the end of your life.
    But how else could live all those leeches live the good life if they could not feed on all the suckers. How could they give themselves 10 000 000 $ bonuses if there were not milions of suckers around to put their retirement funds on wall street and/or buy expensive pieces of nothing so they can work hard and pay all their lives?
    well, the great american dream turns out to be a fata morgana, constantly chasing it as you grow older and more miserable, more hungry and thirsty.
    GIVE THEM HOPE ANT TAKE ALL THEIR MONEY, NAME OF THE GAME. if you’re pour and ignorant…”it’s your fault” wait, i really don’t want to say that, but in the end you can only have those freedoms you are willing to fight and die for, it;s not all your fault that they keep you in ignorance, scare the hell out of you, manipulate and brain wash you. they need you to be stupid and work hard, so they can have it all without any efforts…GOoD LUCK!!!

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  15. 15
    Scotsman says:

    RE: T. Y. Lee @ 3

    Number 11: There could be a body in the back yard. Come on now, what’s the story?

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  16. 16
    David Losh says:

    RE: kfhoz @ 11

    That is a great suggestion for redfin. It makes a lot of sense, and opens up revenue. It’s a service the Real Estate community needs.

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  17. 17
    T. Y. Lee says:

    By Scotsman @ 14:

    RE: T. Y. Lee @ 3

    Number 11: There could be a body in the back yard. Come on now, what’s the story?

    Oh that, LOL! I’ll just link to one of the news stories… (I am pretty sure I’m going straight to hell for laughing that her body was positively identified by her klassy tattooed-on eyebrows, which made her look like a surprised transvestite)

    http://www.lvrj.com/news/man-held-without-bail-in-clark-county-jail-after-extradition-from-philippines-123952824.html

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  18. 18
    Ray Pepper says:

    In this depreciating asset environment the # 1 Reason to NOT BUY A HOME should be:

    You cannot sell it the NEXT day for a profit.

    I know I know…The usual gallery around here says…but Ray…not everyone wants to flip their property…I agree…but…………If your choosing to buy here in 2012 (with all we know about the Shadow Inventory, and MASSIVE Investor Incentives to home owners for Deed in Lieu and Short Sale) you better be ready to take your LUMPS and be a VERY aggressive educated Buyer. You need to prepare yourself for a VERY unpredictable marketplace going forward with incentive after incentive getting thrown at some while others receive nothing. This will lead to continued DISGUST with real estate and will cause millions to question their desire to even own anymore.

    This is why I caution EVERYONE to WALK AWAY from ALL multiple offer scenarios and remember in nearly EVERY scenario……They need to SELL far more then YOU need to BUY!

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  19. 19
    cutienoua says:

    I strongly agree with no 1.
    That , and having 2 properties in a foreign country!

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  20. 20
    Scotsman says:

    RE: T. Y. Lee @ 16

    Renting has it’s hazards too (from your link) :

    “detectives began their investigation when someone renting the house from Cave found the human remains while doing yard work “

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  21. 21
    redmondjp says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 6:

    RE: redmondjp @ 5 – Do you have a high efficiency furnace? I assume you do if it’s a $4,000 furnace. I’ve heard bad things about their longevity. I’m thinking when my 80% furnace dies I’ll get another 80 and if I want more efficiency, a heat pump.

    Yes, it’s a 95% efficient one and that price is installed by a reputable contractor (furnace wholesale is $1500-2000, the rest is installation/profit).

    Yes, if you have the initial cash to do it, a heat pump + supplemental heat (your choice, electric has the cheapest initial cost but you can also use a gas furnace of any efficiency rating) will provide the best cost-benefit ratio over the long run, with the bonus of having central air conditioning for the few weeks a years that you really do need it.

    The problem with the high-efficiency gas furnaces is that you are condensing combustion products in the secondary heat exchanger, and the produced liquid is acidic. Even though both the primary and secondary heat exchangers themselves are stainless steel in my new furnace, the header plate on the secondary exchanger (where all of the condensed liquid comes out) is galvanized steel instead of stainless. This saves a few dollars, but guarantees that eventually that piece of steel will corrode out (all it takes is one tiny spot and it’s ruined and the furnace will shut down because of the resultant air leak). Of course this galvanized part is not available separately from the heat exchanger (which costs so much to replace that you might as well buy a whole new furnace when it fails). The furnace is a Carrier, which is not exactly known as a bargain-basement brand.

    What the above tells me is that new furnaces are not designed to last 30 years like they used to be. They are designed to last about 10 years, which is the typical warranty for the heat exchanger in many cases. True environmentalists should be outraged at this, as at 95% efficiency, that’s about as good as you’re ever going to get (some of the top-end furnaces are claiming 96% now) and way to the right on the diminishing returns curve, so the usual propaganda that we need to upgrade our appliances every X years because the new ones are more efficient is never going to be true for a replacement furnace given that the old one is still running properly. Thus, these new high-efficiency furnaces should be designed to last 20-30 years instead. One can dream, right?

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  22. 22
    SG says:

    RE: kfhoz @ 11 – Have you looked at Zillow recently. They have rentals now.

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  23. 23

    And another reason not to buy a house?
    In most cases, you’re going to have to deal with a real estate agent, and real estate agents give a lot of people the Willies(apologies to Willy Nilly). Doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with just the listing agent or a buyer’s agent, a lot of them just muddle up the process by either steering you to a house you don’t want, or trying to get you to buy a more expensive house, or just being cloyingly pleasant and smiley.

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  24. 24
    Nick says:

    In expansion of #3, even if you could stomach the prospect, if you feel it’s fundamentally a bad investment currently (because the market fundamentals indicate more price decline in the near-term in your analysis), that’s also a valid reason. Just because someone could absorb a loss doesn’t mean they need to, especially if it’s foreseeable.

    I’ll add one as well: If you’re worried about crime, and renting offers more security. For example, if you can’t afford to purchase within a gated/safe community, but you can rent a unit in a larger complex, with additional layers of security. That’s something I’ve considered, even with the condo I purchased.

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  25. 25

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 22 – Don’t forget the loan originators for those not paying cash. Some are nice, but some are really scary!

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  26. 26
    Pegasus says:

    RE: T. Y. Lee @ 16 – So it was a suicide and not an accidental car crash?

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  27. 27
    Blurtman says:

    When buying a house, try to minimize your commute. And try to work from home. For example, do not commute from Sammamish to Seattle. You will be withered.

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  28. 28
    ARDELL says:

    When you said “til death do us part” you didn’t really mean it then…and are quite sure you don’t mean it now, and you can’t afford the house as a single, divorced person.

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  29. 29
    Mr_Cagney says:

    Hi Tim,

    Long time lurker, first time poster and a big fan.
    I would love to get the top 10 reasons why you purchased your home last year; thinking about taking the plunge and would like to understand your thought process.

    Thank you

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  30. 30
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: willynilly @ 7

    start video near the end at about the 8 minutes 40 seconds mark

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfaSq1X2Wpc&feature=relmfu

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  31. 31
    ricklind says:

    What did you miss? I’ll put this in and go back and read the other posts at leisure, but what you missed is the basic economic point that it is cheaper to rent than to buy in many neighborhoods. I guess that I am really just seconding point #2 but emphasizing it.
    Pure economics, plain and simple. We can rent a comparable living space for significantly less than if we buy. When or if we reach the cross over point we will look at buying again.

    We sold a home when we moved to Seattle and still own one in Eugene we rent out at a nice rate. We have cash and an excellent credit score, but are currently working on return of investment rather than return on investment. May step into more rentals.I think we have to be willing to change and do what the market dictates. Has worked for us.

    Best,
    Rick

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  32. 32
    Blurtman says:

    RE: willynilly @ 7

    lick this and lick that lick it all and lick the licking brat
    She don’t want a baby that looks like that
    I don’t want a baby that looks like that

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  33. 33
    Jonness says:

    By Scotsman @ 19:

    RE: T. Y. Lee @ 16

    Renting has it’s hazards too (from your link) :

    “detectives began their investigation when someone renting the house from Cave found the human remains while doing yard work “

    I see that as a positive. That dead guy in the back yard will provide your dog plenty of free bones to play with?

    On a more serious note: You have rented and owned the same house. Can you contrast the differences from your perspective?

    Thanks :)

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  34. 34
    ricklind says:

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 22:

    And another reason not to buy a house?

    In most cases, you’re going to have to deal with a real estate agent, and real estate agents give a lot of people the Willies(apologies to Willy Nilly). Doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with just the listing agent or a buyer’s agent, a lot of them just muddle up the process by either steering you to a house you don’t want, or trying to get you to buy a more expensive house, or just being cloyingly pleasant and smiley.

    Nice post.
    You have essentially NO obligation to work with ANY agent.
    It’s just business. As a non realestate professional, I either pick a good agent and let them work it out, or do it with a good attorney.

    I have been fortunate to choose the agents I have worked with, and aside from one buyer’s attorney (mine) who billed me for 30 min every time we talked for 5 min it was fine. We had a nice conversation about the bar and legal ethics and it got good after that.

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  35. 35
    makahbaywa@aol.com says:

    Every maintenance expense, every tax, every cost associated with owning a rental unit is passed onto the tenant. It’s just folded into the rent.

    In addition you are paying 2 separate people to deal with it all: 1) the landlord acting as a manager, who screens and hires the contractor 2) the contractor himself or herself.

    So yes Virgina, renters pay both property taxes and maintenance expenses. They just pay via an ‘installment plan’ every time they cut a rent check.

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  36. 36
    John Bailo says:

    In some sense, apartment living is the real luxury…having everything done for you.

    If I never had to worry about money, I would simply live in a super nice apartment.

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  37. 37
    wreckingbull says:

    After being an owner again, I have to say I am really torn. I no longer spend my Saturdays fishing or my vacation and weekends traveling. Redmondjp really brings up my most important consideration – time. If you have the money to pay someone else for maintenance, you can stop reading. Otherwise I part with this:

    When you are on your dying bed and look back on your life, will you look back and say “wow I sure lived in a nice home and was able to paint the walls myself” or “wow what a great set of experiences I had”.

    Maybe owning a home gives you those experiences. For me, I’m not so sure.

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  38. 38
    Rumpole says:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 37

    On the other hand, we spent 3 years restoring the 1885 townhouse we bought and lived in; getting that old GEM to shine again was a very satisfying experience, both as a hobby and as a contribution to our neighborhood.

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  39. 39

    By John Bailo @ 36:

    In some sense, apartment living is the real luxury…having everything done for you.

    If I never had to worry about money, I would simply live in a super nice apartment.

    I think part of it is age related. In my 20s and early 30s I appreciated not having to do yard work while I lived in a condo. In my 40s and 50s I actually look forward to nice weather when I can do yard work. Gardening is a hobby for many.

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  40. 40
    No Name Guy says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 39

    I’m with you Kary. I actually ENJOY getting out and mowing the lawn, for example. Mind you, it’s not a huge lawn….it’s also not a tiny, useless postage stamp….it’s just right sized.

    I’m also enjoying all the daffodils that the GF and I planted last fall (and in preceding years). And the tulips are coming up nicely (again, added to last fall with the GF, plus a bunch from preceding years). And the lilies are coming along well. And all the rest of the flowering foliage that adorns the yard.

    And the garden starts will get transplanted outside in another week or so and come summer we’ll harvest a bounty of fresh vegetables from our own yard.

    Like so many things, there’s pros and cons to any choice in life. Its finding the right balance for the individual – to live purposefully. Each person needs to look within, and for many, the list The Tim posted (plus the other points that commenters added to) will dominate what’s important to them. For others, owning (and I mean TRUE owning, as in free and clear) will be their purposeful way of housing themselves.

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  41. 41
    kfhoz says:

    By SG @ 22:

    RE: kfhoz @ 11 – Have you looked at Zillow recently. They have rentals now.

    Thanks! No, I had not seen the rentals on Zillow before.

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  42. 42
    phil says:

    #11. Today’s low interest rates will go up as the economy improves, acting as a drag on home price increases.

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  43. 43
    ChrisM says:

    Interesting that no one brought up property taxes, one of my bugaboos. Buyers are forced to suck the increased property taxes when idiot voters approve levy after levy. Renters can bail if need be (by relocating outside of the taxing district).

    Looking at Portland, I can guarantee property taxes (as well as sewer & water) will dramatically increase in the next 10+ years to pay for idiotic govt pensions. Homeowners will be stuck. Wise homebuyers will research their city/county finances before buying.

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  44. 44
    ARDELL says:

    RE: ChrisM @ 43

    If you rent the house vs buy it, the property taxes still have to be paid from the money you give to the owner every month. The only difference is he gets the tax deduction for taxes paid and not you.

    Same with all the “time” factors above. The grass still has to be mowed and the flowers tended to. The owner isn’t coming around every day to take care of the house you are renting. If “mowing” is included…you are still paying for it to be mowed in the rent payment.

    Are people saying they would let the grass grow 2 feet tall if they were renting the house vs if they buy it? They would let the weeds take over if they are renting it vs buying it?

    How do these things change if you are renting the same house you would buy?

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  45. 45
    Johan says:

    There’s an ex-Wall St. investor type who owned a condo in Manhattan who had something to say about home ownership.

    http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2011/03/why-i-am-never-going-to-own-a-home-again/

    In many ways, it does not make sense to buy a house. You have to do a ton of maintenance, you have to replace at least two pieces of expensive machinery every 5-10 years, be it your car, washing machine, dryer, furnace, etc. You have to do external maintenance, and keep up with the HOA and the Joneses because you won’t be able to sell otherwise (unless you live in a hot area, like Seattle north of I-90, where it seems a shack will sell for 600,000).

    For me, I’m about to close on a townhome in Mukilteo. It’s great. It’s got 3 bedrooms, enough space for me and the wife and future children, it’s got great schools, and best of all, no external maintenance, and there’s a HOA which is well-financed and the management company cares if the owners can sell. There’s also a great family atmosphere in the area.

    My point here is it makes loads of sense to own a house in the suburbs if you don’t have to commute downtown. If you work downtown, I would suggest buying a condo or a townhome instead of a house, mainly because I think many Seattle homes are shabby and also because they’re too expensive.

    Then there’s personal reasons. Mine: I F-ING HATE RENTERS! Here’s a short list of annoyances and general low-class behavior I’ve experienced in my time renting:

    1) Stealing weights from the weight room
    2) Having a drunken party at least three times a month and at least one of those times one of their friends throws the fire alarm at 4 AM
    3) People simply don’t know how to walk anymore: I can hear my upstairs neighbor walking like an elephant at all hours
    4) People don’t read 1st grade english. I live near a gate which serves ostensibly to prevent random people from walking through our courtyards and common areas. It says quite plainly “Close gate gently.” Does anyone actually do that? No. They let it slam shut with a loud BANG! Looks like I have to yell at more people this year before I move.
    5) Remember that workout room with the weights? It also has a sauna. Would be nice. Once someone thought it great to pee in the hot stones, which stunk up the workout room for a week. Management didn’t believe me. I guess the maintenance folks eventually cleaned it up, but still.
    6) About those courtyards … there’s dog chocolate everywhere in every season. Next time I encounter my neighbor’s dog unleashed chocolateting on the pavement I’m kicking it hard.
    7) Noise transmits in funny ways. There is a new shop that opened underneath my complex, and I heard every nail and every bang. Which is funny because it’s clear across the complex.
    8) When I lived in the U district, a bum made my front porch home for about a week before the cops finally came and kicked him out. I asked him to leave many times and he was just like “WHA CHU MEAN ITS PUBLIC PRAPERTY *HIC* *passes out*” Once he was really tweaked and was screaming incoherently. That’s when the cops finally took him away.
    9) Someone followed my wife home in the U district, and again, more people living in higher density doesn’t provide protection – it just makes a more target rich environment.
    10 ) Nobody knows anybody.

    Generally speaking, renters are ignorant, irresponsible, low class individuals and I’d rather not be around them any longer.

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  46. 46
    NoahFect says:

    RE: Johan @ 45 – Got some bad news for you, bro’. Based on your list of gripes, your level of happiness has little or nothing to do with where you’re living.

    Oh, and you might consider kicking the owner’s ass in scenario #6 above, rather than the dog’s. The dog is not the responsible party.

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  47. 47
    ChrisM says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 44 – Well, my point was that a renter could be selective & flexible about the taxation district they resided in. A houseowner is rather more locked in.

    Let’s look at the Portland Oregon area. The city of Portland actually resides in two counties, Multnomah and Washington. IMO, Multnomah county has significant long-term financial problems which can only be solved by property taxes (unless it gets bad enough for the state to institute a sales tax).

    If one merely wishes to live near Portland, there are tax benefits to living, say, in unincorporated areas or nearby communities (such as Vancouver), as Portland also has onerous property taxes due to inept management. In addition, Portland, a city of rain, has incredibly high water rates, again due to inept management.

    Someone blindly purchasing a property may come to regret the decision after the first two or three property tax bills, but at that point they’re stuck.

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  48. 48
    Scotsman says:

    RE: NoahFect @ 46

    Agreed- there’s a lot going on there, but little of it has to do with housing.

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  49. 49
    Peter Witting says:

    RE: Johan @ 45 – No matter where you go, there you are.

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  50. 50
    Peter Witting says:

    RE: Johan @ 45
    ““Close gate gently.” Does anyone actually do that? No. They let it slam shut with a loud BANG! Looks like I have to yell at more people this year before I move.”

    This sounds (heh) like a structural complaint that could easily be remedied with a small, adhesive rubber pad, to absorb the shock of the clang and absorb the sound of the bang. But that wouldn’t be as satisfying as the ongoing annoyance you enjoy now.

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  51. 51
    Johan says:

    My point is that renters have very little sense of responsibility and thus don’t feel the need to sustain or maintain or take care of using common decency anything that is common to the rest of the renters.

    In short – it’s a human problem. You’re 100% agreed that there’s only 1-2 structural complaints; in fact cosmetically my apartment is great. But the other renters make living here stink.

    When I own my own place, if there’s a human problem, most likely, it’ll be family related. I’d rather be yelling at my own kids than my neighbor with the chocolate factory yappy dog. And that to me is the biggest reason I want to own my own place. Thus, owning my own place, I trade many of the human problems I currently have to suffer through for material problems.

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  52. 52
    ChrisM says:

    RE: Johan @ 45 – Well, to start off, it seems like you should be differentiating between those who rent apartments vs. those who rent houses.

    Try renting a house – you’ll find that renting a house avoids all of the problems in your troll, er, post.

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  53. 53
    VanBubble says:

    RE: patient @ 2
    You sound exactly like me. I save $1k a month renting and have saved $200k down payment. The more I save, the more protective I am of my nest egg. Buying would have to be a no brainer for me to jump in, and that means clearly cheaper to own than to rent. When such is the case you have a sense of freedom knowing you could rent it out if necessary bleeding.

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  54. 54
  55. 55
    pnwman says:

    Hey I posted a link and it’s not showing up. When I re-post it says it’s a duplicate post. Why is that?

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  56. 56
    The Tim says:

    RE: pnwman @ 55 – It got caught by the automatic spam filter, probably because it was just the link with no other text in the comment. I manually un-flagged it for you.

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