Thursday, July 11, 2013

I want a house!

As a long time leaser of apartments, I am beginning to get some major jealousy about the fact that practically everyone I know has a house. Why I want a house:

1) More space

2) Backyard

3) Fixed payments

4) Probably some other financial benefits

5) Everyone else has one

Here's why I don't want a house:

1) Harder to just up and go

2) Fear of commitment

3) No built-in maintenance or snow removal

4) Fear of stairs

5) Fear of houses (I've never lived in one)

I wonder if a house is in my future. It seems like a natural part of growing up...

19 comments:

  1. I have only lived in apartments for two years out of my life. I can't imagine going back to one. We spend so much time in our backyard that it alone is worth the hassle of snow removal and lawn cutting.

    To me, apartments are where you live when you're young and single or just starting out. When you have a family, you get a house. Not a judgement on those who live in apartments, it's just a social norm here to either rent or buy a house when you're on your own and out of school. Living in apartments with kids as something other than a temporary thing seems strange to me because it's quite outside my experience.

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    1. I have spent over 30 years living in apartments, so that's the norm to me. We have a "backyard"/playground that's shared with many other people, which has pros and cons. Pros being that my kids have playmates all the time. Cons being we have to share.

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    2. Wow, Kay! Lucky you! Maybe you've never lived in New York or LA where buying the cheapest house is 300K...maybe more now.

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  2. You could always get a condo or a villa where you pay a home owners association fee that covers snow removal, lawn care and landscaping or hire out for the things you really hate. Mowing sucks more than snow removal in our world! I lived in apartments for about 7 years, but have otherwise been in houses. The only bonus of renting I miss is the free repairs and yard care. The rest sucked.

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  3. I'm no expert, but I have owned and lived in houses all my adult life. Like most things, it's a double edged sword. Houses can be real money pits. If something goes wrong, needs replacement - you're on your own, no landlord to call.

    Used to be a good investment - not as much of a sure thing anymore. My parents easily doubled their money the 3 times they bought/sold their houses...those days are pretty much over.

    You could try renting a house with a yard...might be a nice way to have it both ways. No real commitment, but it would satisfy most items on your "want" list.

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    1. Agree with the above.

      And actually I kind of hate being a homeowner. The upkeep sucks. Cleaning the gutter, mowing the lawn, trimming the bushes, fixing the plumbing. The repairs suck too. We bought a solid house made in the 50s. Less than a year after moving in, we had to spend almost $4500 on plumbing. We also spent almost $9000 in a new roof. We've had to replace 4 major appliances. Money goes down the drain.

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    2. Rent money goes down the drain. A house you own, you can sell , and at least break even when selling. A roof is supposed to last 20 years to 100 years depending on what kind of material you invest in. Owning a house/property is the chance to change from a Proletariat to a Bourgeoisie. Imagine one of your grown children taking charge of the house one day and raising their children in it, and so on.

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  4. I am 34 years old, in practice x 5 years, living in the midwest where home ownership is the norm. On my 3rd house in 3rd city (residency, first job, now second job.) I HATE home ownership. If my husband would go for it, would totally rent.

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    1. but she's not in the midwest ;)

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    2. Actually, I am at the moment. And most people I know own houses, but I still manage to rent.

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  5. I like to tell people that owning a home is the American Dream only if your dream is to be a full-time handyman. OK, that's probably too cynical because there are nice things about having your own home. You're right: it's a double-edged sword.

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  6. To me, it's the yard and privacy. I hated being able to hear my neighbors and worry that my neighbors heard me. The privacy about being able to sit in the back yard in my PJs and drink my morning tea is worth the grass cutting hassle. Now, if I just scheduled a lawn service I'd have even more time to lounge in the backyard hammock. Plus, dog in apartment - never again.

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    1. I don't have a dog.

      I do have a porch where I could sit in my PJs.... as long as not TOO revealing.... ;)

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  7. fear of houses is definitely the one reason not to own a house

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  8. Not sure I'd recommend the condo/villa with a strata. We've been in two. Just as there are all types of people in the world, there are all types in stratas. If you end up in a poorly run strata or with a bunch of wacky neighbours, it's not too easy to just get up and move.

    I'd second the suggestion to rent a house to try it out.

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  9. You know you're a physiatrist when you have a fear of stairs.

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  10. I wish my wife wouldn't have insisted on a house right now in our lives. I'm still in school, I know we will be moving in a couple years. I don't see the hassle of owning a home right now. I'm with you in liking the advantage of just getting up and go.

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  11. After almost a decade of apartment dwelling, we bought our first home a few years ago. Like you, we had so much envy towards everyone who had homes. And especially with two noisy kids, apartments were awful. Yes, the house is a lot of work. But the space, the not sharing a wall with anyone, our own backyard, getting to paint and update anyway we want, having a wall to mark off our kids' height as they grow. I wouldn't want it any other way.

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  12. I bought into that whole home-ownership thing just before we had children, mostly because of the benefits bestowed on us by my ex-husband's employer. We owned two homes over 30 years, and I think I am glad that we did, and I know that the kids liked it growing up. Our house was always overrun with them and their friends as well as the odd assortment of two-legged and four-legged outcasts. There are two other reasons to own: (1) The MAJOR tax benefits; and (2) the monthly outlay can be less than rent (at least, here in the Boston area). Depending where you live, though, you cannot really guarantee a stable monthly expense because of that bugaboo, property taxes. Mine escaladed rapidly in the years in the second house. The other major reason not to own is - maintenance. It takes a lot of time and/or a lot of money. I finally left the big house when my knee could not take it any more (how much do you like carting laundry up and down two 13-step flights of stairs?) I got a knee replacement and live in a beautiful apartment and feel relief. TCG

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