On Being a Renter

I am far from an expert on purchasing and owning a home. In fact, I would venture to guess that most people could tell you more about how escrow and mortgages work than I could. Here is what I do know, I am not ready to own a home.

I have many reasons for this. First, I read horror stories like Dave Erikson’s ongoing ordeal with Bank of America and trying to buy a home. And it’s not exactly like he is alone in problems with banks, real estate agents and home sellers. One of my favorite bloggers, Dooce just wrote about her own home buying fiasco. These kinds of tales of woe not only piss me off on behalf of the poor souls that simply wanted a home of their own, but freak me out. So that is my first reason, the whole home buying process seems overly complicated. And the possibility of my putting my personal finances in mortal danger seems just way to big to contend with right now.

Second, I enjoy the perks of renting. What perks you ask? My friends and family know of my many rants about the downsides of renting. And they do exist. I have dealt with my own ordeals in renting in the 9 years of being a renter. And I rather hate shared laundry rooms. I do however, enjoy when my plumbing is going wacky being able to e-mail the manager and then she deals with it. I don’t even have to take a day off work to wait for the plumber to show up. I also really like the flexibility of being about to decide tomorrow I want to move and doing it with much less hassle than selling my home, finding another one…see reason number one.

I often tell people I feel that owning a home requires more commitment than marriage. When I decided to marry Mr. Read the only thing I considered was whether he was right for me. I didn’t consider if in a few years I didn’t want him anymore if anyone would be willing to take him off my hands. However, in buying a home you must consider not only if YOU like the house but if you will ever be able to sell it in the future. I have known more than one person who desperately wanted to move but due to quirks in their home like size or location it remained on the market a very long time. In addition, when I married Mr. Read I knew he was mobile. I knew if we got jobs else where in the city we could make compromises and move to make commutes more reasonable. With a house, if you get a new job at a new location you either have to grin and bear a potentially long commute or…move. Going through what seems to be an awful process all over again.

Perhaps I just watched the movie The Money Pit one too many times but to me, I am not ready to put my heart and soul into a brick and mortar location. Not yet at least.

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