Renting vs. Buying

Thursday, September 25, 2003
I had all these things I wanted to talk about before but forgot all of them. Oh well.

Today's topic is renting vs buying. The age old question that doesn't seem to have an answer. Are you one of those people who believe that renting an apartment is like throwing you money out the window? I use to be one of those people but I'm recently converted. Let me explain why.

Renting has MANY advantages. Chief among those

1. It's less expensive
2. You don't have to do your own repairs
3. You have freedom to move

You really can't underestimate the last two. I would eventually like to own my own home. I'm the type of guy that would be very much into fixing up my own home and being able to decorate the way I want to. However, when I thought about it I realized that I'm definitely not in the position to buy a house. It's not that I can't afford it, I probably could if I tried, but it really doesn't make any sense for me to. Here's why.

I have no idea what I'm going to be doing or where I will be in the next 5 years. At this age, I think it is really important to keep you options open. Buying a house locks you down for at least the next 5 years. It is pointless to buy a house only to sell it within 3 years because for the first 3 years you are paying mostly the interest and very little of the principle. If you do need to move you basically burned even more money by just handing it over to the bank, the real estate agents (Don't forget closing cost which can run Thousands of dollars), and insurance agents.

What if I get a great job offer in Seattle? The nice thing about my situation right now is that I could take it without much though. Not only do I not have a family but I don't have a house I have to sell. Freedom has its price, and for now, it is well worth it.