I have nothing against homeownership, but it isn't right for everyone. Obviously it isn't right for people who can't afford their mortgages after the teaser rate expires. It isn't right for people who need more geographic mobility due to the nature of their jobs or other reasons. It isn't right for people who don't want to invest time in being the "super" of their own building; houses require significant upkeep to main a roughly constant level of quality.Look, I spent the first 18 years of my life in a home that my mother now owns outright. And though she might disagree, I think I spent enough time mowing the yard, watering the lawn and cleaning out the garage to complain about the difficulty in keeping up a house.
And to think: I never even paid insurance, property taxes or community fees. Not to mention the repairs needed for glass windows I broke in our garage door, or to replace the mailbox when our neighbor repeatedly drove over it in his monster pickup, or to fix the roof after another one of Houston's summer tsunamis.
To be frank, the First Lady and I disagree on the importance of owning a home. I don't disagree enough that I won't eventually relent and start pumping a hefty percentage of my paycheck into four or five-bedroom home on an overpriced piece of land someday. I understand that there's some benefit to being the "super" of your own building. But make no mistake: I see home ownership, in many ways, as a great financial boondoggle.
There's just as many drawbacks: it's a hefty anchor for people in professions that value mobility, the upkeep of a home can be extremely costly, and home owners really have limited influence on the value of their property given that neighborhoods can change dramatically within a span of 10 years. My old childhood neighborhood is a perfect example of this.
Eh. I should stop. It is Valentine's Day, after all. But you all know what I'm saying ...
Also, keep in mind: I'm a guy who has lived in five cities in the past eight years. In many ways, I'm a believer in the adage that "roots are for vegetables" and have little interest in the "profound romance in seeing nothing and going nowhere."
Here's a few folks, even smarter than me (believe it or not!), making the case against homeownership here and here and here.