My former 1,300 square foot burden
You probably know all the reasons home ownership is a great thing, so I won’t rehash that here. Instead, I’m going to explain why homeownership wasn’t the fulfillment of a dream for me.
I was a happy renter for the first couple of decades of my adult life. I had shelter, comfort, and a place for my stuff, and, best of all, freedom. When I wanted to live somewhere new, seek opportunities elsewhere, shorten my commute, I didn’t think, “Crap, I need to sell the house first.” I could simply give notice, pack up my stuff, collect my deposit and go. What’s more, I could rent in neighborhoods that were much nicer than the areas where I could afford to buy.
But everyone was telling my I was crazy and irresponsible.
“You’re just throwing that rent money away instead of building equity and wealth!”
“Think of the tax deductions, man!”
“Adults buy, losers rent!”
I eventually succumbed to the arguments.
It was nice having privacy and total control of my environment. I could turn the stereo up, work on motorcycles, paint the walls whatever color I wanted, make improvements…
After a few years, though, none of that seemed worth what I’d given up. My life options had decreased and my obligations had increased. I was less free. About halfway through my seventeen years as a homeowner I started counting down to retirement and getting rid of the house.
I was euphoric when I picked up the check from the escrow company—not just because it was the largest check to ever have my name on it, but because I was no longer obliged to anyone. I was my own man.