It's not about the house.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday Sidebar

We interrupt this Kitchen Nightmare to muse on a few unrelated issues, whilst my brain takes an unapproved Sunday vacation.

1. I'm blogging over here today. It's not the best thing I've ever written, but I'm blaming that on Andy.

2. I had a dentist appointment yesterday. Turns out I have to have the surgery again. I'm not as upset about this as I ought to be, because -- considering the date on which this whole ordeal began -- I had been a little nervous about putting it behind me before... before...

Well, being of a superstitious nature when it comes to Certain Things, I can't allow myself to say exactly before what. Let's just allow as how I don't so much mind that I won't be finished with the dental drama by the time February rolls around. That way I can't be blamed if everything goes all to hell.

And I will be expecting thank-yous for my extended suffering if it does not.

3. Speaking of which: thank you, GQ! From this month's "Men + Money" column (not available for linking, unfortunately):

How many people have told you that renting is just throwing your money away, that you're not a real grown-up until you own a home, that buying a house is the surest way to achieve financial stability? We've got news for you: those people are full of crap.

This article says everything that I've been saying (and getting pshawed at for saying) for four years: My mortage costs twice as much as my rent did, and 99% of it is thrown away on interest and taxes; any equity I'm building up is offset by repairs and never-claimed-on insurance premiums; any increase in property value (which itself is not a given, anymore) will be balanced out by inflation rates and cost of living increases.

In short: owning a home ain't the cash cow it's made out to be. And I'm glad to have some official backup to my argument at last.

Unfortunately, if I'd known this four and a half years ago instead of only four, we could have saved ourselves a lot of kicking and screaming. And money. And time. And my brain might work a little better of a Sunday morning...

4 comments:

Vanessa said...

Thanks for the house owning info. I have someone, ok well its my mother, who bugs me relentlessly to buy instead of renting a house. You will never have anything to show for it otherwise, she says. I am showing her your post next time she brings it up. Thanks for the ammo!

cuz donna said...

aw come on. You grew up in a single family and then went to dorm/apartment dwelling... Isn't knowing that the noise in your house is your own noise. Even if it comes from the stove or the furnace or the radiator or the...

theotherbear said...

I think it depends where you live. And yes, whether you buy a renovator's delight or something more sensible. (You already know I got the former too, so I am not poking fun at you.)
While we've certainly put more money into our house than we would have in rent, our house has increased in value by about 35%, and since we've paid the mortgage off we now have no regular payments to make. If we'd not made all those huge (and yes, painful) payments, we would have spent it on fripperies - it's not like it'd be in a savings account somewhere. It's like 'forced savings'.

EGE said...

Yipe! I didn't mean to start a whole big debate -- mostly I was just saying nyeah nyeah to my dad. So...

Vanessa -- Rock on, sister!

Donna -- Honestly? Sometimes. Then the bills come in, and I remember that I could just as easily be RENTING a house and not have upstairs neighbors, either...

TOB -- Oh sure, if I'd paid off my mortage in full I'd be singing a different tune, too. Check back with me in 35-40 years!