Re: Own vs Rent
From: Catherine Harper (tylikeskimo.com)
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2000 12:56:41 -0700 (MST)
On Sun, 9 Jan 2000, Sharon Villines wrote:

> I also know many bankers and investors who say that owning real estate
> is a personal issue, not a cost-savings issue. It is universally
> cheaper to rent unless you are a developer--and even then it is iffy.

I'm wondering how you'd get a hold on the variables involved.  What people
rent and what people own are not usually comparable -- most people I know
who are renting pay less on their rent than we do on our mortgage.  On the
other hand, they have smaller living spaces, smaller or no yards, less
cool features...  in general, people seem happier to settle for less when
they're renting.  (I'm thinking primarily of people with similar incomes.)

We live in an area where housing prices have been increasing rapidly.  We
couldn't rent anything close to what we own for similar monthly fees.  (We
lucked out an got a house in the boonies right before those boonies
stopped being boonies and became relatively fashionable.  Obviously, no
one noticed we'd moved in.)  Throw in the tax advantages... and as far as
I can tell, our house, in our situation, has been a pretty darned good
investment.  In some ways an annoyingly good investment -- when we got the
place, several friends of ours who were also saving up for houses were
looking at buying places close to ours.  By the time they were ready to
move, they'd been priced out of the neighborhood.  (Even though many of
them ended up spending more on their places than we had on ours
originally.)

Mind you, we didn't really buy it as an investment, we did indeed buy it
primarily for emotional reasons.

                                Catherine

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