Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Renting Genius

The Times front page backs my lifestyle up today, and makes me feel better about being the loser who doesn't own my own home at the age of 37.
In a stark reversal, it’s now clear that people who chose renting over buying in the last two years made the right move. In much of the country, including large parts of the Northeast, California, Florida and the Southwest, recent home buyers have faced higher monthly costs than renters and have lost money on their investment in the meantime. It’s almost as if they have thrown money away, an insult once reserved for renters.

Most striking, perhaps, is the fact that prices may not yet have fallen far enough for buying to look better than renting today, except for people who plan to stay in a home for many years.

Using the nifty calculator thingie, I discover that given my current rent, and assuming I could even find somewhere to buy for $300,000 (ha), buying is only better than renting for me after 30 years! And this is if the house value rises by 3% annually, and if my rent increases at 2% a year (which it doesn't.)

Right. So that's why I'm putting in a garden and wood flooring pronto into a place I don't own.

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