1. Freedom and Flexibility: When I got an offer to move to Germany, housing was not an issue. Yes, Seattle is a hot market so renting a house out would have not been a problem. In fact, we ended up sub-letting our apartment while we were gone. The major point here is we enjoy absolute freedom to move around. If I ever lost my job and needed to move for a new job, boom not a problem. If the economy flat out tanked and we were out of work for a long time and we needed to downsize our costs, we could simply give notice and find a cheaper joint to rent. If an amazing opportunity comes up, I do not need to worry about selling or renting out a house and all of the bull shit that comes with it. For us, freedom is important.
2. My Weekends Are Free: No housework here. I often talk to friends and colleagues about what their plans for the weekend are. Anyone who owns a house usually lets me know they have chores, household upgrades or gardening and mowing to do. That sounds absolutely miserable to me. Do not get me wrong, I understand some people love gardening and tinkering around the house. I do not. My wife does not. We did not break down to the pressure to buy a house because nothing about the experience attracted either one of us. We have lived abroad enough to know there are many countries where renting is the norm and we accept our place in life. Could we afford it, sure! However; a life full of home projects sounds like a slow bleed out to me. I do not want to put one fucking penny into a broken toilet a boring ass kitchen remodel or a goddamn roof that blew off during the latest thunderstorms. For all of you who love this type of stuff, have fun! I will throw the money saved into a index fund account and use it on long stays in Portugal or Poland.
3. Easier to Live Closer to Work: I flat out can not afford to buy a house in my neighborhood. 2 bedroom 1 bathroom condos are going for $350,000. I am sorry but no way we are going to do that. If you were born and raised in an expensive city, that might seem reasonable to you. We come from Cleveland where most people pay in between $75,000-$125,000 for their first homes. We are never going to pay outrageous sums of money period. One of my favorite things about renting is I can afford to live close to where I work. The rent is high but nothing like the long term commitment of buying in our neighborhood. We are comfortable renting and I walk to work. Not needing to drive means we can keep our 10 year old Kia Rio with 145,000 miles and a mirror hanging off thanks to some dumb dick asshole who bashed it and did not leave a note. **side note we did get mirror replaced*** We keep liability insurance and use about $15 a month for gas. If it dies, we will not get a new car for now. The ability to walk to work is probably worth in between $500-$1,000 a month depending on how you grade time, expenses of needing a newer reliable car and the expenses with upkeep and insurance. Having the ability to work close to home is amazing and I will never make the mistake of doing anything different again.
4. Financial Freedom Dream: We want to see the world and live in different countries. I know there are plenty of people who retired early or hit financial independence who own homes and travel. That is great. I do not want the worry. I will take the market route and invest. I know there will be highs and lows but we can manage that by doing part time and seasonal work as needed in downturns. Our goal is to probably live in cheaper European cities in Poland or southern cities in Portugal half the year and stat the rest in Cleveland. We have family in Cleveland and will probably work with them to figure out our staying patterns. Our main goal for financial independence is slow chilled days waking up in cool European atmospheres. Owning a home in the USA does not play into that goal right now. Geographic arbitrage is the idea folks.
Conclusion: What do you say? Anyone else out there who agrees that renting is better? What reasons do you have? Who owns and thinks I am a tremendous asshole for not owning?