15 November, 2009

Five myths about homeownership

Great story at washingtonpost.com. The five myths are:

  1. Housing is a great long-term investment.
  2. The homebuyer tax credit makes buying a house more affordable.
  3. Homeownership is good for society because owners make better citizens.
  4. It's safe to buy a house with a very low down payment.
  5. Owning a home is cheaper than renting one because you save on rent.
On the other hand, the article also makes an observation that (in my case) mitigates all these myths:
Most of the return from owning your home comes not in financial gains but in the benefits you enjoy by living there.
The primary reason I bought a house was so that my wife and kids would have a yard to play in and grow food in, wouldn't have to worry about loud neighbors, or neighbors' complaints that we were too loud (the only complaint I've ever received was when my son jumped on and off furniture), and so forth.

But I have such a worrisome personality that every defect in my house sets off alarm bells in my head. Since buying a home, I've started noticing defects not only in my home, but in other people's homes as well. In houses that once would have looked perfect, I now spot non-level stone walls or accessories, cracks in walls and ceilings, rotting eaves, soffits, or wood, joint tape peeling from ceiling corners, and so forth. I don't mean bad things, either; mere minor defects pop up on my radar. I don't generally say anything; I'm not stupid.

But it's completely destroyed my view of the world. I'm not exactly complaining, but…

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