Look, I get it. All of your friends are buying houses. They have adorable little white picket fences, and their dogs are happy and there’s music playing in the background.
My friends are doing that too. They have awesome houses, big TVs, and lots of space. Yet, I’m not tempted to buy a home because I’m simply not ready. It takes an enormous investment to purchase a home, and you have to be willing to set down some roots. I’m not sure where I even want to live yet, let alone what neighborhoods or school districts I want to strategically choose. However there are thousands of people my age who are doing just that, but that doesn’t mean that we should too.
Even if you are tempted by everyone’s ability to snag their own piece of the home ownership pie, below are some reasons I’m not buying a house right now and why you shouldn’t either.
1. Houses are Not Liquid.
If you get into a position where you need money right now, you can sell your stocks. You can even sell your clothes quickly. You cannot sell your house quickly. Sure, some people do, but there is usually all this paperwork involved, and if you are financially stressed, chances are you don’t want to add selling your house to that list. Everyone thinks buying a house is the best. investment. ever. but the truth is that it’s an investment you have to hold on to for quite some time without much return. Then, when you want to sell your house, you often take your profits and just use them towards another down payment, making it so you never see that money for years to come.
Related: 15 Hidden Costs Of Owning A Home
2. Houses Make You Stuck in One Place.
Did you just get an amazing job offer in Hawaii? Did your boyfriend move to a different state and wants you to move with him? Sorry, you own a house! You are stuck – at least, you are stuck for a little while. That’s why renting is so great, because the worst that can happen is that you will have to lose your deposit and upset your landlord. Renting enables you to pack up and leave whenever you want. If one of your parents is sick, you can move home and be with them for a while. If your sister gives birth to twins, you can go and be her live in nanny if you want. Basically, whatever you choose in life, renting gives you that freedom to pop from place to place. Home ownership does not, and that’s the main reason why I am not ready for it just yet.
3. Houses Require Time and Money to Fix Things.
I don’t really know how to fix things, and I don’t really want to waste time finding out either. My weekends should be filled with relaxing times out with friends and a wild and crazy night of board games. Fixing toilets, kitchens, leaky faucets, and broken patios is very time consuming, expensive, and not exactly how I want to spend my weekends. Of course, when you rent, you just call your landlords and have them take care of it. When you own the house, you have to look up contractors and get quotes from plumbers and make sure someone is there in the house when they come. Wouldn’t you rather just order a pizza and have a relaxing weekend while your landlord fixes the issue? I know I would, so I’m not buying a house until I have the time and energy to devote to its upkeep.
4. Houses Require Down Payments (and other fees).
Buying a house is expensive, and that’s an understatement! If you don’t want to pay for private mortgage insurance, you have to come up with 20% of your home’s cost. That’s a ton of money to put into buying something. Sure, it’s an investment, but like I said previously, that investment takes a while to appreciate and benefit from. For right now, renting is great because you don’t have to write a check for $50,000 just to get the keys to the front door. Plus, there are all sorts of other hidden fees people don’t consider like credit checks, home inspections, lawyer fees, closing costs, and buying new furniture. No thanks; I’ll enjoy my rental and my second hand furniture for a little while longer.
5. Houses Don’t Let You Pick Your Neighbors.
When you rent and you have terrible neighbors, you can move to another apartment in the complex or just have your neighbors kicked out of the community for being disruptive. When you buy your house, you are stuck with the busy body across the street who always asks you where you are going. It’s probably frowned upon to interview the neighbors when you are thinking about buying a house, but with an apartment community, you can walk around the premises with the manager and see what type of people live there without it being weird.
6. Houses Are Expensive To Renovate.
When you get married and you have kids, you can just move into a bigger apartment. When you own a house, you might be tempted to add on another room or renovate it completely. All of those things cost significant time and money, and it’s really hard to live in a house when the bathroom and kitchen are being remodeled. If you want stainless steel appliances or an extra bathroom as a renter, just move to a nicer place.
Ultimately, buying a house isn’t for everyone. It requires significant thought, investment, and time to do it right, and if you aren’t ready for that, then don’t do it. Buying a house is a commitment and many people are much happier when they own their own piece of property. However, many more will feel constrained by the high costs and the inability to move easily, so take a good hard look at your lifestyle and what you want for your future before you take the plunge.