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22 Aug 2011

Buy or Rent a Home

I still have to think hard before I respond to the question of whether one should buy or rent a home. There is definitely no “one size fits all”. Even with countless debates around the value of home ownership in economic forums, we still have no one answer for all.

In the 19th and early 20th century home was seen as a shelter and provision for comfort. In a way, home buying was never a debated issue. Today, we see our homes mainly as an investment, ironically. We live in money in other words. The decision on where to stay is based on the growth in the value of the home, rather than the homeliness of the suburb/ or area. It sounds so awkward but that’s just what it is. 

For now, I will live in a mortgaged home. And I say this not because I have anything against anyone who rents by choice, but because I see my home as an investment. The thought of owning and renting it out some day gives me unbelievable satisfaction. It’s more a psychological satisfaction. Most of my rental units were once my homes at some point. I really belong in the “own your home” era. I am not that liberal like the current generation, which believes in renting by choice. I feel totally in control when I pay mortgage rather than rent. 

I have to admit though; the financial objectivity of the current young professionals and families is quite impressive. The analysis of the pros and cons makes one think and re-think their decision. Renting can make so much sense when one is a stock investor. Renters seem to be non-traditional, liberal and happy care-free people. This is the time I just want to be conservative and hold on to the past beliefs. I choose to buy and not rent my home. That’s the only way I built my portfolio. For me, it’s not really just a home, but a business.

Have you been in a “Buy or Rent a Home” debate in your circles too?

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