There are renters and home owners. I am currently a renter. Why? Because –
1) Market prices are way over and above the fundamentals
2) It’s cheaper to rent than to buy a home of similar caliber
3) No strings attached
I am a renter and I’m not ashamed to declare it. In the olden days, homeowners were well respected and held in high regard because it meant they were responsible enough to save for a down payment and have a stable income to purchase a home. In a sense, they’ve “made it.” Renters on the other hand were often deemed the lower class of society because they did not, or could not, own their residence. This notion was thrown entirely out of the window during the bubble when anyone and everyone could get a home loan if they so desired.
As a renter I’m often subjected to condescending remarks from homeowners who think they are somehow superior to me simply because I am a renter. Their smirk remarks around the cocktail table about how they’ve built a “mountain of equity” or that smug look on their face as they show off their new Hummer which was bought with a HELOC just makes my blood boil. It’s as if I’m being incredibly stupid for not indulging in their financially unsustainable lifestyle when in fact I’m just being the fiscally responsible person they’re not.
Being a real estate Scrooge the last few years, I understand how some folks might label me as a bitter renter, but I disagree. Sure I’d love to purchase my own home – for the right price. I rent because it makes sense to rent. I simply ran the numbers and decided that the money I was saving from renting versus buying a similar place is better off being invested in something other than real estate. Not only that, I enjoy the piece of mind from not having to worry about how my neighbor’s asking price is undermining my paper equity or how foreclosures on the block will affect the neighborhood. I don’t have to worry about the mortgage rate reset because I would only buy on a fixed rate mortgage. Anything else is too unstable and risky.
There is also a misconceived notion that renters live in sub-optimal conditions. That’s not true. Many renters live in apartments or townhomes because they want to maximize their savings to minimize the mortgage payment when/if they buy a home. With the market as inflated as it was during the boom, you can rent a nice luxury 3000 sqft home for half the price it costs to own. Even now, it’s still cheaper to rent.
Lastly, I do feel bad for a handful of families that will lose their home due to mortgage fraud or scams, but the majority of the at-risk borrowers are just victims of their own greed and ignorance. The market needs to purge these
homeowners squatters so they can go back to renting while people who can afford the mortgages move in to stabilize the fields.
I am a renter – hear me roar.