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Home ownership isn’t for everybody
Are you 30 and still renting an apartment? Don’t you think it is time to buy some property? Society seems to dictate that when you reach a certain age you should start thinking of moving forward with your life by getting married, having children, and at some point buying a house. You can’t be renting an apartment for the rest of your life!
But why not?
When it comes to renting an apartment versus buying a house, many people argue that buying a house is a great investment, allowing you to build equity. However, a good friend of mine, Dave, contends that he would love to rent his apartment for as long as he can. He doesn’t feel pressured to buy because his apartment suits all his needs.
Aside from living at a great location along Portage Avenue and being lucky enough to face away from the street, his main reason for renting is maintenance. He likes not having to be responsible for repairs. If he has a leaky pipe or a broken appliance, he only needs to call up his resident manager and she’ll send someone to fix it promptly at no extra expense (unless it is his fault of course). With a house you are responsible for all maintenance on your own, which can be costly even without calling in professional help.
What Dave hears the most from those who are in favor of buying is that he is "throwing his money away" when he could be building equity in a house. Dave disagrees. He says that even though he pays rent, he saves on the money homeowners would spend on repairs, maintenance, lawn care, and property taxes. He claims that an investment shouldn‘t be something that you have to constantly pay money to maintain.
Then again, this is my friend Dave, a 30-year-old single guy who doesn’t make a ton of money. He admits that he can’t afford to buy a house at this time in his life. But he says that even if he won the lottery he probably wouldn’t buy a house as he is quite happy with his living arrangements. If you are happy, why change things?
I have asked him, "What if you get married and have children, are you all going to fit them all in your apartment?" He says that he could see himself having a family in his two bedroom apartment. There are many families in his building.
Renting isn’t for everybody, but Dave raises some good points. Besides, with real-estate the rule is "location, location, location." Would you rather rent an apartment in a great neighborhood close to all the amenities, or buy a house is a lousy part of town? I’d rather be content in an apartment than kicking myself for a bad real-estate choice.
Justina Neepin is a Winnipeg-based writer.
Neighbourhood Forum is a readers’ column. If you live in The Lance area and would like to contribute to this column, contact email@example.com.
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