Do Over

I purchased my townhouse in April 2006, with a flounce and much attitude. I was fresh out of a relationship that ended poorly, that was bruising and caused me to move back home, cross country with my tail between my legs. Buying another house, was a symbol to my tattered ego, that I was bent, but not broken. I was yet still independent and what did grown people do, well they bought houses!!

Fast forward, 5 years later and I’ve gotten a husband and all the stuff that comes along with him. :-) We have more than enough space for the 2 of us in 1500 square feet, so that’s not my concern. I look at my townhouse now and see the old, dated kitchen which I didn’t care about back then, but I wish was nicer for my chef husband to create his masterpieces in. I hate the battered hardwoods in the dining area.

All of the cabinets need replacing or at the very least re-facing throughout the house both in the kitchen and bath areas. And like most folks, my property values have declined and I probably owe more on a 20 year old house than it’s worth.

Having said all that I like my little house and I’m glad to have a mortgage that isn’t taxing (no ARMS for me!) but I don’t know that I’d want to buy another house again. I’m not sure it’s worth it other than the mortgage interest deduction. Being a homeowner, at the least the maintenance part, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I know Myron wants a house, and to own, not rent…so we’ll probably go down that path together. But if I was single, I’d rent a house or condo and call it a day. There’s something to the notion of not being tied down by a mortgage.

Do you own, or rent? Still thinking about buying something eventually if you are a renter? And if you own now, do you regret buying?

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29 thoughts on “Do Over

  1. *New Reader check in*

    I am buying and renting. I own a home in the burbs I had built in 2002, got married in 2011 and we rent a condo in the city. My home is now investment property that I rent out.

    I regret buying because the value has tanked. In addition, If I had been renting, I probably would have moved years ago.

  2. I rent and I’m not thinking of buying anytime soon. I have plans to move to another state in 2-3 yrs and eventually, I’d like to live in Europe for at least a couple of years. Not sure when I’ll buy.

    I love my current home. It’s over 100 yrs old; original hardwood floors, molding, charm, and LOTS of work. I don’t like doing all the cleaning (the housekeeper will return in the next couple of months…and if I’m honest with myself, I will say that no matter how big or small my home is, I will probably always have a housekeeper), I now hate doing yardwork above and beyond the basics the lawn service does, etc., etc. I’d actually like to find a condo to rent bec my living expenses are somewhat ridiculous.

  3. I sold my house before things went to hell in the market and I’m so glad I did. I couldn’t stand all the maintenance or cleaning all those rooms when it was just me. Even with a newer house it was just too much for me. I love renting now. Partially because I can make a call and have things fixed with no effort and partially because I am not ready to commit long-term to a certain part of town.

  4. I rent and am not even thinking about buying. Maybe one day I’ll consider it but not any time soon.

  5. I own…and although I love the space in my townhouse….the value has fell so far, I will never make my money back. That makes me mad…especially since its an older home. Many times I have had to convince myself to not walk away and just rent.

  6. I am happy to have a mortgage to pay rather than rent. It might sound like such a cliche, but I felt a REAL sense of accomplishment when I got my keys at closing. And while I’m not feeling my neighborhood anymore, I do not regret my decision to stop paying rent.

  7. Hey, TIH!

    I own. This is my second home purchase. I owned a townhouse for 5 years when I lived in Illinois. I swear I only bought at that time because I was going on 30 and most of my friends were buying. Yeah, it was a “monkey-see-monkey-do” type thing. After 12 years in kiss-my-a$$, Illinois, my parents’ advancing age and failing health, and having my rump kicked one-too-many-times by relationships, it was time for me to move closer to home…Sweet Home Alabama! I decided I may as well buy here too, since you get much more house (and property) for you money and my property taxes are, literally, one-third what they were in Illinois!

    December 27th 2011 will mark 4 years I’ve been “home” and I’m still in love with North Central Alabama…ROLL TIDE!!!  I was blessed to find (about 95% of) what I wanted in a house with a really reasonable price. It was only one and a half years old when I bought it, and the people who had it built put a lot of upgrades into it. Talk about blessings! But I still have to agree with the sentiments of a few people who posted before me…upkeep, even on a relatively new house, is a MUTHA! Especially for a one income household. It’s much like owning an expensive car in that you have to be able to afford MORE than just the monthly payments. THANK GOD for good real estate agents who swore by a home warranty policy that covers every system and appliance in the house. It has paid for itself many times over and saved me THOUSANDS of dollars in these last 4 years! Now if I could just find a reliable yard man/company!!!

    • Oh wait… I moved in December of 2006 so the end of this month will mark 5 years I’ve been home. Wow! Time sure is flying… It doesn’t even seem like that much time has passed! =D

  8. I rent because I don’t want any part of maintenance. I just got off the phone with my property manager. I came home to a leak in my ceiling last week. This required a roof repair. The roof has been fixed and I postponed the inside work because I work from home today and didn’t want to be bothered. I would never want this hassle as an owner. Last year, in the same community, different apartment, I had a water heater die. they replaced it and sent me to a hotel.

    Plus, my current spot is bigger than some of the row houses in DC.

  9. Lurker checking in here. *waves*

    I am currently renting but am looking into buying within the next 1-1.5 years but this post has given me more food for thought. I’ve never felt the need to rush and buy a house like some of my peers but now I’m almost 30, want more space, and it may be more economical to buy a house than rent one where I live. If I don’t plan to stay in the same area for 3 or more years I wouldn’t consider buying now.

  10. I rent, and I like it. When I was home in Cali, I couldn’t even THINK about living by myself in a 300 sq efficiency that cost $1500…so I stayed in my grandpa’s house (rent free :) ), then moved 5 mins away to having 6 roommates. Moving back to the East Coast almost 4 years ago and currently in a new place, I’ve rented.

    In the future, when hopefully the economy and myself are more stable, I will probably pursue homeownership.

  11. I own a townhouse, don’t regret it as I bought in 1999. However if I could do it again, I would have bought something in the city versus the burbs (close to work). Now that I’m married, I’m renting my townhouse to cover the mortgage and my husband and I rent a condo. We plan to buy a house at the beginning of the new year.

  12. I would love to own and have the room and yard for kids (Lord willing) but Cali prices are astronomical. You have to be pretty far out for the affordable places and I refuse to have a 2 hour commute each way. My mom is about 2 hours outside of LA and pays less for a 10 year old 4 bedroom house then I do for my one bedroom apartment.

    I like the idea of a gorgeous rented condo with all of the amenities and no upkeep plus the ability to move if/when the mood strikes us but when I think of babies I’d like to be more settled. The Cali economy and housing situation will be the biggest factor for us.

  13. I own. CreolePeach lives across the street from me. I love owning!

    I put a lot of thought into it though which is why I’m still happy. I knew I wasn’t a suburbanite, so I bought in the city. I bought bigger than I needed (2000 sq ft) so I wouldn’t feel cramped. I knew I wouldn’t do home repairs do I bought new.

    And there is a comfort of knowing that I’m not at the mercy of any landlord. I know several people who had to vacate once the landlord’s situation changed (usually due to divorce)

  14. I want to own a Condo by the time I’m 30. Preferably in DC. I’ve started looking to see what’s out there and am taking the time to get my credit and finances in order.

    I have 5 years, so I’m sure the economy will have rebounded by then. I hope. lol

  15. My cousin and I just had this same conversation not too long ago. Aside from the tax break, home ownership can definitely be overrated! I like my house but I’m definitely ready for something new. (I’m fickle like that.) Considering the market, it won’t be happening for awhile.

  16. I don’t regret buying BUT it was a huge change after renting for all those years!!!! Mister does most of the work but sometimes he can’ get to it in a timely fashion since he is pulling double shifts and other things we have to pay to get done.. like this plumbing issue we have now with the master bath leaking into the basement!!!! Fortunately it is covered under some warranty we had when purchasing the house so we are squared away. and they are coming to do the work for only me paying the deductible :) which isn’t anything compared to what we would have had to pay :)

  17. Yes, I regret buying “this” house. I love the grown up part of owning a home. But as a single woman, lawd knows I hate the maintenance. If I could walk away from this joker, I would definitely rent something in the city.

  18. We are renting and I feel that we did it at a good time. My husband owned a home 15 miles east of west L.A. I wanted to live on the westside and his job was in the valley so west was better for our needs. We became renters when rents were low (for the area) and housing values were high. When home values sank, rents went up. We avoided being underwater on thethe house and we now live in a great part of the city.

    We probably could not rent in this area now because its so high (and we have child care costs) but if we wanted to buy that house it would be 100k less.

  19. Currently (always have been) a renter. I would love to own a home, and came >>>thiiiiiiisssss<<< close to purchasing. But, the agent at one of the developments I was looking at said it would be better for me to wait to get a better loan and the exact house that I wanted. God was looking out for me because the real estate bubble popped and the economy crashed not too long after that.

    In the future, I would like to own my own property, but I'd much rather have a modest home and own some land as well.

  20. I own my property in L.A. and I am renting here in Houston.

    I loved owning my property when I lived in it, but there is ALWAYS something that needs repairing/upgrading/changing. Now that I am renting it out, I am NOT loving it! Being a landlord is not all that it’s cracked up to be…I digress.

    My lease is up on my apt in March and I am looking to lease a house. I’m choosing to lease again because 1) I want to stay in my daughter’s school’s zone; 2) I’m not sure if I want to be restricted to buying in that zone; 3) I want to put my past business ghosts farther behind me so that I don’t get screwed with a ridiculous interest rate.

    If you know that you guys will eventually buy another house together, and if that will be soon, I’d say wait until you can sell without taking a loss. If you think that will be less than 3 years, don’t put too much money into your condo (fixing it up), save that money for a down payment. But if you think you will wait for more than 3 years, you may consider upgrading so that you’re happy with your current home.

    There are websites that tell you the value of upgrades to your property in terms of selling it in the future. I would definitely recommend looking into that.

  21. i’ve owned before; currently rent; and when all is said and done would rather own again.

  22. I own, but only because I’m in the unique situation of knowing that I for sure will not be going anywhere for the next 8 years of my life. My only regret is not being able to spend these “glory years” in a swanky downtown loft, something I’ve always wanted. And I hear now, a year after I bought, that because the StL downtown development is not coming as fast as developers hoped, these units are being rented out, some even sold for super cheap. But, at least my nephews have a house and yard to roam around when they spend summers here from Houston.

  23. I own. And house maintenance is a bish. But, I like having my little yard and being able to paint walls and close the door and know that it’s mine. Or will be when I finish paying the bank. LOL!

    I can see me purchasing again because I have a dream house I want and someday I will have it. Or, if I get married.

  24. I always imagine I’ll buy when I’m ready but it’s funny that you write about this. My cousin is relocating in January with his family and he said once they sell their house he never wants to own another house again. He said the same thing as you….he’d be happy renting for the rest of his life.

  25. When I was single and lived in NC, I owned a house. I sold it and moved back to Florida where I rented a condo, and could not have been happier. 6 years later My husband and I are renting after selling our too big house in July. We love it, 1500 sq ft. great amenities, etc. We plan on buying in 3 years, after we saving up for a condo on the beach. It really depends on where you are in your life. People said we were crazy to sell our house, but we knew have a plan and it doesn’t include having to mow a lawn.

  26. I own and if I had to purchase today I probably would although I probably couldn’t have purchased my house today. Prices have skyrocketed and after the mortgage crisis the prices haven’t gone down too much. I don’t regret buying even as I have to fix my roof this month.

  27. I’m still a renter, tho I would like to buy something. I’m not ready yet but in a couple of years I think I will be. I want to buy something in the city tho, a fabulous new townhouse or loft or something. I’m not big on living out in the burbs, so I gotta get my funds up to afford something in the city.

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