Personal Reflection – I’ve Rented Too Long and Want to Own

Owning a home is the epitome of the American dream. Everyone wants to own a home, raise a family, and enjoy the benefits of home ownership. However, most people go through their entire lives just vocalizing their wants instead of doing what is necessary to attain them.

When you rent an apartment or home, you are delaying any and all ambitions that you may have in life. Admittedly, there are definitely a lot of conveniences that come with renting. The owner of your dwelling must deal with all repairs, maintenance, and any problems that occur.

Still, when you think about it, it’s the owner of your dwelling who benefits the most. As a renter, you are paying for all of the owner’s financial bills. If the owner is debt-free, then it’s the renters who are paying for monthly bills and helping the owner enjoy financial independence.

The High Cost of Renting

Renting is a mindset that helps an owner achieve financial independence, while a renter spends years or decades mired in bill paying and struggling with debt. Most renters have high income-to-debt ratios. This means that most of a renter’s income is tied up in bill paying. So, that leave precious little money for saving.

While looking at current statistics we can surmise that a large percentage of Americans are not saving enough money for their futures. Almost 37% of Americans are renting instead of owning their current dwelling. The last time that percentage was that high was in 1965.

My Regrets Via-a-Vis Renting

Why is that statistic worrying? It might indicate that the American dream, home ownership, might become increasingly unachievable for most people for another generation or two. It’s worrying to think about because I myself have been renting for far too long.

In my 20’s, I rented a small one-studio apartment in Brooklyn, New York when I first got married. I loved that place. It was a nice neighborhood, it was the first time I had ever rented an apartment, and I felt so much like an adult.
In reality, I spent half a decade just throwing money way. I also set myself back a decade against my current ambitions of someday becoming wealthy. A house isn’t just someplace nice to live, a house that you own can be monetized in many different ways.

For one thing, the value of your home can be leveraged into a loan via a personal bank loan, mortgage, or through an insurance policy. This is a serious financial undertaking that shouldn’t be attempting unless you can pay back a loan, of course.

Or, any extra space in a home can be rented out in a variety of ways for extra money. Also, the interest that a homeowner pays in mortgage and/or property tax payments could be tax deductible in lots of cases.
There are just too many ways to monetize home ownership that I can express in the short space of this article. And, I can personally say that I sincerely regret that I am only appreciating now, after decades of renting.

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Posted in: Money, Personal Finance, Real Estate

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