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Does Home Ownership Get You Down?

An article in the New York Times addresses the male demographic's growing discontent with home ownership. According to research by the National Association of Realtors, single men make up only 10 percent of new home buyers, followed by single women at 21 percent, and the largest group, married couples. A growing number of men are looking back at their rental days longingly, for reasons practical, financial, and emotional.

Be it costly home fix-ups, longer commutes, lengthy maintenance projects, or strains on relationships, there are plenty of reasons to wish you still had a landlord. But then again, real estate is an investment — though these days you wonder, a good one? — and owning a home is the American dream. Tell me, does home ownership get you down? Are you discontent with owning a home?

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Domestic-Diva82 Domestic-Diva82 6 years
I purchased my first home in July 2008 and spent a year renovating and repairing 7 pages worth of violations (the house was HUD owned). I did get it a a decent price, however, with the amount of money I've put into over the past two years, and still have projects going... it's been very overwhelming to say the least! I'm finally on my own and need to be responsible for the entire upkeep of the home (inside and out) and MYSELF and honestly I have been uber stressed out ever since I bought my home. I think I might have rushed into it a bit too quickly, but it's a little late to back track now. I finally moved into my house in August 2009 and have been living there for a little over year now and I guess I'm just still adjusting to this whole new way of life for myself. I had never previously rented and would never do so, b/c I find it as a waste of money more than anything. At least owning my own home I have established equity that I can use to purchase my future home, lol, when I upgrade in a few years! I did receive the first time homebuyer credit, but it was the first installment of that issued, as in I will need to pay it back over the next 15 years, each time, I believe it will be deducted from my income tax return (which should commence next year I think). Not looking forward to the smaller tax return, but I guess an "interest free loan" via the goverment beats paying the bank right?! Those new first-time homebuyers that have no experience in this... I would just advise to really be ready for what you're getting into! I can't WAIT for all my bills incurred from home expenses have been paid off, let me tell ya!!
suziryder suziryder 7 years
My husband and I bought our first home in June, so we qualify for the tax break, which is amazing. Urban chic 101, they've updated the tax break so now if you're not a first time home buyer, you get $6,500 back. I'm so glad to own our own home. We bought sensibly and got a place that we can afford on my husband's salary alone (so my paycheck can go to other things, and savings). The repairs can be a a bummer - holy schamoley, the price of a plumber for an hour!! - but we're taking it slowly and the house wasn't in that bad of shape when we moved in. It needs new paint and the kitchen needs remodeling, but it's livable. I LOVE not having to share walls with neighbors, getting to tear down walls and repaint as we want, being able to get pets without asking anyone, having a yard (we lived in LA and our "yard" was a cement walkway), and having a LOT more space than old apartment (which we shared with a roommate!).
sasharenee sasharenee 7 years
I did not come from money so owning a home (condo) was a big dream for me. It is great in some ways but I'm in the suburbs in NC and now that my daughter is getting ready to graduate and I don't have to worry about schools, I am ready to sell and move back to the city. I dread dealing with NYC landlords and supers but I love city life so it is a good tradeoff to me. Besides, my HOA dues keep going up and up and then we get assessments. Really makes me mad. My place goes on the market next month so that I can get it under contract before the homeowner's credit expires.
grablife365 grablife365 7 years
I got my first house in December and I'm finding ownership to not only be a happy surprise but something that really suits me. I expected it to be a bit more of a disappointment as I've never paid rent before but its really nice. My mortgage is cheaper than rent out here, I can do what I want, and finally have a yard. I love it so far.
urban-chic-101 urban-chic-101 7 years
I think its overrated, especially in these times. What I would give to sell my house and be a renter. Or to have had that nice $8,000.00 from the government for being a first time homebuyer. Man, that really annoys me. Most homeowners in this crappy economy really could have used that money to stay afloat. I'm not sure exactly what the benefit is supposed to be... I mean a bigger tax return? Well considering the property taxes most people pay you're lucky if you break even. Flexibility/freedom ladies!
sweetnsassy sweetnsassy 7 years
I just purchased my first home in November 2009.While the process is scary and expensive with the downpayment, My payments plus property tax is equal to my rent that was increasing every year I lived in the building. I have much more space and repainting made such a difference to the place. I did purchase a foreclosed upon house and did have to deal with some extra unforeseen costs (replacing cupboards the previous owners took as well as carpets in 3 rooms), but the rest of the house was ready to go and the furnace, roof and windows were less than 5 years far so good.
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 7 years
yes, we definitely rushed into it, our place is too small, didn't choose the best area, and never knew selling was so expensive - our property has not appreciated since we bought it in 2008 spring the only thing im happy about is our great interest rate and low costs to keep the place. but owning makes it much harder to drop things and try something new somewhere else
The-City-Girl The-City-Girl 7 years
I completely agree with Ella1978. On one hand I'm so excited to own a place and I'm so house-proud, but I'm soon leaving a well-paid job to be a grad student, and I'm really anxious about finding a renter. So far I've been completely unsuccessful in managing to draw in someone for the price of the mortgage (which is actually relatively low because we put down a sizeable down payment), let alone the monthly cost when you account for property taxes. SO if I find an amazing tenant I'll feel a lot more comfortable, but right now it's a challenging time for me as a homeowner. At least Zillow says our home value is $68,000 more than what we paid 3 years ago. . .though it doesn't really matter much as I'm not planning on selling, ever.
Home Home 7 years
I agree with many of you. I hated being limited as a renter (or having to repaint walls after I left), but the maintenance involved in home ownership is often tricky. It seems as if we've been paying for home repairs (replacing shower pipes, rewiring the living room, etc.) and little else for months now!
katyharper katyharper 7 years
I love owning and wouldn't go back to renting, but last week I found out I needed a new heat pump. Having to shoulder that $4,000 burden alone is REALLY hard.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Like the majority of the posters, I love home ownership. Personality-wise, I'm better suited for home ownership than being a renter. However, with that said, there are more responsibilities in home owning than renting, so a person has to be ready for that. If they're not, they're better off renting. JMHO.
JoneyStar JoneyStar 7 years
I hated renting. I didn't like the fact that I was in a rented space and was limited in what I wanted to do with it. On top of the fact that we seem to have the craziest neighbors. I like the fact in knowing that now if I decided to bulldoze a wall and do something else, I can do it and no one can stop me. Well, except my hubby. I live in peace and quiet. The neighbors can't hear me and I can't hear them take a shower at 6 am, vacuum the floor, blast their music at 8 am on a Saturday or play frisbee at 2 am. Thank GOODNESS!
skigurl skigurl 7 years
i love owning. we both love the pride of ownership and the fact that we have a good investment and equity.
ella1978 ella1978 7 years
I'm torn. I love having our own place. I love owning a home, but it is a financial burden right now. My fiance lost his job over a year ago, and my salary was reduced for 9 months. If I get laid off, or our company goes under - we are going to be more than strapped. If we were renters, when the lease was up, we could move in with friends or family, move to another city, have more freedom, but with a mortgage and no way of recouping the value in resale, sometimes I feel stuck too. So happy, but stuck.
kimmieb124 kimmieb124 7 years
In general, I'm very happy to own my own home. With the current economy, I admit that I sometimes feel trapped because the value of our home has declined so much that we can't afford to sell. Overall, however, I'm happy with it. We have done so much work on the house since we bought it and made it into exactly what we want without having to worry about a landlord.
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