Monday, July 13, 2009

Renter's Delight

So, I'm watching The Daily Show this evening, and the guest is Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Barney Frank. The conversation turned to the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the push to turn renters into home owners, because apparently renters are bad people.

I like being a renter. There's no way I could pay less per month with a mortgage and insurance and property taxes and HOA fees for a place comparable to the one I rent. And when you own, all of your places problems are yours. Like when my ceiling in my bedroom collapsed this winter during heavy rains, I would have had to pay to fix it. Your fridge breaks, you buy a new one. Your plumbing gets effed up, you have to pay the plumber.

There's nothing wrong with renting. I don't think it's throwing away money, especially in the current real estate climate. If you buy a house, you're set paying the price you bought it for, simple as that. But rent can go down, you only sign a year, possibly two year lease at a time, and if you're a good tenant you can lock in your monthly rent, or even get it lowered. Granted, refinancing a mortgage is an option, but that's just changing your interest rate, it doesn't get lowered if the "value" of your house plummets. House value is just a perceived number pulled out of someone's ass based on supply and demand. (Granted, rent is the same thing, but, like I said early, there's a little wiggle room for good behavior.)

I am a renter, and I am not a bad person.

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