Owning a Home isn’t Where the Heart Is

It’s always surprises me when I open the newspaper and there’s a headline about a current trend that perfectly describes my own attitude or situation. It’s one of those, “Oh, wow, I guess I’m not the only one feeling that way” kind of moments. So there it was on the front page of Saturday’s Press Democrat: “Homeownership loses its luster for many Americans.”

The gist of the article is that more and more people no longer see buying a home as a safe investment and that they can live better by renting than buying a house.

Steve and I would agree with that. We are part of that growing percentage for whom homeownership has moved from the asset column to liability column.

I used to think that renting was only something that people in their 20’s did and that owning a home was part of being a responsible adult. So why does selling our house and renting something small with a postage stamp size yard sound really good to us?

Certainly the financial considerations have a lot to do with it. How liberating to be out from the under the burden of home repairs, property tax, and maintenance, not to mention the “Would you like that supersized?” mortgage that we got when “Stated Income” was all you needed to qualify.

Another key reason that we are ready to downsize is that the amount of living space we need had dropped dramatically. Two out of our three kids are adults. Ok, I hear you saying, “So that means they are never moving back home? What about all the articles talking about how more adult children than ever are moving back in with their parents.” We think that even if they need to move back in with us, hopefully only while they are in transition, we can accommodate them in a much smaller and more affordable, space than our current house.

Talking about selling our house has caused Steve and me to think about how much space we really need and it’s not very much. Since you can only be in one room at a time, how much more do we need than a kitchen, family room, and bedrooms for us and Jennifer?

And it’s not just space and financial considerations that have made the glory days of home ownership a thing of the past for us. It’s also the draining investment of non-monetary resources such as our time and energy.

Steve will freely admit that he’s not Mr. Fixit nor does he want to be. I have to agree with him that’s why God made people with different skills. His time is much better used working in front of a computer to earn the money to pay someone who’s really good at resetting a fence post.

And while I’m perfectly capable of attacking the yard with a gallon of Round-Up in one hand and my electric hedge trimmers in the other, it’s not the way I want to spend every Saturday between February and October.

So like the non-homeowners talked about in the article, I’m ready to feel “less bogged down” and more buoyed up.

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