I’ve had a few comments on my latest posts on renting or mortgaging. Here is the overall picture I’m getting and probably where I stand with all this.
1. I’m starting to think that having debt is one thing and having a mortgage on a house is another. My Uncle Doug left this comment, “If you own a house and have enough equity in it to sell and pay off your mortgage, then is it really debt.” That is the question I was asking and I think it is a lot different than getting a loan for school, cars, renovations or anything else. There is however the small risk of the housing market crashing, like we’ve seen in the USA lately, where you could owe more than your house is worth. So getting a mortgage doesn’t feel like I’m jumping into something I can’t afford because its not like I wouldn’t have the equity of the house to even out how much I owe on it.
2. There are a few benefits I see to renting. One is that you are paying less a month. I’d be paying about 1/3 more a month if I was to own. However, that 1/3 I’m sure events itself out after I own the house and I’m not making any sort of mortgage payments a month as opposed to renting where I’d be doing it for the rest of my life. The second benefit I see is the limited attachment I have to a specific place or area. When I rent I don’t have to worry about selling my house and I’m not tied down to any place. However, the negative side of that is that I’m not constrained to one place which means I don’t have that place that I call home where I’m investing in a specific community for a long period of time which is something that I want to do. The third benefit I see to renting is the ease of living. I don’t have to do repairs, fix my roof or leaks, I don’t have to cut the grass (but I do because I get $50 a month taken off rent), or pay land tax. A lot of the expensive and time consuming responsibilities of owning are gone which frees me up to do other things that I love.
3. We’ve been looking at buildings for theStory lately. I’m starting to realize that we could save almost $1000 a month on some buildings if we bought it instead of renting (not even including how much goes into equity instead of the landlords pocket). So that is softening me up to the idea of owning.
4. A large part of my discomfort with mortgaging is the obsession I see in the generation older than me (generalization) with paying off their mortgages and saving up for retirement and well basically an obsession with money and things that money can buy. So my initial reaction is to retaliate because I don’t want to be like that so I think I need to do everything opposite. This of course is a bad reaction sometimes and isn’t a good response to negative behavior. Instead I should see the negatives of a decision and the positives and then work to eliminate the bad and work towards the good and not necessarily throw the baby out with the bathwater.
5. In the end I think I will probably end up getting a mortgage for these reasons. For starters, financially it makes a lot of sense. I’ll be paying fairly the same amount every month (give or take a few hundred) but in one or two decades I’ll have some money to show for it that can be used for all sorts of great things which I’ll probably and hopefully want to do with it. Second, I love the idea of planting my roots in a community and investing my time, money and resources into it. I want to know my neighbours and I want to be there for the long haul. Third, I want to have the freedom to do what I want with it. I want to be able to have extra rooms to give to those in need or friends that are visiting. I want to be able to tear down a wall if it means bigger living room to hang out in. I want to be able to make it other people’s homes also and not just my own. I want it to be used for God’s ideas in the community that I’m in.
So with that said, I’ll probably get a mortgage. I still have one more idea though. I’ll post it next. I don’t know if it will work, or if anyone else would ever be on board, but it’s an idea I’ve been running through my head for a long time now, something I haven’t heard of before within a community. I’ll get to that soon.