That's right, this is a comment about home ownership. You know, the institution that has been subsidized by the US government for some 50 years with the mortgage interest deduction and the property tax deduction. Powerful forces have bribed and brainwashed all of us to pursue this "dream".
I know that home ownership has a very clear track record of being a good financial investment. My home has been, and remains so even in the soft housing market of today, the best financial investment of my life. Nonetheless, there is more to home ownership than a financial return.
Owning a home means maintaining a home which can rapidly undermine the quality of your life. If you have a family and you consider the time you need to spend working at your job, caring for your children, and sleeping, your calculations will most likely reveal a stark reality. You might conclude that you have about three or four hours per week to do everything else you either need or wish to do.
Now throw a home into this equation. And just for fun, throw in a home that was built in the last twenty years in the rapidly expanding sunbelt regions of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The majority of these homes were hastily built with shoddy materials and have become contraptions of constant maintenance. Sure, they have appreciated and increased the wealth of the owners. But what good is that wealth if you spend your few free hours per week interrogating contractors who want to fix your air conditioner in the most expensive possible way?
Imagine you are a renter. Imagine you come home and the roof is leaking. Imagine calling the landlord and saying "the roof is leaking, we're going out for pizza". Doesn't that seem pretty tempting compared to the drama of calling your home insurance company, negotiating coverage, finding a contractor, and solving the roof problem yourself during your 3 free hours per week? I'm just saying.