Somewhere along the way in our Western culture, we made up societal standards of success for each other. They're like unspoken rules that govern the way many of us live. One of them is owning a house. According to the culture at this point in my life (I'm 30), I'm supposed to at least be thinking of buying a house if I haven't sealed a deal already. Already? Thirty years is no time in my opinion. I mean, hasn't it flown by like crazy? If you think about it, I've only been an adult for 12 years and statistically speaking, I'll live until I'm 80. That's at least 50 more years of adult life. And I'm expected to have bought a home in the first 12? By the numbers, it sounds a little premature to me. I'm writing this in response to seeing some of my peers close on their first houses recently, and it made me think about why exactly I'm not in that position. If you’ve been thinking about it, too, maybe something here will put words to your feelings and encourage you that you aren’t the only one who doesn’t want to buy a home. Here are my reasons why I'm not even entertaining the idea currently.
I'm just not ready. I don't know that I ever will be, but I mean, sure, maybe one day. If you're ready to stay in one place for the majority of your life, well hey, you're doing the right thing by getting a house. I recognize that owning a home doesn't necessarily keep you in one place. Many people own a home, but rent it out to other people because they are living somewhere else for some other reason. But I know that if I made that big of a financial decision to actually purchase a home, in reality, I'd want to actually stay in it, because I'd be thinking "I'm still paying for this right now, so why would I want someone else to enjoy it?" while I'd also be paying for where ever else I lived. Of course, if money weren't an issue, and I could buy a house out right to let someone rent it, well, that's a completely different story, and there would be no point to this entire blog. For now, in my current financial state, the state I'm sure many of my peers are in, I could not see buying a house as a rental property as a good investment at all. But back to settling down, the bottom line is even though owning a home doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck in one place, it more than likely means you will be. It’s basically our default thought process. For example, my housemate was discussing an idea to store some things in a friend’s garage, because in his words, “They own the house, so it’s not like they’re going anywhere anytime soon.” There are always exceptions to the “rule,” but I don’t think I have make the point any stronger. I mean, most of the time, people buy a home because they want to settle down.
I touched on it just briefly already, but there is no way I see owning a home as a smart money move. You always hear that renting is throwing your money away, and instead putting it into something you will own is much better. I can see that later in my life, but I still think it’s too early. I’d rather be investing in opportunities that actually create wealth for me, not just sitting on a hill somewhere. Obviously, buying a house, keeping it up and even making it better, and selling it on could return a great reward, just like buying and selling anything, but it takes capital and a housing market mind to do that. For the majority of people, that isn’t our lifestyle, but we are still persuaded into believing that we’re doing ourselves a favor by buying a home now. Financially, for the average person my age, I just can’t see it. I don’t claim to know everything about money, but I do not want to know what it feels like to have a huge chunk of my money and future money going to something the cons outweigh the pros on for the time being.
You know when you're renting how someone else mows the grass, fixes that leaky faucet, broken refrigerator, or well, anything else broken in your apartment or town house? Yeah, that doesn't happen when you have your own home. Yes, you can take pride in what is yours and revel in your handy ways when you're taking care of your own place, but I've found a lot of pride and happiness in taking care of the places I've rented and have had way less stress in my life so far not having to deal with the broken this or that. The thing about buying a house is it's not over once you've paid your monthly bill or even paid off your house for good. All the extras are coming out of your pocket, too, and honestly, I'd rather spend my "extra" money on other things for the time being.
This is sort of along the same lines as settling down, but what I mean here is the weight that comes along with having material possessions. Please hear me out, having stuff (and even nice stuff at that) is by no means inherently bad. But feeling the weight of their existence IS an inherent reality. Owning a home is certainly still a privilege, but it's also a responsibility. We can definitely choose our mindsets and not adopt one of fear or worry, but the fact remains: it is something that will occupy space in your brain and take up time and effort in your life and rightfully so as that is essentially what a responsibility is, but for me, that is not what I want on my mind right now.
This one is key for me. When I was newly married, we lived in a three bedroom home that was owned by the church where we served. Because we had the space, we accumulated SO MUCH STUFF. You don't even know it's happening. It wasn't until we moved out of that home that I realized just how much junk we had in less than four years, and it was a pain to deal with. Everyone knows moving sucks, and it's partly because we all have way too much clutter in our lives. As the years have passed by, my husband and I have de-cluttered our lives as we moved in to smaller places. Two years ago, we literally got down to two suitcases, two carry-on bags, and flew to live with family in England. Since then, we've been back in the states, but because of our circumstances, we've still practically lived the same way. When we moved across the country to California, we had a car full, and that's still the same as we live in community with other people who have all the stuff. Yes, you do have to have some stuff or access to it to live decently. Eventually, we'll get our own place again, but our resolve is the same: we never want to get into the trap of accumulation. It can easily happen when you buy a home, though, and like I said, if you know you're going to be there for a good while, then it really doesn't matter as much, but I don't want the space or availability for it to happen.
So there you have them: the reasons I'm not likely to buy a house any time soon.
"BUT WAIT," you might be asking, "YOU'RE ABOUT TO HAVE A KID. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU AREN'T READY TO SETTLE DOWN? DON'T YOU WANT A PLACE TO RAISE YOUR FAMILY?"
Because yes, I am pregnant right now, and the answer is yes, I do want a place a raise my family. I just happen to think that you can raise a family in more than one place, which is most likely what's going to happen for the Drozdowski clan as we grow. It's all about how we each choose to live and operate our lives. Some of us are a little more unconventional than others. I’m sure there will come a day when I reassess these thoughts and see if I’m still in the same place, but for now, I feel comfortable with this. Will it be hard with a baby? Yes. But wouldn’t it be hard anyway? When you know you are being led in a certain lifestyle for a reason, and you see that reason, it completely affirms your decisions. As an adult, that’s the one thing I’m most proud of and see as success: being confident in the choices you make no matter what other people are saying. Knowing yourself and knowing the One Voice you’re listening to, you can’t go wrong.