Meanwhile, we know people who purchased beautiful homes with interest-only mortgages. They fell upon hard times and/or their mortgages were no longer affordable after the five year grace-period in which they expected their incomes to rise. Some friends purchased homes right before the housing market took a turn for the worst, and now owe more than their houses are worth. Others have expressed a condescending tone regarding the fact that we do not own our home; even though they did not necessarily "work hard" for their homes. And then, there are those who DID work hard to save for their home, but still do not grasp that our finances and homeowner status, are frankly, none of their damn business.
A few fun facts:
*Matt and I are very comfortable in the 2 bedroom, single family home that we are renting.
*We have never missed a payment on our rent.
*While we are not building equity, we are not losing equity, either.
*We have a large, fenced-in yard for our dog to run around outside. We would not be able to afford a home with the amount of land that we have now.
*Our gas and electric bills are usually low because our home is not larger than we need it to be. I enjoy living modestly and within our means.
*For someone with great wanderlust, it is comforting to know that we are not stuck in this area. While I'm beginning to accept that I don't really want to move away from our aging parents (prospective future babysitters), I still dream of fleeing Maryland suburbia in favor of a nice, progressive and diverse city. If the right job offer presented itself, we would have nothing to hold us back.
*We do not feel as though we are missing out on things like Community Associations having a say on whether we paint our front door red. My landlady probably wouldn't like it if I painted the front door red either, but hey, it's her door. If I own it, I want to do what I want with it.
*We're not jealous when we hear our friends complain about property taxes or maintenance.
Now, one day, we will probably buy a house. I will be happy when I get to plan my landscaping and put my kitchen designing experience to good use in my own home. We will own a home when we can agree on a place where we wouldn't mind living in the event that the housing market never recovers. It probably will, but it might not happen for a very, very long time. Not that this is anyone's business, but, we would like to put a large enough down payment to keep our mortgage (including property taxes, emergency funds, homeowners insurance, etc.) manageable, while still able to put money into savings and live comfortable lives. Could we go out and buy a house tomorrow? Sure we could, but I am not going to settle when it comes to a six digit purchase.
I am left to wonder why others feel the right to have an opinion about our financial situation and whether or not we are renting or paying a mortgage. I don't think that owning a home will complete us as individuals, as a couple, or as a family. A house is just another thing, another acquisition. I hate the idea that we all have the same uninspired, suburban "American Dream." It is interesting to me that people feel so concerned for us. We're fine. Honestly. Just as it was our personal decision to get married, it is up to us to decide when we are ready for a thirty year commitment to a house.