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Old 09-12-2015, 10:10 AM   #21
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We put the proceeds of our house sale into the market. Our after tax returns have been substantially better than the real estate price increases in our area. Now we are in a significantly slow RE market and thankful that we unloaded the homestead when we did. It feels very good to be solo liquid and not have such a large amount of cash committed to one asset that can be challenging to unload in a down market.
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:50 AM   #22
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I'm renting because I want to live in a fairly specific location where I can minimize driving, ideally a place a short walk from my current apartment. Past couple of years I didn't see any homes on offer in this location, so maybe next year. I'd rather own because it would be a bit cheaper than renting, but it's not a strong preference.
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Old 09-13-2015, 10:54 AM   #23
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In the 25 years (give or take) I've been living on my own after college, I've only owned homes for about 8 of those years. The rest have been rentals.

In all that time, I figured out that I will always want to own a single-family home if it's an area I really want to live in. If not, I'll rent.

When I was in Colorado, I really wanted to be there, hence owning homes made sense for me, and I really enjoyed them. I only moved to Silicon Valley for job reasons, but I honestly have no desire to live here permanently, and therefore would never buy a house here. I'm content with renting, and then pulling up stakes, which I plan to do next year and move back to Colorado.

I want a house for the freedom it gives me on remodeling, tearing down walls, building a home theater, separation from neighbors (I hate shared walls, and will never again buy or rent a shared wall dwelling), etc. Both homes in Colorado were on 2+ acres, and I loved it.

Because I don't consider the places I rent a "home", they're just a place to sleep and go to work, I don't even bother decorating. No pictures on the walls, I don't put a lot of furniture in the place, nothing. Although I did completely redo one bedroom in the place I'm in as a home theater (acoustic fabric on the walls, ceiling painted black, the full nine yards). But rentals to me really aren't "homes". My next place in Colorado will be a home - my own.
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Old 09-13-2015, 11:34 AM   #24
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We put the proceeds of our house sale into the market. Our after tax returns have been substantially better than the real estate price increases in our area. Now we are in a significantly slow RE market and thankful that we unloaded the homestead when we did. It feels very good to be solo liquid and not have such a large amount of cash committed to one asset that can be challenging to unload in a down market.
+1 to this. We owned for the best part of 20 years in three locations, taking the corporate relo packages and upgrading with each move -- until we moved to our current location. That was off the corp treadmill; we kept what was our former primary residence and rented here b/c we didn't know how long this job posting would last and thought we might well go back to NorCal b/c of long term family there.

Fast forward 8 yrs, and we've since sold the former big family house (too big and too suburban for us soon-to-be empty nesters) and are continuing to rent where we are b/c of both the quoted passage above as well as the significant risk of asset over-consolidation in SoCal coastal real estate that would be needed to buy here ... that plus DW (rightly) takes the view that w/ 2 kids headed to college in the next 2 yrs we don't need the space we have now for long and also may want to be a lot more flexible to travel or live in other places as time passes.

May change over time, esp if either of DW's parents has a serious health scare, but for now I like the flexibility a lot!
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Old 09-13-2015, 01:28 PM   #25
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I like the small house I am currently living in, next to the water, beautiful view, relatively
inexpensive. The downside is it's vulnerable to hurricanes. I had considered buying but after Ike in 2008. No way.
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Old 09-13-2015, 03:43 PM   #26
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I own a small house in my hometown. About 4 years ago I decided to move to a larger town closer to relatives. I rented out my house at that time. The new apartment was nice but the promised ammenities were never delivered and every 6 months the rent went up by $25 per month. I eventually decided it wasn't worth it and notified my renters giving them 3 months to find other accomodations. I am very happy to be back in my house.
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Old 09-13-2015, 07:05 PM   #27
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I like to be able to decorate etc the way I want so I prefer to own.
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Old 09-13-2015, 09:25 PM   #28
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Long-time renter and occasional owner. Renting's better, at least for this single guy.

I would have FIREd sooner had I never owned real estate.
I think that owning real estate was one of my biggest investment mistakes. I really feel like home ownership should be looked at as somewhat of a luxury good.
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Old 09-13-2015, 11:46 PM   #29
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A lot of buy versus rent comes down to personality type and personality preferences. I FIREd 8 years ago and have not owned any property my entire life.

I live in the Philippines, and I technically can't own property here, and the legal ways around that are neither air tight nor ideal. Luckily, I have the renter personality/preference so that doesn't bother me at all. But I have warned people wanting advice about potentially living here that if you are the want-to-own type, you should take that into consideration before settling here.
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Old 09-14-2015, 02:15 AM   #30
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After seven months of travel we found that housing requirements/preferences changed. We need and want less room. We also found that the switch to rental was a welcome change from the duties of home ownership in a cold climate.

Being empty nesters made all the difference. Plus no more corporate moves where what items you move make no difference. Now that we are travelling more often and for longer periods we find ourselves placing more emphasis on experiences vs possessions/real estate. We may buy again at some point...but it will have to make financial sense as well as emotional sense. Otherwise we remain happy renters.
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Old 09-14-2015, 04:12 AM   #31
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I live in the Philippines, and I technically can't own property here, and the legal ways around that are neither air tight nor ideal. Luckily, I have the renter personality/preference so that doesn't bother me at all. But I have warned people wanting advice about potentially living here that if you are the want-to-own type, you should take that into consideration before settling here.
Wasn't the restriction foreigners can't own land or something? Condos are fine, I think, but not single-family unless a Filipino citizen holds majority share of the property. At least that's what I seem to recall from our Civics class.
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Old 09-14-2015, 05:31 AM   #32
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I considered renting in my last move and looked at a number of places. Rents here are sky high and climbing. That's for anything of a decent size and in a good location (I'm in an urban setting, can walk or bike to work, and that's how I want it, Moving elsewhere like the suburbs would no doubt yield more choice). I was completely discouraged based on what I saw and the list of "unknowns," including the rapidly rising rent cost. All in all I think ownership in this area and this market vs. renting is a better financial decision.
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:36 AM   #33
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Wasn't the restriction foreigners can't own land or something? Condos are fine, I think, but not single-family unless a Filipino citizen holds majority share of the property. At least that's what I seem to recall from our Civics class.
Yes, foreigners cannot own land. A corporation can own land and a foreigner can own up to 40% of a corporation. Technically, only a valid corporation with income can own land. If it is perceived to be strictly a workaround to ownership, then it can be invalidated. With regards to a condo, a corporation runs the condo association and owns the land, the condo unit owners just own the structure and I think the contract is valid for 50 years, at which point, the land owner can retake everything (or something like that). Unlike Thailand, there is no requirement that 50% of the condos be owned by citizens. Many of my friends have bought condos here.

I have two friends that own "mansions" here, for lack of a better term. One has the land in a very trusted Filipino friend's name (that he met back when he was living in the USA) and he leases the land back for 25 years with option to extend to 50, I believe. The other friend has the land in his wife's name and I presume he is also leasing the land back from her. There is risk no matter how you do it. Another friend was going to buy the land in between my two friends' houses and build a house there, but he decided not to proceed strictly for property ownership legal reasons.
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:54 AM   #34
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With regards to a condo, a corporation runs the condo association and owns the land, the condo unit owners just own the structure and I think the contract is valid for 50 years, at which point, the land owner can retake everything (or something like that).
Ah, the 50-year contract I didn't know about. That's certainly something to consider as I had been thinking of buying a condo unit for vacations and perhaps to live in upon retirement. I'm Filipino so owning land is an option available to me.
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:25 AM   #35
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Ah, the 50-year contract I didn't know about. That's certainly something to consider as I had been thinking of buying a condo unit for vacations and perhaps to live in upon retirement. I'm Filipino so owning land is an option available to me.
That's good, you have many more options. Although your long term tax situation may be more complicated.

I find it ironic that, when so many Filipinos go abroad, it is almost impossible to for a foreigner to become a Filipino citizen. It literally takes an Act of Congress. There was one foreigner who has lived here for decades, is famous around the world and the Philippines, speaks the language fluently, has a Filipino family and has fully adopted the culture, and yet he has not been allowed to become a Filipino citizen. There was an editorial in a Manila paper a couple of years ago saying, in effect, if we won't make this guy a citizen, then we are really saying that we won't make anyone a citizen.
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