I Hate Being a Homeowner

by Evan

No one really talks about it, but I hate being a homeowner.  Nope, I hate it.  I hate it so much that I used a color font for probably the second time in the 8 years of running this site.  Since purchasing my home I have had to:

  • Do masonry work on my fireplace since starting a fire made my house reek of smoke
  • Convert from oil to gas after calculating the exact amount I’d save converting from oil to gas heat
  • Replace boards in my deck from rotting
  • Redo my whole upstairs insulation
  • When the foundation allowed seepage during a ridiculously heavy rain storm coupled with a loose gutter I had to replace carpeting I installed when we moved in 18 months earlier
  • Replace my Air Conditioning Condenser
  • Fix a whole in the drainage pipe that ushers all the water out of my house

That’s just the stuff that was out of the ordinary and I remembered when writing this post.  See those last two? The AC happened 4 days ago at a price of $2,700 (cash of course) and then the pipe happened yesterday – obviously they were the muse for the post.

I will say right off the bat, I am not going to do anything about my hatred.  Zero.  Instead I get to just bitch about it anonymously on the internet (along with anyone else that asks).

The Only Two Benefits of Home Ownership I can Come up With

There are literally two benefits I can come up with for owning a home, the first is, and probably the reason homeowners likely have a higher net worth is that paying your mortgage is a forced savings mechanism.  Since I am not going into foreclosure anytime soon the equity in my home keeps going up.   Is it s a fast process? Nope, but it is something.

Effective DateReversalPayment TotalUnpaid BalancePaid Through DatePrincipalInterestEscrowLate ChargeUnapplied FundsOther Amount
06/15/2015$64.09$369,592.9406/01/2015$64.090.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00
06/15/2015$2,935.91$369,657.0306/01/2015$673.771041.56$1,220.58$0.00$0.00$0.00
05/15/2015$2,935.91$370,330.8005/01/2015$671.881043.45$1,220.58$0.00$0.00$0.00
04/13/2015$26.65$371,002.6804/01/2015$26.650.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00
04/13/2015$2,873.35$371,029.3304/01/2015$669.931045.40$1,158.02$0.00$0.00$0.00
03/13/2015$26.65$371,699.2603/01/2015$26.650.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00
03/13/2015$2,873.35$371,725.9103/01/2015$667.971047.36$1,158.02$0.00$0.00$0.00
02/13/2015$26.65$372,393.8802/01/2015$26.650.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00
02/13/2015$2,873.35$372,420.5302/01/2015$666.021049.31$1,158.02$0.00$0.00$0.00
01/13/2015$2,873.35$373,086.5501/01/2015$664.161051.17$1,158.02$0.00$0.00$0.00
12/15/2014$2,873.35$373,750.7112/01/2014$662.291053.04$1,158.02$0.00$0.00$0.00
11/14/2014$2,873.35$374,413.0011/01/2014$660.441054.89$1,158.02$0.00$0.00$0.00
10/15/2014$2,873.35$375,073.4410/01/2014$658.581056.75$1,158.02$0.00$0.00$0.00
09/08/2014$2,873.35$375,732.0209/01/2014$656.741058.59$1,158.02$0.00$0.00$0.00
08/13/2014$2,873.35$376,388.7608/01/2014$654.891060.44$1,158.02$0.00$0.00$0.00
07/15/2014$2,873.35$377,043.6507/01/2014$653.061062.27$1,158.02$0.00$0.00$0.00
06/16/2014$2,873.35$377,696.7106/01/2014$651.231064.10$1,158.02$0.00$0.00$0.00
05/13/2014$2,873.35$378,347.9405/01/2014$649.401065.93$1,158.02$0.00$0.00$0.00
04/15/2014$2,873.35$378,997.3404/01/2014$647.581067.75$1,158.02$0.00$0.00$0.00
03/11/2014$2,924.61$379,644.9203/01/2014$645.761069.57$1,209.28$0.00$0.00$0.00
02/18/2014$2,924.61$380,290.6802/01/2014$643.951071.38$1,209.28$0.00$0.00$0.00
01/14/2014$2,924.61$380,934.6301/01/2014$642.151073.18$1,209.28$0.00$0.00$0.00
12/16/2013$2,924.61$381,576.7812/01/2013$640.341074.99$1,209.28$0.00$0.00$0.00
11/15/2013$2,924.61$382,217.1211/01/2013$638.551076.78$1,209.28$0.00$0.00$0.00

 

The second benefit I can think of is stability.  I am not minimizing the aspect of stability, especially for children, I just don’t know to quantify it.  But, if I had to be honest with myself this is likely the reason I will be doing nothing about this rant.   The Wife and the 2 children deserve a place that they feel comfortable in that is theirs.

The Cons of Home Ownership are Numerous

I am obviously pretty heated about the topic, but imagine I offered you an “investment” that:

  • Is highly illiquid
  • If you do sell there are tremendous surrender charge like fees
  • At any time I can ask you to put more money into it that may or may not raise your principal investment, but if you don’t put that money your principal investment will go down QUICKLY (go check out that list up at the top again)
  • On going interest charges for 30 or so years
  • You will be taxed on the value of the investment every year
  • Will literally never throw off income
  • Every month/year you will have to give me more money and if you don’t you almost everything you put in
  • Taking everything into account above it is very likely you’ll have a negative internal rate of return for 10 or so years

What would you say to me? Go F’ myself? Probably.  But for some reason, society deems home ownership to be “different.”  This is the same society that says we should work our asses off from age 22 to 67 so we can REALLY enjoy 67 to 90.

Another problem the cons listed above about whether it is an “asset” can be applied to the non-investment nature of the home.

For one, you are absolutely stuck as your home isn’t going anywhere (maybe this a pro for some people) – I like to believe I am someone who can pick up and go, but I haven’t left Long Island to live…ever.  For another you are in constant hamster wheel of disrepair.  Inevitably things break, and you must fix them otherwise shit hits the fan.  Who lives in a home without furniture besides Steve Jobs, so that means you are forced to fill up that home with more material stuff.  If you live in the suburbs, like I do, you are expected to keep your lawn as nice as the inside of your house.

*breath*

I think this rant made me feel a little better! So thank you all for listening.

You may also like

17 comments

Lazy Man and Money June 17, 2015 - 10:16 am

Miranda Marquit has written about her happiness of not owning a home anymore.

Over time the payments toward principle grow. In my 15 year mortgages, it grows a lot faster each month and it is noticeable.

That last part about the bad investment of a home reminds me of this list: http://jlcollinsnh.com/2013/05/29/why-your-house-is-a-terrible-investment/.

I look at it this way. Financial freedom means eliminating expenses and growing cash flow. Owning a home is the best way to reduce the housing expense. You’ll always have maintenance and taxes, but not rent or mortgage, the two biggest costs.

If you rent forever, you are going to be subject to raising rates that may surpass inflation. You’ll need an awful lot of dividend income to eliminate that rent expense.

Reply
Evan July 5, 2015 - 9:35 pm

nancial freedom means eliminating expenses and growing cash flow. Owning a home is the best way to reduce the housing expense. You’ll always have maintenance and taxes, but not rent or mortgage, the two biggest costs.

If you rent forever, you are going to be subject to raising rates that may surpass inflation. You’ll need an awful lot of dividend income to eliminate that rent expense.

Guess it comes down to how many people never get out from under the mortgage game. If the average person never unloads that 30 year monster then there cash flow never improves.

Reply
Retire29 June 17, 2015 - 1:52 pm

Man, You’re crazy! But a very entertaining rant. The only thing worse than homeownership is the alternative to homeownership–renting. Renting is just an expense every month, no opportunity for principal increases, no equity, the rent goes up every month, little to no say on what your place looks like. Homeownership can be hard at times, but some of that hardship assists in making one care about the place that is theirs.

Eric

Reply
Evan July 5, 2015 - 9:27 pm

The question really comes down to whether that increased equity is actually any real return vs the alternative of renting.

Reply
TheMoneyMine June 29, 2015 - 9:17 pm

Hi Evan –

I must say that this is a pretty unusual rant!
Most of the articles on the subject are praising the benefits of homeownership over renting, except maybe jlcollinsh, mentioned in a comment above.

But you are showing the other side of the story: homeownership also comes at a ‘cost’.

Look at the bright side of things: even though it can be unpleasant, you are also getting a few new skills at masonry, carpentry, insulation, AC,… 🙂

Have a great day man!
Nick

Reply
Evan July 5, 2015 - 9:21 pm

Nick,

Thanks for the attempt to make me feel better lol! It just seems like one of those things that society just accepts without really thinking about it.

Reply
A June 30, 2015 - 6:32 pm

I’d argue that the home is throwing off implied income. You have to live somewhere – so maybe count whatever rent you would have paid instead (maybe less than the rent for this house, as you may choose to rent a smaller/cheaper place) as the income the house is throwing off.

Reply
Evan July 5, 2015 - 8:57 pm

The implied income is an interesting thought on the subject. Although the implied income amount would be reduced by the market rate for rent.

Reply
Rebecca February 15, 2017 - 11:24 am

I don’t know if I hated being a home owner, but I can say, I am over it. No more upkeep, no more dealing with leak roof, plumbing leaks, termites, etc. Now, we have no yard, to building to maintain, but we have a beautiful ocean view. We can up and walk away any time we want to.

Reply
Evan February 15, 2017 - 1:27 pm

Those are HUGE benefits not often discussed

Reply
Diane November 5, 2017 - 1:57 am

Home ownership can be a serious drag.

But 15 years later I have a free and clear home that I paid 175k for and it’s worth 800k today.
Granted I have fixed and cried numerous times over but at the end of the day I don’t think I could have made that in the stock market. So trust me at you will be happy you held onto that home. It’s the cheapest rent in town!

Reply
Evan November 14, 2017 - 4:39 pm

Wow! But did you pay $175k? Or did you pay closer to $350k with debt, and then what about the renovations that you did during that time?

Reply
christopher May 12, 2018 - 10:02 pm

OK yeah sorry.. old thread I have to Concur.. im not digging home ownership? oh yeah its kinda fun that I LAYED wood floors and installed the most advanced HVAC system on the planet, won christmas lights contest and built hotrods in the garage… had some awesome parties..

but then I started a business … and *THAT* I wouldnt change.. as we are now becoming succesful I work all the time ..oh and walking is a way for me to brain clear… my friends all seemed to get partnered, married, or boring homebodies in their own suburban houses.. so here i am on a nice 2004 built house that already been remodelled a couple times because I simply got bored with the same stuff all the time.. a suburban neighboirhood that is more sleepy than alive.. (unless you have dogs and kids I guess).. you have to fire up the car to do ANYTHING.. yes my friend owning ah ome is a drag… I miss moving from loft to loft every couple years walking and exploring new areas and new cities.. since 2004 ive been a boring fuddy duddy in the burbs who drives downtown every day… yes the glorious life of mowing the lawn, powerwashing the deck, weeding the garden, and saying hi when i get the mail.. thankfully the market has gone Bonkers here so soon it will be someone elses tricked out house to be boring in while I go back to living young (im 49) in a cool downtown loft with a buzz and a vibe…

Reply
Nikita January 18, 2020 - 4:00 pm

I agree with you. Not all of us live in areas that build equity, though over the years. We look at home ownership as being cheaper than paying rent over 10 years. Then we break even. But, I hate it too. Never ending work, never ending expenses, taxes, etc. And then when you finally sell it – you lose thousands! (our area.) But – at least you get some of it back when you sell, as opposed to renting.

Reply
Evan January 21, 2020 - 1:34 pm

Very interesting, I have been looking VT and PA ski home prices for some time – they don’t seem to move at all!

Reply
Stefanie July 19, 2020 - 8:08 pm

I bought my own home at 29. I thought this would automatically make me feel successful. I didnt make much money, and I was in wayyy over my head. Luckily I had just started a relationship with a guy who turned out to be very handy. Over the last 7 years I have watched him age about 50. He has fixed plumbing, installed wood flooring, run electrical, painted interiors and exteriors and kept up with the lawn maintenance. We both work labor jobs, so when we get off of work and come home sometimes its hard not to cry when we see how much more labor is waiting for us.
As the grey hairs start popping up on our heads and wrinkles deepen between our brows, I am more and more convinced that this was a bad idea. When I really stop and think about it and look at myself from the outside, I just see a little worker ant gathering things to bring back to a hole in the ground until I die. So much time has gone by, so many life experiences have been lost as housing repairs suck my bank account dry. Ive never even cared about where I live, and would be just as happy in a tiny home on wheels. All i need is a little space for my dogs to run.
We are going to sell within the year. Im absolutely over all of this monotony and ridiculousness. This is no measure of success. Ive proven I can do it, and I could do it for the next 30 yrs if I wanted to, but I don’t want to see my boyfriends back and knees and hands getting more and more arthritic. Mine are hardly any better as I have helped with a lot of the maintenance over the years. Im ready for some freedom in my life and this house has taken so much of that away. To me a house is no more than a distraction built to keep people right where they are, to commerce inside their tiny bubbles and become more and more introverted by the day as they hide in their houses that they are too embarrassed to open to company because its not “clean enough”. Hooray for everyone who made it happen, but I also don’t look at those people who have done it as living the kind of life that I want to live. Everyone should find out what makes them happy, no more listening to the masses for me.

Reply
Evan July 24, 2020 - 2:30 pm

Did you think you turned a profit on the main residence? I will tell you since I wrote this post 5 years ago, I will have gained a lot of equity and paid down a good amount of debt. Notwithstanding, I still think your primary residence is a terrible investment!

Reply

Leave a Comment