Buyer Beware: Owning a Home Isn’t What it Used to Be

The slap this week goes out to all of us who were raised with the belief that it is never a good idea to rent a home. You know, most of us were raised believing it is always best to own.

Well, that advice may not be as good as it used to be.

[ad#Google Adsense 336×280-IA]A recent MarketWatch article about a retired guy who loves to ski, but couldn’t afford to live in the Lake Tahoe area year-round was a real eye-opener for me.

He rents a house in Tahoe two months a year during the ski season and then rents an apartment in Thailand for the rest of the year.

Now here’s where it gets good.

He spends more money in two months in Tahoe than he does the rest of the year in Thailand.

How does $20,000 total for 10 months sound? And all this guy does for 10 months is dive and sail.

A three-bedroom apartment outside of Phuket, a nice beach town, costs about $473 per month. Dinner for two in a nice restaurant runs around $20. In an inexpensive restaurant, dinner runs around $5.

That’s what a bottle of water cost me the other night!

And a smaller one-bedroom apartment, in the same location, runs just $195 a month.

The exchange rate between the baht and the dollar is around 36-to-1. That makes living so much nicer. The exchange rate is like Paris after World War I.

If you have the cash and are looking for a way to buy a home outside of the U.S., a studio apartment 200 yards off the beach goes for about $26,000.

Let’s see: $195 a month for an apartment in a beach town, $5 to $20 for a night out, a 36-to-1 exchange rate…

And we own homes here why?

Yes, I know about appreciation and the tax benefits, but have you ever added up the real cost of a home? Taxes, interest, insurance, improvements, maintenance? The idea that we are making any real money on most of them is a joke.

The interest alone on the mortgage rates we had been paying before the current zero interest rate market, around 7% in the ‘90s and 2000s and God knows how much in the ‘80s, usually wiped out all the so-called growth.

To be honest, after reading that article, I have to take a long look at what I have been planning to do about my homes in retirement.

Just $195 a month! That wouldn’t pay half of my taxes on one house.

Good investing,

Steve

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Source: Wealthy Retirement