It just recently dawned on me that we've owned this house for a year now.
I'm starting to re-think this whole home ownership thing.
For starters, what's the point? Ideally, you would buy a forever home at a young(ish) age so that by the time you retire the house would be paid for and you won't have to worry about paying a mortgage or rent during retirement. This house that we bought isn't our forever house. I mean, it could be, I guess... There's certainly nothing wrong with it. Our town was rated #4 in Money Magazine's Best Place to Live. Really! Number Four! I was quite surprised myself! It's plenty big for the two of us and neither us are dreaming of McMansions and luxury town homes. Still, I don't see us spending our retirement here because... well, I guess because I don't think I'd want to spend my retirement here. I mean, if I'm 70 years old I'd like a house with considerably less steps. Because I know we will (most likely) move on eventually it kind of feels like I'm renting... from myself...
And, you know, home ownership comes with a lot of stress. Of course the year we buy a home is the year Armageddon hits the DC Metro area. Okay, gross exaggeration, but seriously, massive snow fall, earth quake, hurricane, twisters, and flood watches?!?! If there's a mold issue because of all the rain and humidity in the house that you're renting, you can just walk away from that situation. If there's mold in the house that you own... Well shoot, that's going to be really time consuming and very expensive. I live in fear of property damage; it sucks.
Speaking of walking away... if you rent, you always have the option of moving out if your neighborhood turns to crap; not so easy if you own a piece of that neighborhood. Every new neighbor and development is a potential threat.
Having to stay put also limits your career opportunity. Thankfully I live in an area with low unemployment but it can still suck. I very much enjoy working for my company and would like to stay on with them long term. However, I am also ambitious and would not like to stay in the current role; I would want to be promoted in the next few years. However, if the next step is offered to me, it would be at a location that is not ideal, commute wise, but close enough that it wouldn't make much sense to relocate. Moving out of your apartment to save an hour off your commute to a new position that pays a little bit better than your current position is totally doable. Selling your current home and buying a new one so that you can save an hour off your commute to a new position that pays a little bit better than your current is not so doable. So, I can either hope that fate and magic somehow makes it all work out or I can hit that ceiling and start looking for another job.
But you know, despite it all, if I had to do it all over again, I would still buy this house. I don't know why. It's not a decision I regret, I just don't know why I don't regret it... If that makes sense...