Recently, Jim at Bargaineering blogged about the reasons why someone shouldn't buy a home within 5 years of graduation.
As I read the post, I thought about my own situation: I graduated from college a year-and-a-half ago, I'm in my 20s, single and debt-free. I found a job with a fantastic company that I love and that continues to treat its employees like gold. Based on the track record of current employees, it would be so easy for me to "put down roots" in my city and buy a place, since I expect to be with the company for a while. There's a first-time homebuyer's tax credit also working in my favor and real estate prices are rather low. However, the reasons that Jim outlined (and some others of my own) are exactly why I have no desire to buy now or in the near future!
- Loss of Flexibility. My company has a few other offices around the country and around the world, and what if I decide I want take a position at one of those for a few years? Or, if I get a job with another company in another city that would be better for my career? Renting makes it so easy to just get up and go!
- Home Prices. In my Southern California city, home/condo prices are still VERY expensive, even though they have dropped from their highs a few years ago. I do not have any sort of savings for a downpayment, and a decent place here would require a LOT of money for the downpayment and mortgage.
- Maintenance. I am not handy. I do repairs, except the occasional lightbulb, and I'm usually too short to even do those! If the toilet breaks or there's a burst pipe... those costs would all be on me, and they would definitely not be cheap and can easily add up! It's so much easier to call the landlord to fix whatever is needed and deal with the responsibility. Some of my maintenance fears would probably disappear if I had a man in my life, though... ;)
What are your reasons for not buying a place? Conversely, what are your reasons for buying one or wanting to buy one?