At the end of 2015, certified financial planner Alan Moore shared his 11 best pieces of financial advice with Business Insider.
Among them: Don’t buy a home.
“I spend more time talking young people out of buying houses than pretty much anything else with clients,” the cofounder of XY Planning Network wrote. “Now, I know it’s the American Dream and I know that we’ve been told that buying a home is cheaper in the long run than renting — but honestly, it’s not always true.”
He puts forth the following reasons:
It’s illiquid. You end up with all of your money in your house, an asset that’s tough to sell and expensive to deal with.
It’s immobile. “Whenever you want to chase a new job opportunity (or you get laid off and you need to downsize), or you want to move to a different state or life takes an unexpected turn in some way, homeownership tends to tie us down quite a bit,” he wrote.
“Homeownership is a good way to really screw up your finances,” he wrote.
Moore isn’t the only one in the rent-don’t-buy camp. “Buying a house is for suckers,” declared self-made millionaire Grant Cardone on Entrepreneur, arguing that a home isn’t an investment because it doesn’t pay you every month. A home does the exact opposite, and “nothing is a good deal if you have to feed it constantly.”
Author James Altucher wrote that he’d never own a home again, citing the money-absorbing purchase process, taxes, a constant need for maintenance, and lack of flexibility. Certified financial planner Sophia Bera wrote on LearnVest about buying a house at age 21 that lost significant value with the housing market crash, and said she considers it a mistake.
So Moore, who wrote that he generally recommends renting as long as possible, isn’t alone. However, there is one caveat to his rule: “not buying a home does not apply to investment property. If investment real estate is something you want to get into, it’s certainly an option, but you should consult with a financial planner first to map out the best plan of action for your investment.”
The truth is that everyone’s financial situation is different, and the decision whether to buy or rent a home has a considerable emotional component. If you’re considering it, take a look at smart questions to ask before you buy, and read a financial professional’s advice on how to be unfailingly logical about your choice.
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