I am not a home owner. I shouldn’t be a home owner. I don’t have enough cash in my savings account to be a home owner.
However, everyday I am pestered by people who just love to tell me that I need to buy a house. They say I am crazy for not buying a house because of these things:
- $8,000 Tax Credit
- Buyer’s market
- Good investment
- Renting = wasting money
While all of these things may be true, home ownership is not a right – it’s a responsibility and a privilege.
In my article at Money Under 30 this week, I mentioned that buying a house simply to obtain a tax credit is just ludicrous. Do you know how many tax credits exist? Many. There are tax credits for adopting a child, having a child, going back to school, being elderly or disabled, among other things.
Does that mean I should adopt a child or get all jazzed up about turning 65 so that I can claim a tax credit? Er, no. Nor should I jump for joy over a measly $8,000 tax credit which would in turn force me to buy a house before I’m ready; Thereby, most likely putting me in thousands of dollars of consumer debt. No thanks.
I think there are certain things you need to accomplish before you are ready to own a home. Among them are:
- 6-12 months of Emergency Fund (I have about 10 months)
- At least 20% of the down payment in cash for your house (preferably more)
- Several thousand dollars ($15,000 for Lloyd and I) for new home miscellaneous expenditures
- Stable Full Time Job
- Married or buying a house on your own (never buy a house with someone other than your spouse)
From that list, I only have 2 (maybe 3, the jury’s still out on number 4) of those things accomplished. Survey says: Carrie is not ready to buy a home.
I would venture to say that premature home ownership is one of the biggest causes of consumer debt problems.
So, there you have it – I am not ready to buy a house; it’s also pretty likely that those people who are telling me to buy a house really were never ready in the first place. So, you enjoy your credit card debt and I’ll enjoy my savings and my landlord.
You can bet that I’ll buy a house someday. Oh yes, I cannot wait for that day! Trust me though – it won’t be a day sooner than I am financially and mentally ready.
What do you think? Do you think people buy houses before they’re ready? For the renters out there – do people pester you to buy, buy, BUY?