Last week I talked about how a house actually costs less than an apartment, and now I am going to blow your mind. Ready? What happens in year 31 after your house is paid off?
For the home owner, something amazing has happened in year 31. They own their home, free and clear! They now hold something of amazing value. The other thing is that $16,000 each year is now freed up for whatever you want because you are no longer paying your mortgage. For the renter, they face yet another year of rent increases AND they hold nothing of any real value. It never stops! In this case the rich do get richer and the poor do get poorer.
But wait! There’s more: Once you have gotten yourself into a house you will eventually notice that it gets easier to make the payment. Over time, inflation renders money less valuable and this is a good thing for a homeowner because inflation increases your pay over time, but your mortgage is a fixed cost that does not change (assuming a fixed-rate loan). All of these factors over time combine to make your home payment a smaller and smaller portion of your total costs. This feels good.
Go check out zillow.com and type in your address. If you live in an apartment, find a block with single family houses. You can see how much each person on your block paid for their house. Most houses in the suburbs are built in large groups utilizing a few floor plans to minimize costs. My house has five exact replicas on my block. They all were priced identically initially, but over time various owners have come and gone. In one of those identical houses is a fellow who has his house paid off, while I have another 20 years to go! He paid far less and his payment was far less than mine is now. That’s ok for me because I’m 40 and at 60 my house will be paid off! This is about the time my kids will need me to be helping with college tuitions and weddings, but I will no longer be paying a mortgage.
As a young adult these future things will be easier if you make small sacrifices now. Spend less than you earn and save up for a house. Yes the housing market can be crazy, but I'm not trying to sell you on a get rich quick scheme. If you buy a house THAT YOU CAN AFFORD and stay put, you will soon be paying less than the average renter. Eventually you will have no monthly payment for your housing and you will hold something of immense value.