In his article, Early Retirement: Where to Live?, Philip Greenspun offers the following advice:
If you can rent anything decent, try to avoid buying property. Think about the most interesting people you know. Chances are, most of them are renters. People who rent talk about the books that they’ve read, the trips that they’ve taken, the skills that they are learning, the friends whose company they are enjoying. Property owners complain about the local politicians, the high rate of property tax, the difficulty of finding competent tradespeople, the high value of their own (very likely crummy) house or condo, and what kinds of furniture and kitchen appliances they are contemplating buying. Property owners are boring. The most boring parts of a property owner’s personality is that which relates to his or her ownership of real estate.
His article doesn’t apply to me, but his insight about home owners hits close to home nonetheless. For us middle-aged suburban homeowners with school-aged kids, the concerns include: property values, the quality of the schools, how new development (especially new rental property!) will lower the quality of the schools and our property values, traffic, planned maintenance and upgrades to our homes, etc. Boy, he’s right. That is boring stuff.
(via Rafe Colburn)