Renting Isn't Wrong With A Plan

Joe recently got a job that is full-time telecommuting, so he and his family moved to North Carolina. He'd like to rent something for a year, but it feels wrong to him not to own a home.

QUESTION: Joe in Raleigh recently got a job that is full-time telecommuting, so he and his family moved to North Carolina. He’d like to rent something for a year, but it feels wrong to him not to own a home. Dave doesn’t see a problem with renting for a little while as an adventure.

ANSWER: I don’t think it’s wrong because it’s not a permanent way of life and it’s not a philosophy. It’s a temporary time. Right now, you guys are footloose and fancy-free because you’re married, you make good money, and you’re not bound by location with your job. So the adventure is, “We’re just going to live in different places every now and then.” That’s cool except to the extent where we create something where the kids are in a different place every year probably. The kids probably value some roots. But when you decide to settle down and you’re going to be in a certain community for a period of time, then you buy. If you guys want to go live on the beach for a year, this is a great year to do it. Beach houses are cheap and they’re begging to rent them. If you signed a one-year lease, you could probably negotiate a really good deal. I would not prepay them unless you can find that the home is paid for because they might get foreclosed on, and you’d lose your rent money. I would do that. I’d go live in the mountains or do whatever adventure for a year. I don’t see any problem with that.

I think if this was your 20-year plan, it might be antithetical, but it’s a one-year plan. It sounds fun to me.