My American dream does not involve a wrap-around porch, a giant yard, or 5,000 sq. feet. – AndreAnna from Life as a Plate
Some days I still wonder if we made the right choice keeping our home in Vancouver.
We kept our place because we thought there was a reasonable chance we might be back in Vancouver quickly. My husband’s job was very new to him. He’d worked for himself for almost 20 years and this would be his first corporate job since he was 18. We weren’t sure if the entrepreneur in him, the one that liked working on his own schedule, would adapt to office life.
Our concerns were for naught. My husband really enjoys his job. In fact, our one year anniversary of the move, our Manxiversary as they call it over here, is this week. We really like it here and can see ourselves living in the Isle of Man for quite a while.
So the fear that kept us from selling was really a fear that we would sell and then be back in Vancouver a month later with no home and having lost a huge chunk of money in realtor fees and taxes.
When our mortgage comes up in November of 2016 we’ll look at our options.
The dream of home ownership has lost its luster. As we’ve simplified I’ve realized home ownership is not a requirement. Property taxes, maintenance, dealing with renters – all of it is work, money and potential stress.
Reading this account of the Worth of the American Dream was another revelation for me. This family lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in home ownership. Not to mention all those hours spent on upkeep and the stress of selling their home at a big loss. The American dream became a nightmare for them.
The old American dream is dead.
AndreAnna wrote that giving up the dream of owning a large home meant they could embrace dreams of travel and adventure. Do you think my kids will miss a playroom more than they’ll enjoy a Scottish castle tour when they’re old enough? Do you think they’ll wish they had a finished basement with a pool table when I take them to Hawaii to climb through the lava tubes their father and I walked on our honeymoon? – Life as a Plate
The new American dream is flourishing.
Rent instead of own.
Switch career streams multiple times instead of staying at the same job for 40 years.
Travel, experiences, health and education instead of keeping up with the Joneses and living above your means.
Shrink your lifestyle and possessions so you can work less instead of working more so you can buy more.
Of course, I’m in the minority here. Robi Ludwig just wrote that even post-recession people have a strong desire to own a home.
Owning a home is more than a financial investment, it’s an investment of one’s heart and one’s dreams. – Robi Ludwig via HuffPost
Living the ex-pat life sure doesn’t make me chime in with a hearty agreement on that one.
Our home in Vancouver is, sorry, just a condo. I’ll always treasure my memories of it, our son was born there (yes, right there on our king size bed that we sold for a pittance when we moved) and he took his first steps there. It’s the first home I have ever owned. Well, really owned half of the portion that the bank doesn’t own.
But I don’t invest in my heart and dreams by owning that place. I invest in my heart and dreams by living. Doing. Being. Playing. Connecting. Loving.
I find this precious discourse on home ownership and the value placed on it, disheartening. Yes, it burns my heart a little. You can build memories, invest in your children and invest in yourself, even if you move every year and always rent.
If we become permanent renters we are still a family with hopes, dreams and memories. Even if they’re not attached to a home we currently own.
Have your views on the need to own a home changed? Have you been affected by the economic crisis or have you switched from owning to renting to simplify your life?