Alex Avery

The Wealthy Renter

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    The decision to become a homeowner, or the decision to not become a homeowner, is the biggest financial decision you are likely to make in your entire life.
    The cards are stacked against you. Virtually every source of advice on housing is biased: from the government, which prefers you own, to agents, who want you to transact quickly, to family, who want you to have the safety net of forced savings, to even the economists who are calling for a crash in prices. Housing is a complicated thing, and there are no good sources of advice. Renting is the best way to neutralize all of this bad advice.
    If you decide to be a renter, find a forced savings program that works for you. Preferably more than one. Having forced savings will ensure you build wealth over time and have a secure financial future.
    If you decide to be a homeowner, take your time, figure out what you want from housing, and wait for the right op
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    Another appealing investment characteristic found in stocks and bonds, but not in housing, is the ability to “short” an investment. Shorting a stock, bond, or index is betting that prices will fall. The technical mechanism for shorting works like this: An investor “borrows” stock held by another investor and then sells it into the market. The investor has now locked in a sale price and has promised to repurchase the stock at a later time and return it to the investor they borrowed it from. Later, they buy back that stock in the market, hopefully at a lower price, and return it to the original owner. In this way, investors can not only bet on the price of an investment going up, by buying and then selling an investment later at a higher price they can also bet on it going down.
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    What does happen is that the mortgage payments, which were a part of rent, disappear, but they are replaced by an “implicit” rent. The implicit rent isn’t a payment that has to be made; it’s a payment you make to yourself.
    Just like maintenance, it’s a very difficult number to figure out, and it can change significantly over time. And because it’s not a number you can see each month, it’s dangerous. If you don’t keep track of implicit rent, it can sneak up on you and become much larger than you’d ever imagine.
    To understand implicit rent, think about it this way: When you buy a house, you take on a large mortgage, and over a long period of time you pay it o
    The amount of income you haven’t earned because you’ve owned your home instead of investing in other things is implicit rent.
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    o, in total, the rent a mortgaged homeowner pays includes: 1) interest on the mortgage; 2) maintenance; 3) property taxes; 4) utilities; and 5) insurance — and often a few
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