I know there are some people who would never have a mortgage loan, or they have had one at some point in time but they feel much more comfortable renting. I have never been one of those people, and I wonder how much I was affected by an incident that happened when I was about 7 years old. It was a couple of years after my father abandoned his family to start a brand new family. My mother was pregnant and married him right out of high school so she was uneducated and had no job skills. She was unable to find employment and so we were forced to move from the home I’d lived in for much of my life. My mom did find a job wrapping meat in a butcher market and located a rental home close to her employment. I have a few memories of living there. I was in the first generation of latchkey kids and was by myself alone at home for several hours before my mother returned. One memory that stands out significantly is the one in which the landlord wanted us to move. I don’t know any of the details, but I do recall that eventually he removed the front door off the hinges.
I don’t remember if he did it while we were gone during the day, or if he came over one evening and took the door. What I do remember is how scared I was because a few weeks earlier we had had a very scary visit one night from a man who was very drunk, who went around and around our house banging on the door and windows pleading for us to let him in. My mother was too poor to afford a telephone, so we were trapped in the house with this guy screeching and banging. Eventually my mom climbed out the window while he was on the other side of the house to go to a neighbor’s house to call the police.
I remember the neighbor who lived in the house in front of ours was a tall woman. While my mother called the police, she walked over with her gun. She wasn’t scared at all and “helped” the drunken man move on down the road. I am not sure how I know that she was not afraid… perhaps after the guy had moved on and the police arrived she recounted the story. The man had lost his direction and was on the wrong side of the street.
We moved a lot when I was growing up, and I hated it. I had a hard time making friends and I always felt I was cheated by having to move every year or two. As a teenager I lived with a foster family and they were even worse. They didn’t have the money to live in the homes we were renting and eventually we would get the eviction notice and then would scurry in the middle of the night to move under the cover of darkness.
I have had to rent a couple of times in my adult life, and I did not like it at all. My preference obviously is to own my home and I find it is much less stressful for me when I own my home and property.
Owning your own home means you will need to apply for a mortgage or maybe you are fortunate enough to have won the lottery, or you took Dave Ramsey’s advice and saved up money to buy your home with cash, or maybe you own your home free and clear but have fallen into money problems and need a mortgage like my friend Nancy or my friend Susan.
So what is your preference? Own your home or rent?