Yes – I’ve never owned a home and I’m okay with it.
Have I had the opportunity and money to buy a house? Absolutely. But did I want to? No.
I’m sure there are some others in my situation but sometimes I feel like the only one when I talk to others my age and they’ve all got a mortgaged house. I refused and still refuse to be part of the consumerism that comes with owning a home, as I have never felt less than anyone for not having a huge hole in my bank account. And as they say, the bigger the house, the more sh*t you have to buy to put in it!
When I was in my 20s, my parents gave me some advice. They said, “Don’t buy a house, but buy some land if you have to”. I didn’t ever get around to it but their reasoning behind this was because when I was 25, my father and I were in a terrible car accident. As a result, he couldn’t work again and was completely paralysed on one side of his body. He said to me, “If I had a mortgage, your mother and I would be bankrupt now”. As the breadwinner of the family, my dad relied on his income to pay for everything. He was glad that he was not at risk of losing his home and everything else. And because we didn’t own our home, we were free to go everywhere and I lived in some fabulous places as a young girl.
I worked through my 20s and 30s, moving from Adelaide to Cairns, where in 1980 I met my children’s father. He and I had our first son in 1988 when I was 35, followed by our daughter in 1990. Matthew bought our first home and didn’t put me on the deed as I had no income and wasn’t able to contribute to the deposit due to being a stay at home mum. Years later, he went bankrupt after a failed business venture and the first thing the bank came for was the house. We had to rent from then on but to be honest, it was perfectly fine with me – we had a much nicer house for a fraction of what we paid in rates, bills and mortgage repayments.
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I had an idea that any extra money I could save would go into my superannuation – the money I no doubt would have been spending on my mortgage if I had bought a house. My friends and family were breaking their backs just to pay their mortgage, rates, bills, insurance and maintenance costs that come with owning a home, while I only had rent to worry about. It sounded like a fair trade-off. People told me I was silly not to have invested as my house would be worth so much more now and blah blah blah. Well, yes, but also, I have a nice amount of super because I saved that money I would have spent on a home.
I still can’t reconcile the difference between moving into a new rental property and moving into a newly bought house. It just doesn’t make sense to me. At the end of the day, if you’ve got a roof over your head and food on the table, it shouldn’t matter how you got there, yet so many in our society look at you like you’re an alien when you say you don’t have a property. I know as a single mother with two young children I couldn’t have owned my home – we would have had no money for anything.
I’ve now raised my kids to live their life and save money to travel. Don’t worry about buying a home because in this day and age, if you buy a home, you’re going to be eating tinned spaghetti on the floor. I think renting and paying $200-300 a week total is a smarter decision, but you can prove me wrong – I don’t care!
Have you bought a home before? Or are you like this writer and never been a home owner? Tell us below.