I’ve never owned a home and I’m okay with it 302



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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.

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.

Guest Contributor

  1. I totally disagree, why pay rent to line another persons pocket. You take out insurance in case you lose your job or get sick. When I got my mortgage you had to, you were covered till it was paid off. This was nearly forty years ago.

    1 REPLY
  2. I would like to know where she rents for $200-$300a week today. Rents are much higher than that in most places. Also what about the costs involved every time you move when your rental is up for sale or the owner wants it back. Recent experience has taught me costs can be at least $500 just to move out. So I am thinking buying might be expensive but at least you can stay.

    7 REPLY
    • She would have to be living in the bush or Tasmania where renting is much cheaper.

      1 REPLY
      • Rent in Tasmania is similar now. Depends what you rent. Modest 3 bdrm home over $270 week

    • i agree rent is a lot more than 200-300 a week in most places unless u wish to live in a dump

    • I pay $230 and it’s not a dump,I have good landlords that aren’t greedy or looking for someone to pay off their property for them!!

  3. Same here i am glad i brought my house the rent is so high and you still have to pay for power and water a lot of people cant afford the rent

  4. I all disagree. Having your own home is security. It’s hard work to pay it off, but certainly cheaper than paying rent

    1 REPLY
    • I pay $920 a month in rent,try getting a home loan repayment down to that price without paying a rather large deposit(like half)

  5. There are pros & cons both ways. We started off renting after marriage 40 years ago & saved to buy a block of land for cash (only $18,000 in those days). Then lived in a caravan on the land while saving again & starting to build our own modest home. Nothing flash or perfect, but it was ours & without a mortgage! After a few years we built another similar unit on the same block & rented it out. I didn’t envy my friends at work with mortgages, they were constantly watching as interest rates rose as high as 17%. I was just glad we escaped the dreaded “never-never”. 🙂

  6. Love owning our own home!! Renting may be fine when you are both working but paying rent when you are on a pension???? Could be difficult….. Love having a home that is mine and that we can’t be thrown out of on aomeone else’s whim.

    2 REPLY
    • So long as whilst on the pension and owning your own home you are able to pay for all repairs & maintenance and not forgetting the rates and taxes.

    • After a life of working you should be able to weed, clean gutters, paint, and have got some tradesmen mates that will help while you weed their garden!!

  7. I can resonate with this article. For many reasons over the past 11 years my husband a d myself have lived in rentals. We are not tied down, we can have the freedom to move whenever we want to.

  8. LOL your story sounds fine, but try to rent anything for $200-300 in Sydney!

  9. We are all different and have different expectations in life. I owned a home (or prison to me). I like renting. It suits me. I have seen “the great Australian dream” turn into a nightmare for some. I have seen some homeowners happy as. A “home” is what you make it and some grey nomads are truly living their dream on the road in small caravans. I hope that everyone is comfortable and happy where ever and what ever they live in.

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    • I’ve seen happy traveling nomads with motor homes & caravans come to a screaming holt when they’ve become ill or broke a hip. As a nurse I’ve seen some sad endings dreams of a lifetime

    • I too was a nurse till yesterday yeah !! But I am on my own and need security I can’t imagine living in a caravan full time with no home like you said what happens next????

    • This grey nomad thing interests me, I have seen many say that they don’t stop at caravan parks am wondering where they stop to rest and sleep, I did go to QLD recently and saw many caravans parked in rest stops ..so perhaps that is where they camp overnight

    • I have also seen (next door) people in their own homes fall and badly hurt themselves and have to go into a nursing home. I hope no one in any situations gets hurt. I feel that you cant stop living YOUR dream because you are scared to stop living. Have a good life everyone

    • I agree Elaine..life is being happy while your here..you can’t take possessions with you when you go. I am genuinely curious about the grey nomad lifestyle..perhaps I might try it myself

  10. There are a lot of ‘ifs and buts’ to owning/renting a house, BUT it all depends on circumstances. We owned a house, had a business, went bankrupt and lost the house, within 12 months we rebuilt and once again owned our house and all along had a safe superannuation, now I sit comfortably with a roof over my head (no mortgage) and a super to boost. Am happy as Larry!!

    2 REPLY
    • Wow you must be on very high wages to rebuild and own your own house in twelve months??? To declare bankrupcy ypou cannot own anything for 5years??? You must be doing something illegal 🙂

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