our blog


The Case for Renting: Homeownership Isn’t for Everyone

by | Mar 30, 2020 | Real Estate

Although owning is nearly twice as affordable as renting, monthly payments alone don’t tell the full story.

Shirleen Holt’s relief at returning to renting is typical of many former homeowners.

No more fixing leaky faucets; no more time-consuming projects.

A marketing consultant who recently moved to Ashland, OR, Holt expects to own again, but for now she is thoroughly enjoying the renter’s life.

“When something goes wrong, I just call the landlord,” she says. “That right there is worth an extra $100 a month.”

It’s a practical reflection of the added bother and expenses that accompany owning a home.

Although owning is nearly twice as affordable as renting when it comes to monthly payments, those figures don’t tell the whole story. Some people say they’ve made more money – and even become millionaires – because they switched from owning to renting. They invested down payments and other money that went toward mortgages, taxes, insurance and maintenance, and they came out ahead.

The American Dream?

It’s a point of view not often heard in the United States. Although the U.S. homeownership rate has been about 65 percent for the past three decades, lower than in many other countries, our culture continues to value homeownership as a component of the American Dream and a way to reach financial stability.

That’s worth reconsidering, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff and Chief Economist Stan Humphries argue in their book, “Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate.” An entire chapter is devoted to the idea that homeownership should be uncoupled from the American Dream.

“Buying a home is a gamble,” they write. “It’s a gamble that we will want to keep living in one place – and keep making the mortgage payments that come with it – for years and even decades into the future.”

For low-income people, in particular, homeownership can pose too much risk. Rascoff and Humphries say that’s why subsidies for low-income families to buy homes in low-income neighborhoods, where housing values can be more volatile, often hurt the people they say they’re helping.

The risk also doesn’t make sense for people in other situations – for example, those who lose a job and are more likely to move to take another position than to get by on savings until they find work where they live, and those who do not have the savings to sustain a financial hit without downsizing, Rascoff and Humphries explain.

Money matters

Staying put long enough to gain equity is the key to making homeownership a good financial choice – something Zillow lays out in its breakeven analysis, and which strongly influences savvy renters.

“Because mortgages these days are very heavily front-loaded with interest, many homeowners are throwing money away just like they say renters are,” says Kelly Phillips Erb, a tax attorney who rents an old farmhouse outside Philadelphia.

It’s true that homeowners can deduct interest and property taxes, but only if they are itemizing their deductions. That tends to be most beneficial in the early years of homeownership, when the interest portion of mortgage payments is more likely to exceed the standard deduction. That’s also when people are gaining the least amount of equity.

Additionally, home improvement costs are not recouped as frequently as some people think via capital gains breaks after a home is sold, Phillips Erb explains.

A difference in perspective

Owning a home made sense for earlier generations in part because they took out 30-year mortgages and actually lived in their homes for 30 years, gaining enough equity to make the purchase worthwhile, says Phillips Erb, who writes a column for Forbes.com.

That plan can still work – but people do not stay put the way they used to. They move, they restart the 30-year clock by refinancing and they spend their home-sale gains on new cars and vacations rather reinvesting them into another home.

Brian Stoffel, a writer for The Motley Fool who preaches the pro-rent word, rents in Wisconsin and Costa Rica, but says he and his wife might yet buy a home. They believe their down payment would fare better in the stock market (something “Zillow Talk” refutes), but they want a stronger sense of community.

“When we think about why we put money in the stock market anyway – to provide what we want or need in our life – it seems silly to not own a home just so we can have more money,” Stoffel says.

Phillips Erb, the happily renting tax attorney, thinks renters could save money by shopping around and even negotiating with landlords.

“People will search two years for a house but one month for an apartment,” she notes. “I don’t think the market is so inelastic at this point – depending on where you are – that you can’t research where you want to be and figure out what you’re willing to pay.”


Powered by WPeMatico




An accomplished real estate professional with a distinguished track record of success.  She has spent over 17 years in Atlanta representing buyers and sellers of $1M+ properties and is a tremendous negotiator.  Micki has a unique knack for forming close and authentic relationships with her clients; she steps beyond the real estate transaction and provide them with after care.  Micki has unparalleled marketplace knowledge and thrives on being resourceful; she studies and follows the data beyond the average agent.



Set up a FREE consultation with me today. I’ll be sure to make your real estate experience as unique, simple, and satisfying as I can.

CSRA Market Update | Augusta Metro Real Estate Conditions | Augusta Realtor Micki Esposito

It’s All About Supply and Demand | HOME PRICES

As we enter the summer months and work through the challenges associated with the current health crisis, many are wondering what impact the economic slowdown will have on home prices. Looking at the big picture, supply and demand will give us the clearest idea of...


  Welcome to 215 Hornsby Lane located in the luxurious River Island neighborhood. This stunning move-in ready home is nestled in the charming cottage section of River Island, offering a lifestyle that combines modern luxury with timeless appeal. With a listing...

Real Estate Market Trends?

The Changing Real Estate Market: Remote Work and Technology The real estate industry is constantly evolving, my friend. Trends and factors shape how buyers, sellers, and agents navigate the market. Today, I want to discuss the latest market trends that are shaping the...

17 Hobbies Just Right to Become Money-Making Side Hustles

If you’re looking to make some extra money, side gigs like babysitting and Uber are great options, but they aren’t the only ones. Whether the pandemic quarantine ignited a love of baking or the excitement of shopping in stores again hasn’t worn off, you can find ways...

How To Sell Your Home With Better Listing Photos

Did you know that over 90 percent of buyers start their home search online, and most first impressions are made from online photos? If you want to make sure that people are interested in buying your home, you need to make sure that the impression it makes is a good...

6 Ways to Overcome the Emotions of Selling a Home

Selling your home can stir up a range of emotions you may not have expected. While you may feel excited about the opportunity to move into a new house, you may also experience feelings of sadness or loss as you prepare to sell your home. Use these tips to help...


            Don’t lose potential buyers due to any flaws or unsightliness on the exterior of your home. Use the tips below to wow people at the curb and get them in the door! The best part is, you don’t have to spend a fortune or break...

What does it mean to you: the Future of Home Price Appreciation?

Many consumers are wondering what will happen with home values over the next few years. Some are concerned that the recent run-up in home prices will lead to a situation similar to the housing crash 15 years ago. However, experts say the market is totally different...


"The Best of the Best"

“Best of the best! If you are looking for a personal, boutique-style home purchasing experience, I highly recommend Momentous Realty. Micki Esposito was fantastic! We discussed what I was looking for in a home in detail, and that same day, she emailed me a short list of properties tailored to what I asked for. I felt like she truly listened. No generic emails with 50 listings of houses you have to weed through yourself. She weeded through the fluff and was able to focus the search on homes I would actually consider. As a result, my home search actually went much quicker than I anticipated. Micki was there from the beginning and even after the closing. She was not only my realtor, she was an advisor and my advocate behind the scenes. I believe that because of all her hard work, the entire process was efficient and much more painless than I expected. I would not hesitate to work with her again and I cannot say enough good things about Micki!”

– Dr. A. Jeffery

Her in depth Knowledge & Integrity are clear from the start.

We were so lucky to have worked with Momentous Realty | Micki on our home purchase. Her involvement in leveraging our position in our home purchase and synergistic solutions are the very reason why we are homeowners today. Her service was beyond compare, even a more powerful statement knowing that we aren’t her typical market. Her strong in-depth knowledge + integrity are clear from the start.

– M/M Woodson, Senior Executives

The results were amazing

She was very professional. Kept us informed every step of the way for a quick worry-free closing. Definitely will use her again.

– Dathne Johnson

One Call That's All...

MICKI is awesome she will help you with all your real estate needs. One call that’s all. Thank you for everything Micki.

– Stacey Manson

The epitome of integrity and grace.

Micki is the epitome of integrity and grace. I love and appreciate her wisdom and willingness to share her words of knowledge with those that she encounters. I can always look to Micki to be uplifted and encouraged.

– Lease Youmans

Our Go-To Realtor, knowledgeable, professional & dependable.

We couldn’t have been any happier with Micki and her professionalism throughout our temporary relocation process to Metropolitan Atlanta during filming requirements. Almost immediately, Micki and her team provided us with leasing options based upon our family requirements. She thoroughly explained the leasing process, attended every showing with us, and provided us with enough information to ultimately make our decision to purchase another home within the area.

MICKI, thank you and your team for the amazing work!

– M/M Washington, Entertainment Industry



Pin It on Pinterest

Share This