June 8, 2019

Own... rent... it's all a state of mind, isn't it?

I'm reading "They See It. They Like It. They Want It. They Rent It. Owning nothing is now a luxury, thanks to a number of subscription start-ups" (NYT):
Many young American urbanites have resigned themselves to a life of non-ownership, abandoning the dream of their parents and grandparents and great-grandparents before them, often out of financial necessity. But renting isn’t just a matter of necessity these days. It’s become almost posh....

“We were raised to save and invest and buy a home and do all of these things,” said Miki Reynolds, 38, who pays a monthly fee for much of what she uses in her day-to-day life in Los Angeles. “But my mentality to currently rent — it’s not YOLO. It’s more living in the present as much as planning for the future because I feel like nothing is guaranteed.”...

“I want nice things, but I’m also not going to drop thousands of dollars all at once on a bunch of things when I don’t know in a year if I’m going to be in the same place,” [said Lili Morton, 36, who recently moved to Seattle from New York].... “I’m going to get a facial or a massage or get my hair blown out,” she said, “things that make me feel good and happy, rather than some impulse purchase that makes you feel good for a bit but maybe you get tired of it.”
The NYT presents this as a youthful change, but the big change is all these services that make it easy to rent different kinds of things. And it's not just for the young, is it?

This is also something us Baby Boomers might want. Get rid of all the accumulated stuff — Marie Kondo the hell out of your life — unload the real estate and move somewhere with no idea if in a year you're going to be in the same place.

Permanence is an illusion, and if you like that illusion, you can bolster it with an ownership relationship to your things, but you can embrace and highlight impermanence through rental.

And these rental services are there to help (and to employ both Miki Reynolds and Lili Morton, you'll see if you look closely).

This subject calls to mind the old joke: "You don't buy beer, you rent it." It's funny (or was funny, when it was funny) because of the graphic depiction of impermanence. You have paid and you think you own what you bought, but it is only flowing through you. You can't hold onto that beer or, in the long run, anything else. If that troubles you, raise your spirits with a certificate of ownership.

115 comments:

Ambrose said...

if you are 36 and 38 - like the two people quoted - you are not "young urbanites."

rhhardin said...

Article for people without enough money to buy a house.

Ann Althouse said...

38 is the new 28.

gilbar said...

it's nice to see that these 'kids' (these middle-aged*, 38 year old kids), aren't doing something Boring with the money that they aren't buying a house with: Like SAVING It

No! they're going to get a facial or a massage or get my hair blown out,”
you know, “things that make me feel good and happy


We have become a nation of grasshoppers... and... WINTER IS COMING!

David Begley said...

Owning residential real estate made America great.

Ann Althouse said...

And 68 is the new 48.

Big Mike said...

Permanence is an illusion,

It isn’t, you superannuated hippie chick.

Ann Althouse said...

"Owning residential real estate made America great."

Greatness is an illusion. But if it sparks joy, roll it up neatly and stow it in a box in your drawer.

Gahrie said...

It is the ultimate expression of the consumer society.

Quaestor said...

From peasant to serf is not progress.

tcrosse said...

Their landlord has a different attitude about owning residential real estate.

gilbar said...

middle-aged* If the average life expectancy is 72; then middle-aged is 36
I learned this watching Mackenzie Phillips on One Day at a Time

etbass said...

One of the financial advantages of owning a house (with a mortgage loan) is the tax deduction benefit of the interest payments. But the new tax reduction last year increased the standard deduction so much that the interest payments no longer matter. This is all good but it does remove an incentive for home ownership.

Huge capital gains from the leveraged down payment investment are still there and this is a more important benefit of home ownership.

traditionalguy said...

Owning property separates the middle class from the peasant class. Just because the colleges now teach Marxist Rioting 101 to fool the young people into giving up all hope of being middle class is nothing but more Enemy of the People propaganda psyops.

Quaestor said...

Greatness is an illusion.

Yeah, it's all an illusion.

Except the pension.

I'm Full of Soup said...

You need a tag "Stupid things the NYT thinks are new trends".

Gahrie said...

Their landlord has a different attitude about owning residential real estate.

And is, I suspect, much more wealthy, happy and wise.

Big Mike said...

And 72 is the same old 72.

John henry said...

A couple of years ago when I got a new pc I was going to buy the ms office package. My work requires I use ms.

I could spend $300 or so on one bundle of I could rent it for $10/month.

I really hate the idea of renting software. I wound up doing it anyway.

It's a lot better than owning it. I get the full suite including access and publisher and can have it on 5 devices including tablet and phone.

Over 3 years now I've spent about what I would have on a single bundle.

Only downside has been when I was 4 months without internet in my house. They eventually locked me out of my ─Ćesktop. That's pretty abnormal though.

John Henry

JHapp said...

A lifestyle Anthony Bourdain would approve.

gilbar said...

Ownership is cheaper than renting; it kinda HAS to be, or the landlord would be going broke.
SINCE Ownership is cheaper than renting; after 15 years of paying (less than rent)... You own a home

This ASSUMES that you
A) could afford to rent that house
B) you'd stay there for 15 years (Mobility in the United States has fallen to record lows.)

Qwinn said...

In most states, ownership really is an illusion. Property taxes (insanely high in NJ - not hard at all to owe $12k or much more per year) just means your landlord is the state. I mean, if needing to pay $1,000 per month on a house you supposedly own outright is distinguishable from paying rent to your landlord, the state, other than the fact that THIS landlord has no obligation to maintain the property, I'd be interested to hear what the difference is.

Phil 314 said...

Hmmm, I sense a bit of life reflection going on in our good Professor’s head.

Ron said...

"Peons! We need you to shuffle about the nation, and Pravda-on-the-Hudson will enlighten you in this regard! Please see Kevin Williamson for your moving instructions!'

Yours Truly,

Your Feudal Lords

TRISTRAM said...

"I really hate the idea of renting software. I wound up doing it anyway"

You'll hate even more when the SJW can end your access for wrong think (see also: Salesforce) to

Mark said...

Serfdom as virtue is folly.

The reason I bought was because I could no longer afford to be at the mercy of landlords.

MadisonMan said...

It's nice to have assets -- and blown-out hair and a facial aren't assets -- when you are ready to retire and downsize.

Unless Miki Reynolds is saving a whole lot of money consistently, she's never gonna retire. And she'll probably blame someone else.

DavidUW97 said...

Nothing inherently superior in renting vs. buying.
People tend not to understand opportunity costs, however, so renting is more frequently a "better deal" than many imagine.
Of course, people also tend not to save/invest the difference between upfront costs and monthly payments so renters more frequently end up with less assets than owners.

For example, I COULD have bought a house I was renting in the Bay Area in 2005 for $700k. Rent was $2000/month. Barely more than 3%. Doing the math, I could easily (and I did) stick the down payment in bonds and make 6%/year (remember those days) and end up ahead. I didn't even need to predict the housing crash (when I did buy in 2009, and added 10 rental units with the spare money, because they were so cheap at 7-9% cash on cash yield, there was no way to lose money/it made more sense to own).

Recognize both the numbers and your psychological biases and you'll get rich.

Sarah from VA said...

There are a lot of things that it makes more sense to rent than own -- but they're hardly mentioned in that article. That talks renting things you use EVERY DAY, like clothing and furniture. That's a terrible idea! Just buy what you love -- ONLY what you LOVE -- and get filler pieces secondhand until you can afford what you love. I've been 6 years in my current house and we've done very well getting good things over time.

There are some things that I prefer to rent over buying. If I ever convince my family to go camping, we will definitely be renting the gear. If you don't camp all the time, there's no reason to have all the stuff in your basement 360 days a year.

I know Lowes & Home Depot offer some renting programs for tools and things, but they're not very convenient. If I could get a start-up to do it, I think it would be a great idea to have a shed located on each residential street where owners could check out lawnmowers, edgers, pressure washers, ladders, wheelbarrows, miter saws and a lot of other things that are useful for homeowners, but only a few times a year. I want a wheelbarrow exactly twice a year -- but when I want it, I REALLY want it. I have a good neighbor I can borrow from, but it does feel annoying to ask them all the time. On the other hand, it seems wasteful to buy another wheelbarrow (all that steel!) when there's a perfectly good one in their yard completely unused for most of the year.

tcrosse said...

In most states, ownership really is an illusion.

Since Althouse admits to a $17k per annum tax bill, Wisconsin must be one of them.

Gahrie said...

I mean, if needing to pay $1,000 per month on a house you supposedly own outright is distinguishable from paying rent to your landlord, the state, other than the fact that THIS landlord has no obligation to maintain the property, I'd be interested to hear what the difference is

Property taxes aren't rent, they're HOA dues.

Mark said...

It is true that, with property taxes, there really is no more personal ownership of property. Instead, we all rent from the government. And if you don't pay the rent, you get evicted, with landlord/government seizing your property.

You end up with the tyranny of people who own their homes outright being unable to afford to live in them. Property taxes effectively preclude low-income people from ever owning a home -- even if it is given to them for free -- because they cannot pay the taxes. That leaves homeownership only for the high-income, money-rich people. Yet another facet of the new feudalism.

Nobody said...

Sure, I will be happy to rent properties to young people and keep the capital gains for myself and my heirs. They are taking advantage of me by burdening me with the extra wealth they are too smart to carry themselves.

Is owning more work than going through your later years with hardly any accumulated wealth? IDK?

rhhardin said...

No rent for the wicked.

rhhardin said...

Property taxes are paid by you whether you own or rent.

Otto said...

This post should be tagged " laments of a 68 year old atheist"

Mark said...

Of course, both markets have been completely corrupted, both rental and ownership.

At least here in Northern Virginia, housing sales prices are sky-high. And rents are also sky-high. So a person who is renting is spending so much of their income on rent that they have very little savings. And now even if they had savings, a middle-income earner cannot afford to buy today.

Nobody said...

If you can write a check with two or more commas from your liquid assets and you have the monthly income to cover the rent, and are fixed for your retirement through advanced old age, sure, go ahead, enjoy your life, pay somebody else to do all of the work!

Oso Negro said...

I've done the math! It makes more sense for me to rent women than to own them! And I can always enjoy the latest model. Thank God there are countries on earth that afford this freedom.

Bay Area Guy said...

"We were raised to save and invest and buy a home and do all of these things,” said Miki Reynolds, 38..."

Well, I hate to break it to this 38-year old pseudo-adult, but that's still good advice. Saving and investing to direct your own future generally pays great social dividends over time. In essence, ownership and wealth means freedom. The freedom to travel, the freedom to live where you want, the freedom to help pay your kids' college and weddings. The freedom to say "No" to bullshit. The freedom to tell certain folks to go pound sand.

Myself, I enjoy the freedom that owning stuff brings.

Nobody said...

It makes more sense for me to rent women than to own them!

It usually makes more sense to rent a depreciating asset that is troublesome to get rid of after a point.

cyrus83 said...

In a sense we rent everything anyway, since when we die everything either ends up in someone else's hands or the dumpster. Owning comes with a higher upfront cost than renting, but allows more freedom in what can be done with what has been purchased.

Hubert the Infant said...

I blame social media. Community used to entail people with whom you had physical interactions, such as neighbors and fellow churchgoers. Now, it is people with whom you have an online relationship. This leads to a sense that where you live is not very important. Your real "friends" might be hundreds or even thousands of miles away. One of many unfortunate manifestations of this attitudinal change is that it is much easier to bash your country. Another one is the lack of rootedness it promotes. Young people appear to spend a great deal of money on experiences like travel and eating out rather than on tangible things like houses and cars. This reinforces a short-term perspective on life.

gilbar said...

It usually makes more sense to rent a depreciating asset that is troublesome to get rid of after a point.

Remember! you don't pay to have her, you pay for her to go away!

Big Mike said...

Remember! you don't pay to have her, you pay for her to go away!

Unless she’s Stormy Daniels.

J. Farmer said...

And 68 is the new 48.

So that'd make 38 the new 18. No wonder so many college kids are acting like babies.

David Begley said...

C’mon, Ann. You’ve built equity in your house. What if you had rented all those years? Would you have landscaped like you and Meade have? No.

Madison would have become Pottersville but for the 30 year mortgage.

madAsHell said...

How many cheap Chinese pressure washers do I toss-out, and buy anew before I realize that I'm just paying rent??

J. Farmer said...

How much of the mid-20th century economic boom was simply an historical anomaly not likely to be reproduced in our lifetimes? Both major political parties cite this time has high-water marks for American prosperity. Both periods included things that the parties say they want. High taxation, unionism, and regulation for the Democrats and social conservatism, patriotism, and ethnic pride for the Republicans. Advocate for both of those groupings, and they call you a fascist. Hmmm.

jaydub said...

"Remember! you don't pay to have her, you pay for her to go away!"

Instead of getting married it may be cheaper to just find a woman you can't live with and buy her a house.

madAsHell said...

Oh, yeah.....Don't ever buy a pool table!! You can't get rid of them.

I'm suspecting that hand-me-down piano in the corner is a boat anchor as well.

Michael K said...

If life gives you lemons you make lemonade or just write about the lemons.

The zero interest rate plan of Obama has had a lot to do with the housing inflation.

I think a crash is coming in a number of blue states like Illinois and California.

Unknown said...

You can always adjust. we are getting ready to sell our 4000 ft sq house in Chicago, and scale down to 1100 ft sq. With 4 kids under 10. We'll put most of our stuff in storage, and bank 70% of salary after all things. Everyone I know thinks we're nuts. But it's financially the best plan for us to stop having the house own us. All these articles on student loan debt and millenial housing, overlook the fact they are trading one anchor for another. And yes, you build equity, but in the face of a credit/debt bubble, the first thing to go will be housing valuations. Then those houses everyone is upset millenials can't afford will be underwater.

Ann Althouse said...

"middle-aged* If the average life expectancy is 72; then middle-aged is 36
I learned this watching Mackenzie Phillips on One Day at a Time"

This subject gives me flashbacks to one of the stupidest arguments I ever got in and had trouble getting out of. I said middle age had to begin at least at 40, because it's said to be the longest part of life, so it needs to be at least 20 years long, at least from 40 to 60. The woman who insisted on fighting with me was over 60, and the idea that she had gone beyond middle age was just intolerable to her. I just wanted out of the conversation.

I remember her insisting that the President of the United States — Leslie Lynch King, Jr. — was still middle aged, because look at that man play golf, and he was only 62 at the time. I must have said you can be old and play gold or some such incendiary thing. I don't know why I cared so much about the truth. I should have said something innocuous like "You're as young as you feel" and moved on to another subject. But every subject was an argument with that particular woman. Argument was like air, necessary to life.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Permanence is an illusion. Stability is not. And stability is hugely important if you are raising children. I've reached my limit on Times articles. Do they mention children? Is their advice to just rent them?

Ann Althouse said...

Play golf, I mean.

I'm not redoing the coding to correct that. Sorry.

Ann Althouse said...

"Permanence is an illusion. Stability is not. And stability is hugely important if you are raising children. I've reached my limit on Times articles. Do they mention children? Is their advice to just rent them?"

You can borrow children. It's free. We have a borrowed dog most days.

Be a godparent. Volunteer babysit. Teach Sunday school.

But there's no app for that.

David Begley said...

President Ford lived in Omaha for 16 days. We have a park for him.

Not fair to call him King. He was adopted and changed his name.

Ann Althouse said...

"Since Althouse admits to a $17k per annum tax bill, Wisconsin must be one of them."

When you rent, the property tax is still there, just bundled into the rent.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Ann Althouse said...

You can borrow children. It's free. We have a borrowed dog most days.

I'm sure that comment makes your sons feel all warm an furry.
:)

Ann Althouse said...

"Not fair to call him King. He was adopted and changed his name."

I dead-named him. I am in trouble.

Ice Nine said...

I owned my own home for many decades. When I lived abroad for five years, I rented. Not having to mess around with repair and maintenance problems, property taxes, etc ruined me. On returning to the States there was no looking back. I can handily buy a house tomorrow if I wish but, no way. I've rented for the last eight years and love it.

What "Nobody" said at 8:47 - "enjoy your life, pay somebody else to do all of the work!" The only thing that could convince me to buy again is when the inevitable housing crash comes in the next few years (Jesus, it feels like 2004 again here in CA!) if a house becomes just simply too cheap to not buy.

Also, at that time, ask homeowners how their "investment" is working out. Thinking of your home as an investment is a fool's errand - especially now with the tax law change.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm sure that comment makes your sons feel all warm an furry."

Well, that just makes another point. You don't own your children, and children don't own childhood. They grow up, and they move out (or you HOPE they move out). They are temporary visitors and you pay a lot for them during that temporary period when they are with you, so interestingly enough, it would make sense to say you RENT them!

Other people's children you can can have temporarily without paying and you can even make money babysitting.

Ann Althouse said...

You don't own your own childhood. It's something you have temporarily, and you got it free.

You could try to say you don't own your life. It's temporary. But objects that you own, such as houses and furniture and clothing, are also only temporary.

Owning isn't all it's cracked up to be. (That's the first thing they teach you in Property class in law school.)

Mark said...

If you have plenty of savings, renting might make sense. But if you are drawing an income with little left over after living expenses, you are doomed to the risk of the landlord jacking up the rent and/or having to have roommates in order to pay the rent. If you're not drawing down on savings, just playing out the clock until the game is over, then you need to find some way to free yourself from being at the mercy of the landlords and lack of privacy and dignity.

Rae said...

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."
- Janis Joplin

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

And 68 is the new 48

Unfortunately, the new 70 is the same as the old 70.

Otto said...

I think Ann has hit the atheist wall.
Go to church tomorrow,it will do you wonders.

Michael K said...

we are getting ready to sell our 4000 ft sq house in Chicago, and scale down to 1100 ft sq.

Depending on where your house is, that might not be easy. My impression of Chicago real estate right now is that it is a buyers' market.

My nephew bought a bigger house because, to quote him, "If I don't buy this house, my wife will divorce me."

Guess what? Now he has two houses, a smaller one that is rented, and the big house which he is trying to sell. Both are in city limits , which is a problem. My impression is that Chicago residents rent or live in high rises with doormen.

The days of middle class life in Chicago, where I grew up, is gone or shortly will be. I don't even want to think what my sister's property taxes are.

tcrosse said...

Owning isn't all it's cracked up to be. (That's the first thing they teach you in Property class in law school.)

Don't they teach that Property is Theft?

Yancey Ward said...

You will end up spending more of your income renting anything if those things are needed on a permanent basis- I mean, this is basic economics- and, as such, it doesn't surprise me to find "young" late 30s "kids" don't understand this.

Now, I practice the Kondo method- I own almost nothing, but I also rent nothing. I am 53 next month, and when I have no family obligations remaining, my ideal life would probably be to spend a year living in different places here in the US and Canada- I might start renting then, or I might just buy an RV- it depends on how the financing looks overall.

Nobody said...

We have a borrowed dog most days.

“I saw a white man walk a black dog.” - Bob Dylan

Nobody said...

Play golf, I mean.

Ha! I thought you had made a surprisingly golf knowledgeable comment. You can traditionally play the shorter gold (senior) tees when you turn 60. I play them, when alone but almost none of my golf friends, who are all older than me, will use them. I rarely see any of them get a par and if they get a birdie, I am tempted to call a rarity like that into Cornell.

Tomcc said...

Oh sure, renting is all well and good until you cut down that tree that's blocking your view!

Tomcc said...

I have one word for you; are you listening? Equity.

Nobody said...

It would be incendiary on the golf course to suggest somebody play the gold tees, BTW, if they were playing the white or longer. It would be an insult.

Nobody said...

Owning isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Neither is renting.

rehajm said...

gold (senior) tees

Forward tees.

rehajm said...

Funny how renters seem to do other stupid things with money. Just coincidence?

tcrosse said...

The sweet things in life, to you were just loaned
So how can you lose what you've never owned?
Life is just a bowl of cherries
So live and laugh at it all

Michael said...

Much better to live in an apartment and own a Porsche than live in those yukky suburbs. Until, that is, you have a kid and you discover that the schools in your cool urban neighborhood are cram full of yukky black children.

Nobody said...

Michael said...
Much better to live in an apartment and own a Porsche than live in those yukky suburbs. Until, that is, you have a kid and you discover that the schools in your cool urban neighborhood are cram full of yukky black children.


Are you a Moby Michael? Why don’t you take your racist comments someplace else?

alanc709 said...

You dont understand capitalism if you think renters don't pay property taxes

Nobody said...

Forward tees.

Then what do you call the ladies tees, mr politically correct. I am not going to change the language because people are offended by the realities of age, sex, and ability to hit a golf ball far.

See how incendiary the subject of gold tees is Althouse?

Francisco D said...

I bought my first house about 35 years ago and and my last house in 2018.

I almost always put at least 50% down so that I would not be burdened with a huge mortgage. The tax deduction (a sop to the real estate industry) is only worth it if you have huge taxes and huge mortgage interest. Well, not any more.

The value in owning a home is not so much financial as it is about responsibility. I felt more committed to my community because it always plays a big role in home value. I had no landlord to fix things, so I either learned a new skill or paid for a pro. I had to organize my time to figure out when to mow the lawn and shovel the driveway. I had to consider the financial implications of upgrading a house. I definitely made mistakes, but it has been a terrific learning experience.

pacwest said...

"And 68 is the new 48."

You wish.

ALP said...

Jobs are not as stable as in the past. Rooting in one place, planning for the future - you need a stable job situation.

The house thing is also more attractive to us homebody types who prefer tangibles rather than fleeting experience.

And yet - Seattle Reddit is full of posts from young people bemoaning their inability to buy a house.

daskol said...

Owning a house in many urban areas is about as financially savvy as whole life insurance. It’s forced savings. If you’re disciplined financially and not extravagantly renting beyond your means, you can probably do better investing the large down payment funds elsewhere, and tax benefits have been sufficiently eroded at most tax bands to make little difference. Of course the enormous sums now needed for down payments in urban areas mean this isn’t a choice most youthful people can afford to make unless they have affluent and generous parents or very high incomes. So let’s talk about how nice renting is, and how well it aligns with our contemporary embrace of impermanence.

Nobody said...

Does Trump “own” gadfly’s inner life, or is he just living in his head rent free?

rehajm said...

See how incendiary the subject of gold tees is Althouse?

Heh. Heh.

Incidentally, the ladies tees are whatever tees the ladies are playing from. Also whatever tees the grumpy old men are playing from, regardless of the length of the golf course from those tees. Which I remind them of, often and loudly.

I get in fights at the golf course, too :-(.

Nobody said...

It’s forced savings.

To an extent, it’s a lot of things. I have plenty of savings, and yet I choose to own buildings that people pay me rent to live in. Mainly because savings accounts pay no interest to speak of and the risks are mostly known up front.

daskol said...

I know several people who satisfy their home ownership Jones with weekend houses in the country and rent their main homes in the city. Permanent vacation, temporary day-to-day living.

daskol said...

Nobody, real estate as an investment is very different from owning your own home. As an asset class for investors, it has a lot to recommend itself, not least more ways to avoid or delay taxes and hide income. It’s also more work and more complicated than passive investment, but it’s been good to me as well.

Nobody said...

Incidentally, the ladies tees are whatever tees the ladies are playing from.

Is my struggle session over yet? I know that there are ladies who can hit longer than I do because I have seen them playing on TV, but not in real life, except one pro I took lessons from who once played on the LPGA, so I am going to call them the ladies' tees. Only seniors play from the gold tees on any course where I play, so those are the “senior tees” in my book and it never causes any confusion to use the term, just offense from people who enjoy taking offense. Who am I to deny them their little pleasure?

Darkisland said...

Blogger TRISTRAM said...

You'll hate even more when the SJW can end your access for wrong think (see also: Salesforce) to

Or for no reason at all. For example, Google has done a number of free services that they have decided are not working out. Sorry, we just cancelled all accounts. Or, some kind of screw up that cancels your account.

I am NOT a believer in the cloud. The MS Office package is not cloud based. It resides on my device. I can use it offline and often do. It will sign me out after a month (or some rather long time) if I don't connect for a while but other than that is no different from buying a package at Costco or Office Max.

I do use the One Drive cloud system as a backup. An extra backup that I can access anywhere. on any device belonging to anyone. I don't depend on it though. If it went away tomorrow I would lose nothing. I continue to keep laptop and desktop synced. I have a 1TB external drive on my desk that backs up every day. I also have 2 other TB drives that I keep complete backups on. Things like presentations and workshops I also have on DVDs. I keep a month or two of email on my server but I also keep all email on my laptop and desktop drives so it gets backed up to. I have all my email going back to 2005 unless I specifically deleted it, spam for example, at the time I received it.

The only thing I rely on the cloud for is Evernote. If it went away tomorrow it would be an inconvenience. I would lose some writing ideas, contacts and movies and books I want to read and so on that I have not backed up. I should back it up more often but at worst I would lose a month or two. None of it critical, little of it irreplaceable.

Phooey to the cloud.

But the MS Office rental is not the cloud.

I also have Kingsoft's free suite downloaded and can install it if needed. As I did during my internet outage. It is just about as good as MS and fully compatible. So I can use it in a pinch. My son uses it regularly. I've used it and it is fine.

If I did not need MS, I would go back to WordPerfect.I do a lot of writing professionally and feel I need MS to guarantee 100% compatibility.

John Henry

Nobody said...

I know several people who satisfy their home ownership Jones with weekend houses in the country and rent their main homes in the city. Permanent vacation, temporary day-to-day living.

That is very sensible, I think.

daskol said...

Leveraged real-estate, with rental income comfortable covering debt service, is the easiest leverage to come by and live with. Sure beats trading on margin for peace of mind.

daskol said...

On the permanent vacation plan: the numbers are tricky, but airbnb and its ilk have made it possible to recoup much of the carrying cost. Of course, this has gotten so popular that popular places in the city’s vicinity are worsting ordinances to limit short-term rentals, as the local long term rental and hotel markets have been hurt. Mostly this is limiting people who buy up multiple houses for a short term rental business, though.

Darkisland said...

A meme about socialism is that "The people (ie; state) own the means of production"

Some argue that National Socialism and Fascism were not socialist because the state did not "own" the means of production.

But it is entirely possible to have ownership without control or control without ownership. Ownership being defined as having some sort of legal title saying "This is is mine"

It really doesn't matter who "owns" something. What is critical is who controls it.

If the state can tell me that I have to move out of my house so a party official can uses it, my ownership is meaningless. The party official's lack of ownership is just as meaningless.

Krupp still owned the steel mills, The Agnelli's still owned FIAT. But the National Socialists told Krupp what to make, who to sell it to and not sell it to, how much to charge, how many employees to have and how much to pay them and so on. Ditto FIAT.

Doesn't sound much like "ownership" to me.

John Henry

Browndog said...

traditionalguy said...

Owning property separates the middle class from the peasant class. Just because the colleges now teach Marxist Rioting 101 to fool the young people into giving up all hope of being middle class is nothing but more Enemy of the People propaganda psyops.


I agree. I do, however, take exception to your use of the pejorative "peasant". "peasant class" not withstanding.

rehajm said...

If these young urbanites took some finance in college they would recognize if they gathered some of their like minded renter friends together the bank will give you enough money for a triple decker, with your friend's first/last/deposit helping with the downpayment and the rent covering your mortgage payments.

But alas...

ALP said...

rehajm:

I used to work a non profit serving SE Asian refugees (Vietnamese, Laotian). Got to know a tightly knit group of Laotians. Within a few years of arriving in the US, they owned homes. How? By teaming up as you described. Even the teenage kids with jobs contributed! Have you ever heard of a US born teenage kid helping the family buy a home!???

So many urban young people today want to buy a home *alone*. That trend alone would put pressure on the inventory available, would it not?

daskol said...

Tenancy in common is (was?) a way for a group of people to collectively buy a property in San Francisco. One challenge with such an approach is that individual homes that can be subdivided are very expensive, and in many cases larger homes get a higher dollar per square foot than smaller ones because they're so hard to come by in desirable areas. This is certainly true in the attractive parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

rehajm said...

ALP- Yup. Sounds verrry familiar...and savvy. I had a friend in college who set up an annex of his fraternity by buying a house near campus and charging rent to his brothers...while he was still in college. He may have had his parents cosign the loan but that didn't change the math!

Rockport Conservative said...

Because of property taxes you might say some of us are renting our property from the government. We pay more property taxes per month on our present home than we paid for a mortgages per month for the home we built in 1967. It is a larger home and price for it was ten times the price of that one.

Amadeus 48 said...

As we say in Illinois, we don’t own our homes. We rent them from the teachers’ pension fund.

Yancey Ward said...

Boy, I wish there were a way to get young people to read the last 20 or so comments in this thread. This is one of the true benefits of being an Althousian.

rehajm said...

Only seniors play from the gold tees on any course where I play, so those are the “senior tees” in my book and it never causes any confusion to use the term

Nobody thinks like this...

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Grandchildren.

DEEBEE said...

From being to nothingness at warp speed

Nobody said...

Wow, you and I must live in different universes rejham. Is everybody really so woke at your golf courses as all that? I guess my struggle session wasn’t over. I must be made to see the errors of my ways! Anyway, only millennials seem to get offended when I use those terms, and to me that’s a bonus for both of us, the offended and the offender both enjoy it!

narciso said...

something I almost missed, one of the perpetrators of the subprime mess, herb sandler of Wachovia, passed away the other day, without any legal accountability,

Martin said...

“We were raised to save and invest and buy a home and do all of these things,” said Miki Reynolds, 38, who pays a monthly fee for much of what she uses in her day-to-day life in Los Angeles. “But my mentality to currently rent — it’s not YOLO. It’s more living in the present as much as planning for the future because I feel like nothing is guaranteed.”...

Well, good luck when you're 70. But, true, nothing is guaranteed: maybe you'll die first, or, alternatively, hit the Lotto.

Not much of a plan, but it's what you have.

WTF, is 38 the new 16?

Caligula said...

Flexibility is an economic good not unlike any other.

In the long run, renting will usually cost more than owning, at least for something you use frequently (such as a home or a car). But high transaction costs make owning inflexible.

So, people are paying for flexibility. Perhaps it's worth it.


(And, yes, the concept of "ownership" somewhat of a lie. It's not just that you only "rent" beer, but that detached house you just bought, it may last a century yet you surely will not own or use it that long. Nor do you even own it in an absolute sense, as government can take it by eminent domain, or for nonpayment of taxes, even if you don't want to sell. Just as a landlord can evict you when the lease is up, or for nonpayment of rent.

Galway Boy said...

I last rented 40 years ago. I was in the house for two years, was always on time with the rent and took good care of the place. One day, the landlord showed up with a 30 day notice to vacate as he had “other plans” for the property. I decided then and there that no individual would ever dictate my fate like that again. As long as I pay my mortgage and taxes I am the master of my domain.