Anyway, the point of this post is all about how expensive it is to own a house. Normally, you buy a house because you need somewhere to live. And you need somewhere stable to start a family and bring up your children. And because somebody told you that renting is just giving your money away.
And these are all the reasons that we originally bought a house and even in hindsight, it was the right thing to do at the time.
But times had changed for us. Now that our children are grown, we had no more need for a house. And, when this motorhome bug caught us, we were very fortunate to have sold our house at the top of the housing bubble.
And times had changed for the economy. Interest rates in Canada and the U.S. were heading for all time lows. They can't go any lower. That means they can only stay the same, or they can go up. In 1992, Japan had a housing bubble. They also had record low interest rates, which continued lower. But housing prices peaked in the Japanese asset bubble of 1992, and they have been heading down for the last 20 years!
Canada has been lucky in that it's real estate market did not collapse like areas of the U.S. did. But it will...because prices CANNOT go up forever, and people have become complacent in thinking that because they went up for the last 30 years that they'll go up forever.
I remember thinking that our house couldn't possibly be worth the $240,000 that we sold it for. It seemed ridiculous to me. And I still think it's ridiculous, especially if you're buying it thinking that it's going to increase in value at 10% per year or more like they have been doing.
Anyway, I think we could easily see a scenario where house prices actually decrease every year...maybe for the next 20 years or more.
So, besides the economics of housing prices, you also have all the miscellaneous costs of ownership. This is all good when houses are increasing in price. You have to pay property taxes when you own a house. In Canada, property taxes are higher than in the U.S (all taxes are higher in Canada!). We paid approximately $2,400 per year in property taxes. Then, we paid electricity, water, heating costs, and all of the repair and maintenance items that go along with owning a house. Besides the expense in decorating, there is always something needing to be done...a new roof, a new garage door, a new furnace, a new fence...always something.
So we bought a motorhome. Yes, there is some expense involved with repair and maintenance, but it is WAY less that owning a house. Or at least it has been way less for us.
We just don't have any ambition to be house owners right now, and may not for 20 or more years. In the meantime, we will live and travel in Sherman, and then do some house sitting in other areas of the world once Whiskey is no longer with us.