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Buy vs. rent quiz

Sometimes it's difficult to decide whether it's better to rent or buy a home. Take this quiz to clarify your situation.

  1. What is your definition of the American Dream?

    Owning my very own plot of land and the house on it constitute my American Dream.
    I have a wishy-washy definition of the American Dream. Owning a home sounds desirable, but I'm not going to feel like a failure if I don't own a home sometime soon.
    Hunter S. Thompson said the American Dream is gambling in Vegas on someone else's credit card. That might not be my definition of the American Dream, but owning a home isn't it, either.
  2. Where are you in your career? (This goes for your spouse or domestic partner, too.)

    I'm not really sure. I'm not actively looking for another job. But if I lose my job, or a better one comes along, I would be willing to relocate.
    My job is secure and I plan to work for my current employer for a long time, and I don't expect to be transferred to another town.
    I don't plan to live in this town for long because I'm just starting out, or my job is insecure, or I want to live elsewhere.
  3. How do you feel about yard maintenance?

    I don't want to do any yard work and I don't want the bother of finding a hiring a yard service, either. I want someone else to ensure that the landscaping looks nice.
    I'll do it if I have to, but I feel no enthusiasm for yard work. Maybe I'll hire a lawn and yard service.
    I love it! I have a green thumb and I get satisfaction from mowing the lawn, pruning trees and shrubs, and tending a garden.
  4. In the everlasting tension between liberty and order, where do you feel comfortable?

    I want to be able to paint my living room walls pink if I like, own a big dog if I like, and play music as loud as I like.
    I want to be able to paint and decorate the interior of my home as I see fit, but I can live with restrictions about pets and noise as long as my neighbors abide by the same rules.
    I follow the rules about pets, about nail holes in the walls, about noise. In exchange, the landlord takes quick action when the air conditioner breaks or a faucet leaks. That's a fair tradeoff.
  5. How do you feel about renting?

    There is a time to rent and a time to buy.
    Rent is merely one of the costs of living. I plug my rent into my budget and accept it as another monthly bill to pay.
    You're throwing away money when you rent! It's better to buy a house and build equity. And I can deduct mortgage interest and property tax from my federal income taxes, too.
  6. How do you feel about the costs of ownership?

    Sure, it's nerve-wracking to come up with the money to pay for a new roof, or to replace the water heater. Not to mention the real-estate commission when I sell the place. Those costs are worth paying, because I own my home and I'm accumulating equity.
    Pay for a new roof? Shell out my hard-earned money to fix a broken air conditioner? I prefer someone else to pay -- a landlord, for instance. I like to know how much my housing is going to cost every month.

-- Posted: July 1, 2003

 

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