Why I decided not to buy a house

The rent is too damn high.

Especially here in Oregon. In Portland, rents were up 34% as of 2016.

Because of this, I've spent a disproportionate amount of my time contemplating whether I should buy a house to insulate my family from the threat of ever-increasing rents.

I called a mortgage broker. I surveyed the local real estate market here in Eugene. There are 1200 square foot houses with list prices greater than $300,000. And don't even ask about Portland, where I could barely afford a shoebox condo next to a freeway.

After seeing the San Francisco Bay Area become unaffordable even for the upper middle class, it's scary to imagine Oregon ending up in the same situation.

But then I realized something.

I don't want to own a house. Ever.

The only reason I want a house is to hedge against rising rents. I don't want to spend my weekends at Home Depot. I don't want to remodel a kitchen. And I really don't want to sink a ton of money into a house.

I like to move around. I like to live nimbly. To know I can call my landlord, pay a lease break fee, and be free to do anything I want.

A house is a prison. At least, for me. It might be a great investment for you. But I'd rather live in a micro-studio for the rest of my life than be stuck because I was afraid of rising rents.

Good morning!

You just read one of my Morning Pages. These are my short-form, often random thoughts about life, business, and tech.

Want to stay in touch? I send my friends letters every Friday, and often link to my morning pages when I think I've written something worth sharing. Join here: