Over at Salon, Steve Almond bemoans his shortcomings as a homeowner.
To say that I was naive about the ensuing realities would be fair, but inadequate.
This first shock of homeownership (that property values sometimes go down) was followed by a second: hidden costs. And by "hidden" I mean, of course, "those costs I was too lazy or negligent to consider beforehand."
He also makes a point that has occurred to me......
In a sense, our political leaders, in tandem with the retail sector, have offered the same cheap coverup. They've portrayed homeownership as a birthright and a breeze. Just plunk down your 10 percent, zip over to Home Depot, and you're home free.
But maybe it's time to admit that many Americans are like me: unfit for the privilege.
I split the difference in this regard. I own (or will when the loan is paid) a mobile home but have it on a rented lot in a nice court that has underground sprinklers and someone to mow the lawn.
It's not an appreciating asset like a home (until recently), but that wasn't my goal. I just wanted a place of my own in which to live, and I could afford to purchase and maintain a new mobile home with new appliances, etc., whereas a regular house was out of reach. I was also able to use it as a shipping container when I moved from Vermillion to Pierre, and I didn't have to find housing when I got here. It's not perfect (relative lack of space, no storm shelter) and it's not for everyone, but it's been a positive experience for me.