Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What's Wrong With Being A Renter?

Mark A. Calabria:
The federal government’s obsession with homeownership was one of the contributing factors to the financial crisis. It is time we recognized renting as a viable option for many households, and starting treating renters as if they were as equal citizens as anyone else.
We were just studying this issue in my income tax course yesterday. Unfortunately, tax advantages for home-ownership are too ingrained into the tax code to likely change anytime soon. Any change that increases tax benefits to renters or decreases tax benefits to homeowners will have the effect of lowering property values. (Either change would make renting will become more attractive relative to owning a home than it currently is and decrease the demand for housing.) This seems to be one area of the law where Americans don't seem to care much about equality.

1 comment:

Chad Prigmore said...

I totally agree with the idea of renting. I've owned and now lease which is much better - I'm committed for 1 year instead of 30. Besides, a mortgage conveys the property to the lender anyway - so it's basically a very long term lease option. The idea of ownership is a facade.

Home ownership through mortgaging has been way over hyped by the banks and government. It enables them to own everything.

Thanks for the great post!