The Only Reason I Like Being a Renter

I've Moved! The Boomer Chronicles has closed after 6 years, but you can keep up with me on my new blog at

I bought a house in the Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain in 1994. I sold it in 1998, hoping to use the windfall to spend time writing my screenplays. Of course, the money goes faster than you’d ever imagine, so I decided to stash away a bunch of the money instead of using it to support my writing.

Since 1998, real estate prices have soared, and I’ve never been able to buy back in at a level I was happy with. So these days I devour real estate news every day and I try to keep up with price changes in my neighborhood. I’m trying to decide when to pounce. I believe that we have a very long way until the housing and jobs markets correct themselves, so waiting to buy a house is not a bad thing. But renting, for me, sucks. I crave the independence of house owning. But there’s one silver lining to being a renter: I’ve been fortunate in finding a string of amazing roommates, all of whom have become friends. I always remind myself of this happy fact whenever I grumble about the renter’s life.

6 Responses to “The Only Reason I Like Being a Renter”

  1. Linda - SE PA Says:

    In this lifetime, it seems, home ownership is not or was not in the cards. I am okay with it – some rentals have been better than others. Somehow, even without the end of year credits you may get, it seems to balance itself out.

    At this stage of my life, I stand on a mixed feeling. I would opt for a house share rather than ownership although there is a deep yearning for “the place to call home to age and dream in” – rather a deep yearning to settle down.

    In closing, Rhea, should you see something you love and can work with – take it. Waiting for a “right time” can sometimes be as dicey as rolling the dice. You can have a roommate to help offset the expense. I’ve also looked at the Golden Girls housing idea – where a group of women share a home. I sense that with the housing market, it may be up and down until the economy settles. Some folks, I knew took the house off the market and decided to renovate in hopes that when the market rebounds yada yada… They hope the investment will pay off which it will. Perhaps, not in the way they first thought, and perhaps, in the end, they will keep their homes. Challenging time for anyone to make decisions on major planning.

  2. Rhea Says:

    Linda, the Golden Girls setup and other house share setups are going to be more and more common, I predict. Thanks for writing in.

  3. Ron Says:

    Being a renter can be wasteful and time consuming, but if you benefit from getting great roommates, it is well worth the struggle! Having close relationships will better you as a person, and it will keep you strong.
    Housing options are few and far between when delving into the market, when the time is right, you will find what you have been waiting for.

  4. Rich Says:

    JP has gone through historic ups and downs in real estate. The way I see it is for the most part JP is going to hold its high value due to its location- location – location. If you want to be a city dweller what more could you ask for in JP? You’re right there – close to the Longwood Medical area which drives the value of this neighborhood through the roof. Have you considered Roslindale? There are still some good deals there…I think.

  5. Rhea Says:

    Yes, Rich, I have looked into Rozzie. You get a lot more for your money, but I am attached to JP for a lot of reasons!
    Hi, Ron, thanks for writing in.

  6. Irene Says:

    There are benefits to renting these days – not being upside down on your mortgage for example. There are bargains to be had these days, where ever you are in the county, and the home buyer tax credit is a plus too. I agree with Rich, location is key where ever and when ever you purchase a home

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