Great Time to Buy? This Renter Says No Thanks

Need for mobility trumps low prices: Justin Martin
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2011 5:21 PM CST
In this Oct. 18, 2011 photo, a "for sale" sign hangs in the yard of a home in Bridgeville, Pa.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

(Newser) – Realtors scratching their heads at why more would-be homebuyers aren't jumping at record low mortgage rates will want to read Justin Martin's pro-renting essay in the Christian Science Monitor. In theory, he's the model potential buyer: He's a renter in his 30s with a good job and good credit, and prices are affordable where he lives in Maine. His conclusion: "Pass."

Everything about it is too risky in this economy, he writes. What if home values don't rebound? Or what if his property value tanks because his future neighbors lose their jobs and face foreclosure? Then there's home-maintenance costs, rising energy prices, etc. "More importantly, though, I don’t want to physically anchor myself to a piece of land in the United States, which features a wretched job market, towering national debt, and inept legislators," he writes. "People need to stay limber and keep their running shoes on for job relocation." Read the full essay here. (Read more homeownership stories.)

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