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This only makes sense if you place a high value on mobility.

Many people value putting down roots and committing to a city or neighborhood. This often comes from having many tangled connections to other people.

My life isn't just about me anymore. It's about my wife, kids, and our extended family. If we were to move around a lot, each move would require the whole family to change their lifestyles, as opposed to just one person.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of nomadic families, but they are more rare than nomadic individuals because of the increased complexity.

For those of us who aren't as passionate about the nomadic lifestyle, settling down makes sense. And, if you're going to settle down, ownership is the way to go, especially of your house.

A great neighborhood is worth a lot of money. Good neighbors, good schools, good transit to work, and so on. If you're renting a house which provides those things, the idea that a landlord can take it all away isn't pleasant.

Nomadic implies you barely spend a couple years in one place at a time. Homeownership to stay put implies that you stay put for decades, because mortgages are usually 30 years. Isn't there anything in between?

Sure, buy a house when you get somewhere, sell it when you are finished there and accept the losses due to that suboptimal process as costs of the lifestyle. You can't be picky when you buy it, you'll have to sell in a hurry, you may have to pay fines for paying of mortgages at an increased rate, etc. However, it can be done.

But it can be done just as well, or in some cases even better, by renting. No fines, no selling (worst case scenario you have to rush to sublet, which is a lot less paperwork and hassle), and depending on the area you even get to be picky. You can move every 5 to 10 years buying and selling property, but it sounds like you have to throw away a lot of money to do so, and I thought the point of homeownership was to avoid throwing away money.

At this stage you're beyond rules of thumb and down to evaluating each deal on a case by case basis, factoring in everything from interest rates to how long you think you'll be in that particular place.

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