Belgians are born with a brick in their stomach, alluding on the fact that Belgians want to own a house. We are no different, we do own our house. Is that a good idea?
Why we own a house.
Having our own house – almost paid off, having the cash to do so when we want – brings a lot of piece of mind. The place is ours. No one can come and kick us out. It feels like we have a guaranteed roof above our head, forever! The comfort of a homebase, knowing you can return there and relax: that is what it feels like and that feeling is priceless!
Next to that, we can do what we want: want to paint, reorganise, renew something,… Just do it. We own it (okay, maybe some urban construction rules limit us)
Having an asset like this also is a form of pension saving. When we are old and would need to move to a retirement home or so, we can always sell the house. The house might be old, the value of the land where we live is “guaranteed” due to the limited availability.
That all sounds good, so, Why this post?
The last years, we have seen some costs that were thrown to us and it does not seem to stop.
Transforming a house into what your ideal house looks like is not free. There are only 2 things left on our list. Question is: will a new list pop up? I see already some garden items that could improvement – and I am not talking small actions. In our FI planning tool, I try to enter these works so that we see the impact on our FI date. It gives perspective.
Then there is the regulations that impact you. Yes, that can happen. We got a new street and sewer, and that comes with new rules. We need to separate our roof water from the household water. I do understand this. It is just a 5K rule that sneaks upon us.
There are the maintenance cost. Right now, we are doing some preventive maintenance on our roof. There is the chimney, the water system,…
After living here, some of these items did get factored into our monthly budget and life happens budget.Thanks to that system, we can cope with the random pattern and get not stressed when a big bill hits. So far, so good. Time will tell
The alternative – renting
Would renting be an alternative? To be honest, we never have asked ourselves this question. There are people out there that do exactly this: sell the house, activate the equity and start renting.
What would be the drivers/factors to consider.