The Hustle

Why buying a house is a bad idea

If you’re buying to make money, you may want to think again.


August 12, 2020

I just arrived in St. Louis after spending a week in Utah, which might be one of the most underrated states in America. Next stop: Brooklyn. Specifically, Ditmas Park for a month.

Anyway, I’m looking for a place to live and tweeted my thoughts on buying a home:

My tweet pissed off a lot of people.

I get it. Americans are told to get a job, have kids, and buy a home. After buying it and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, I call it a silly financial decision.

My point is this: I’ve done the numbers using a wonderful calculator by The New York Times. Compare historical housing appreciation (~5%/year, plus maintenance and other costs) to other investments (equities appreciate ~8%/year).

If your goal is to make money, buying a home is not the best investment. 

But that’s OK — do it if it makes you happy

Historically, homeownership is a great place to store wealth as it forces buyers to save and home values keep up with inflation. But don’t justify it as a moneymaker.

My plan for the next year is to rent Airbnbs in Athens (Georgia), Brooklyn, Asheville (North Carolina), DC, and Austin. 

I’m looking for a city with ambitious people where I can have a single- family detached home. Tweet at me and let me know where else I should check out.

What are your thoughts on buying a house? Read my original thread here. So many good insights (even if I disagree with some of them). 

Also: Do you regret buying your home? Tell me here.

Sam, founder & CEO of The Hustle

P.S. I’m nerding out on what makes the perfect neighborhood. I’m reading Tribe and listening to Michelle Obama’s podcast on communities. What else should I consume?

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