For years, I used to dream dream dream of owning my own home! The American dream! A place where I can paint and remodel and make nail holes in wherever and whenever I want! I looked through every home decorating book I could get my hands on, pored over home decorating websites, and even purchased a few of my favorite books.
I began to question this dream a couple of years ago, when my parents' property tax increased 200% in one year. I continued to question it when my BFF and her wife bought their first home and had to follow the rules of the Homeowner's Association. I questioned further when we were planning to build onto my parents' home, and there were so many absurd rules about what and where you can and can't build on your own property (note: generally I support such rules for safety and environmental reasons, but some of them seemed pretty unreasonable).
Kaden and I are happy renting. It's cheaper than paying a mortgage. If repairs need to be done, our landlord takes care of it. While I love the idea of being a self-sufficient in home repair, I feel blessed that there will be no surprises for my bank account if something breaks. And while I don't know for certain, I feel pretty confident that my $12/month renter's insurance is cheaper than homeowner's would be.
When we got married, Kaden and I opened a joint savings account (we don't combine our incomes). We're not saving to buy a home, as I once thought we would be, but to buy some LAND! Some land somewhere awesome (middle of nowhere, Pacific Northwest) so we can vacation there! Kaden's long-time dream has been to build a log cabin with his own hands - and I know he can do it because he is a dedicated, driven person. I still have a little fantasy of customizing an Airstream Trailer, or better yet, a school bus.
We've decided to take the maximum winter power bill and continue setting aside that much money per month, and when it gets warmer, anything not going to electricity will go into our joint savings.
We're really happy with this new plan. It also makes renting feel less temporary.