By Adam Pitts
There’s no such thing as Santa Claus.
There, you heard it from me first. I don’t mean to be the harsh voice of reality shattering your long-held beliefs, but you needed to know. There’s no man in red at the North Pole, no reindeer that fly, and it was your parents, not Santa, who ate the chocolate chip cookies you left out. No, Santa Claus is a myth, an unrecognizable representation of a long-dead man. Now, while I’m busy changing your world, let me shatter another myth you probably believe.
There’s no such thing as rent.
“Wait, what? No such thing as rent? Adam, you’re wrong on this one. I definitely pay rent every month,” you’re probably thinking.
I’m not wrong, and you don’t pay rent.
No, what you pay every month is “rent” only in your own mind. To the person or company that you give the money to every month, whether you rent an apartment, condo, or a home, your “rent” is their “mortgage,” their “income,” or their “retirement.” There is only one reason that people let other people rent their properties, and that is to make money and build wealth. You are part of their investment plan, and through the monthly payment that you call rent, you’re paying their mortgage, funding their retirement, or paying their monthly bills. There is no such thing as rent.
As a real estate agent, I work with many of these investors, and most of them are great people, just like you and me. For college students with little income, those who may be relocating soon, and others with less secure future plans, these investors provide a great service. Through their investment properties, they provide you with short-term lodging with no risk to you as the tenant. But renting is a short-term solution to a life-long problem. We all have to live somewhere, so unless you plan on living at home forever, you will have to pay to live somewhere, and that leaves you with only two options: pay “rent,” or pay your own mortgage.
One option makes someone else rich; the other option can make you rich. One option funds someone else’s retirement; the other option can bring you an early retirement (which I’ll get in to in the future). One option pays someone else’s bills; the other option pays your own bills.
So, if you want to make someone else rich, fund someone else’s retirement, and pay someone else’s bills, by all means, pay rent forever. Make someone else rich! But if you want to build your own wealth, fund your own retirement, and pay your own bills, stop renting as soon as you’re able, make a smart move, and buy a home that is truly your own. If you buy right, you won’t ever regret it.
Real Talk is DIG’s monthly-ish column from Adam Pitts, a professional real estate agent and co-founder of the Summit Group, a full-service real estate team at Keller Williams Realty. He is also an avid photographer and adventurer whose travels frequently bring him all over the world.