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Buy Or Rent?

May 14, 2012 by  

Dear Bob,

How do you feel about housing right now?  How will people who mortgage a home pay for it when the dollar completely collapses?  Would it be better to short sell houses now and rent or what?

Julie D.

Dear Julie,

At this stage, to rent is the better option. I wouldn’t be fooling with the housing market as I believe it has much further down to go. When money fails, there will be a new system and everything will be readjusted.

Best wishes,


Bob Livingston

is an ultra-conservative American and author of The Bob Livingston Letter™, founded in 1969. Bob has devoted much of his life to research and the quest for truth on a variety of subjects. Bob specializes in health issues such as nutritional supplements and alternatives to drugs, as well as issues of privacy (both personal and financial), asset protection and the preservation of freedom.

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  • MikeC711

    For those of us with real estate investments (rental homes) … selling right now is not viable except in an emergency) as there are still lots of firesales out there. Good news is the rates are absurdly low right now. In my case, if I can get enough valuation, I may be able to replace lots of low principal 6% mortgages with 2 high principal 3% mortages and be down to 4 total mortgages. I used to be a good guy for always paying on time et al … now I’m a bad guy for having > 4 mortgages (on > 4 houses).

    But Bob, another way to look at this is that if we are near bottom … when the $ plummets … building a house will be absurdly expensive which should cause existing homes prices to rise (depending on interest rates). So you can now get a home that was $250K for about $190K … with a 3.5% mortgage (30 yr fixed, $152K financed for a PI of 682.55) and as the dollar becomes less valuable … arguably your mortgage becomes less onerous (ie: wages will have to follow to some extent to avoid everyone on the gov’t teet). So there are some arguments for buying now, but that is probably market dependent.

  • Les

    Ownership is better than renting. That’s why smart people don’t keep a lot of paper. Assets will still be your’s after the collapse of the dollar.

    The whole country will be in total chaos when the paper becomes worthless. You think banks will attempt to foreclose on all the homes? And just who is going to come to throw me out? The cops who also aren’t getting paid anything real? Sure….

    For a taste of what will happen nationwide when the dollar collapses just check out what happened during Katrina. The cops were out looting just like everyone else while soldiers went door to door picking up everyone’s guns. Which by the way have never been returned or paid for. Isn’t bureaucracy wonderful?

  • TPM

    Currency is just a medium of exchange. Other than that, it’s second rate toilet paper. A home has value, in pretty much any economy. It provides shelter for a family and their stuff. It indexes itself to inflation. Look at the median home price in your community 30 years ago and look at it, today. Governments love inflation. They create it by continually goosing the money supply. You need to keep pace with it. One way of doing so is with leverage & real estate.

  • DocBobalus

    No question,
    If it’s for yourself, If its a Solid structure, if its at a reasonable price. If you want to live in that area; Apply the rules of location location location.
    You cannot guarantee the future. But we all need a roof. If you have your own, its an advantage. Assuming that inflation continues, any money that you have, will diminish in “real” purchasing value.
    DON’T buy just anything. Purchase a home that you would want (whatever the financial situation).
    Fixed mortgage rate
    Enjoy living in your property.
    I recommend for first time buyers, buying bigger and subletting rooms to pay off the mortgage. A few years of inconvenience allows you to buy something reasonable.

  • Jim Hammer

    IF our paper money collapses, what good is it, buy a home now, that won’t collapse, pay cash if you can while the money is good. Once the home is yours, keep track of the new games score, its an individual against a corporate world, batters up, in the new ball game. cheers, Hammertime

  • ChristyK

    Everyone rents their property. They either pay rent to a landlord or they pay rent (property taxes0 to the government. Either way, if you don’t make your payments, you get kicked out.

    • MikeC711

      True enough, but arguably the property taxes are going to be more stable (because if they go through the roof (which many have) … then the rent for an equivalent home would likely have gone up that much plus a percentage.

  • oldbill

    The only logical (not emotional) reason to own, rather than rent (lease) is that it costs significantly less than owning. I am 64 and renting would have been the best choice for me, had I not chosen to own an alternative to a stick built house in a subdivision. Owning my home has cost me about $2,500 a year for the past 30 years (Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance) (Yeah, I know. Who wants to live in a doublewide on their own land for thirty years?) Renting in 1983, when I bought, was costing $260 a month and doubling every two years. The 600 sqft apartment I rented for $260 a month in 1983 is now $800 a month. I haven’t had a mortgage payment since 1990, so with average taxes and insurance, it has cost me $600 a year, or DAH! DAH!, $50 a month for a place to live! So, owning has paid off for me.


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