The Rare Individual With A Negative Ownership Premium

“I love moving. The longest I’ve ever lived in one apartment is 3 years. I usually move every year or two. Sometimes I move after only a few months. Some of my moves have been because I was renovicted by the landlord. Sometimes I move because the landlord never does repairs and I am sick of taking him to the RTB. But even if there are no problems with the apartment, I’ll start thinking about moving after one year. After two years in the same apartment, I start getting really antsy to move. Real estate bubble aside, I could never buy real estate because I could never commit to live somewhere long term. I don’t really understand how people do it? Don’t they get bored with their homes after a few years? Don’t they get tired of looking at the same view every day for years on end?”
perma-renter at VCI January 22nd, 2013 at 4:31 pm

29 responses to “The Rare Individual With A Negative Ownership Premium

  1. Moving is disruptive and expensive. I’d much rather not move.

  2. You must be single 😉

  3. OnTheRoadAgain

    Wow. Can’t believe there is someone else like me out there! I have moved multiple times over the years for the same reasons as you. The only difference is that, while I rent at the moment, I actually owned a few of the previous places. I bought them because I wanted to try my hand at renovating a space and making it beautiful. I’m sure there are people here who will accuse me of being a flipper but that’s just because they can’t understand that a person might do something like that for the creative pleasure of the endeavor. It certainly wasn’t about the money as I never made much but I sure had fun. I’m renting now because I accomplished what I set out to do and have now turned my creative energy to other projects. i’m very happy in my rental place at the moment but don’t feel attached to it in any way. If the time comes that I feel like moving again, I will. No drama, no angst, just a phone call to the movers 🙂

  4. Negative Ownership Premium= Sounds like bureaucratese for what many highly leveraged house buyers will have, once real estate values start ” a strong trend of negative appreciation.”

  5. Means, motives and opportunity, … plus a knowledge of the Accordion, grasshoppers. There is no need for your queries beyond rhetoric.

  6. Hmmm, I guess I move a lot too…
    2004: Sold, moved
    2005: Rented
    2006: Moved to new purchase
    2007: Sold, moved
    2009: Moved to different rental
    2010: Rental sold (after promise not to list…a$$holes), moved to new rental
    2012: Rental too small, wee one on the way, moved to bigger unit across the street

    So, 9 years 6 places. It is a pain moving but I have paired down a lot of the crap. My rule was if I move a box twice without unpacking, it goes to good-will. I have become very efficient too, my storage locker is all industrial bins (think frog-box) so this is an easy move. What I have learned over the nine years is which areas of town I like the best (hence moving across the street) and which areas I’ll never live again.

    • Moderation??? No links and I’ve been posting here for years???

    • Yup, we need to pare down all the crap in our lives.

      Can’t move easily if you are burdened with the relics of the past. Real freedom comes with not having ownership of possessions and we all know intuitively that our stuff really owns us.

      All those boat anchors, record collections, weird antiques that seemed so valuable when you bought them, baseball cards, board games from prehistory, cups, saucers, boxes of books nobody reads and 20 years worth of old clothing have no place in the life if a gypsy.

      If you are emotionally attached to “stuff” it is utterly impossible to conceive of regular moves. All your good energy just gets wasted trying to protect it, maintain it and keep it clean. The incredible hassle of packing and unpacking plus move costs etcetera is enough to give any normal person indigestion and in the end all of it goes to the dumpster anyway.

      Cause mostly nobody else values it. They have their own already.

      So you just take all your stuff, give it away to charity or put it in long term storage and forget it. I have discovered storage does not pay. After a few years of payments your second hand possessions are essentially amortized away to a value of zero.

      If you don’t use it then it begs the question of why it should be kept in the first place.

      Giving it away free is far more efficient than the huge effort of keeping what quickly becomes outdated too. Who really needs an 8-Track player, that great surround-sound from last decade, the box TV or even last years cell-phone that is now utterly worthless as nobody sane would be caught dead using it in public?

      And who really needs to own most of the other small property items anyway? Renters appreciate this most. Almost every house you move to has a basement or shed full of older furniture and kitchen implements avaliable for use absolutely free.

      This country is swimming in the consumption habits of the past.

      There is no end of surplus microwaves, TV’s, coffee makers, dish sets, bed frames, end tables, lamps and desks etcetera etcetera. If nobody else can find a buyer for all that excess is it any wonder it makes no sense to purchase any for yourself?

      Fear not. Friends, neighbors and strangers will give you all that junk for free. No questions asked. Need a ten-speed to run errands? Done. How about an older working lawn mower or barbeque? Done and done again.

      In theory, if you lived a spartan lifestyle, you could probably go through life without ever having to buy anything new yourself. Students get this. Most of the things they acquire along their path to a higher education come and go but are for the most part very cheap if not free. Most of those consumption purchases of others meanwhile were impulsive “feel good” buys that merely gave their original owners a sense of pride and self esteem.

      Just proves how mixed up we are that external manifestations of wealth and well being are behaving as a substitute for genuine feelings of self worth (although that is certainly a subjective matter!).

      Seems it is human nature to desire good things in life though. It takes real fortitude to rebel against societal norms and behave in a way that shows you appreciate how much richer you can be by not participating in the insanity of a consumption driven economy while sacrificing today in favour of savings for tomorrow. Very few people seem able to make the deliberate decision to forgo small pleasure today for security over the long term.

      That is why they are rich in stuff but poor in real wealth.

      My point is that we obviously don’t need Miel appliances, stainless everything and marble counters to be valid human beings. We don’t really need a new set of ski’s every year or even seasons tickets to the Canucks. We surely don’t need houses that make a pig of our incomes and destroy our freedom to enjoy some discretionary spending .

      Nor do we need the second car, a laundry service or take-out food five days a week. All idiocy. Problem is it cannot be undone after the fact and does not really materialize as a problem until old age sets in and the pension is pitiful or you suddenly lose your job and have to actually think about every daily purchase.

      Those things we buy are mostly just hallmarks of egotism and pridefulness that puts a big hole in our wallets and don’t really offer any comfort in the end anyway. You buy it…..use it a bit….let it grow old…..then throw it away and go and buy more.

      What a rat race.

      Is it any wonder some people feel shameful after a job loss and suddenly look on the acquisitions of the past as worthless and emblematic of stress and pressure points? Try keeping up with the economic demands of everything you own when money is suddenly short…you can’t even afford to repair any of it anymore. Like your too-expensive car, motorhome or ATV.

      And so they too become liabilities in your life.

      Money in the bank would have offered far more comfort than that 200 dollar pillow and the 35 dollar tea cozy that are now as worthless as plain vanilla dirt the day you need to recover money from them to make ends meet. I have been there once a long time ago. Did not like it one bit but I learned the value of money over the ownership of consumer icons.

      Consumption is not savings. Just try pawning jewellry to find that truth.

      So lighten up on the stuff in your life. Chuck out your possessions or give it away for free. All that great stuff you have packed away ain’t worth squat if we ever have a serious housing correction or a recession.

      God forbid we have an actual depression and defaltion in the economy. The time to get ahead of the decline in assets is well before they become worthless to everyone else (hell, they are mostly worthless already). Then take that extra money and use it to fatten your bank account instead and try living like a monk for a while.

      It is such a huge relief.

      • OnTheRoadAgain


        You took the words right out of my mouth.

      • Thanks Ontheroad. I suspected there might be one or two others out there that feel the same way as I do. I mostly loathe ownership of stuff that needs to be taken care. Usually I don’t give a hoot for any of it anyway. No love of the junk most other people covet. I chucked the technology years ago except for one small laptop and pared down to zero. Just one small bag with two changes of clothes. Moved more than 60 times in less than two years time. Home is where you put your head. Call it crazy……most people simply cannot understand.

      • +1000
        and a timing is good too – it is Sunday and I can start packing the boxes I can drop off later today at the Value Village donation bins.

      • Justanotherrenter

        Hah, great post, definitely strikes home with me seeing as how much I’ve moved in the last 5 years.

        3 years ago all the possessions I cared about would fit in my mid sized sedan. When I got to a new place I’d find a cheap or free bed, sofa, chair and computer desk, and unpack my meager possesions. Was easy to move cities like this.

        I’m sure I’ve saved extra tens of thousands of dollars in the last few years by not buying stuff and being able to relocate fast to a new job. No doubt that will help if I ever end up buying a nice place with a small garden.

        Sometimes though, I think I’m just broken compared with what society expects. Now I’m renting a nice 2br suite by myself. The rooms all look half empty and I’ve infused absolutely 0 personality into my living space. It’s just a roof over my head for a while, so why bother.

  7. This is not exactly germane to the current discussion about renting, but I am curious about sales data broken out by price-point. I am seeing fairly modest drops in price and sales activity in the <$1 million market. Could some of the disagreements stem from RE activity that differs by price range. I think the forces that are acting might be different? Any thoughts?

  8. I had to move various times in my life, and I still feel it is quite difficult task that requires lot of planning, packaging and cleaning. This is why I prefer to stay in one place. But I can imagine that especially for immigrants it has to be quite difficult to get some solid place and get everything in there. Searching for a place with very limited resources is something very crazy.

  9. Carioca Canuck

    My wife and I moved from our first place together after 6 years when they tried to raise our rent…………then moved again after 2 years into a different area of the city when our landlord wouldn’t lower our rent for a second year in a row at lease renewal time when presented with 20 comps that were $2-300 less than what they wanted……..and we’ve been in our present place for 3 now, and are getting bored already. There is something emotionally refreshing that comes with occupying a new home in a different ‘hood. Especially when you can move with the freedom, and lack of significant expense, when you are a tenant.

    If we were buying and selling RE when moving, it would have meant paying about $96K in RE commissions, not counting the lost opportunity cost on that money, as well as all the other totally unrealistic and egregious costs that encompass ones participation in the scam being perpetrated on the general public that is known as “home ownership”.

  10. Moving sucks, he says he likes moving but really it sounds like he likes living in a new place every couple of years. Or he’s in the witness protection program. The event tha is packing up your stuff, moving it and unpacking it sucks. But it doesn’t suck nearly as much as my homeowner friends would have you believe when they pay massive premiums to own over renting.

    • Why is moving such a big issue?
      Just hire a good good moving company and they will do everything for you.

      • Or don’t own stuff. Then just pack a bag and go. You don’t even need to call the landlord if there was no deposit. He will figure it out.

      • I know a guy who is exactly what you have described

  11. Seeking Knowledge...

    I smell desperation. An agent (I think) is now claiming the RE industry is a victim of misleading MSM coverage.

  12. >Don’t they get tired of looking at the same view every day for years on end?

    This is why I have planted so many trees planted around my house. And why the wildlife causes such a stir of excitement.

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