The choice to buy smart was taken away from them. The still have the choice to buy stupid - like the people in the article. There is nothing wrong with renting if that's what makes sense financially.
I like the way you put that pf101
That could apply to a few other things too.
I chose to pay-off our house and it was right for many different reasons including that I don't plan on moving and that was the intention from the very beginning. We've put 11 years of extensive landscaping into it, it's where we wanted to raise our children, we have extended family close by, the community is a joy to be a part of, the schools are very good even if I had to move the girls to a special school that deals with disabled children, the area is beautiful. It's in a desirable/stable place in the state where the value continues to rise. We bought our home for 89k in 1991 and in 2004 it was worth 475k.(we did do some remodeling through-out the years) Guess I should look into getting it appraised on today's market. I put $215.00 a month aside for home owners insurance and property tax and that covers both bills at the end of the year. And yes most of all, the peace of mind and security it brings me was/is worth it. I guess the couple in the USA today article could argue that they too put a lot of thought into buying the condo and that it was the right decision for them. Maybe right dosen't always amount to the best or smartest decision or perhaps as pf101 said, the right choice could be taken from us but we still have the choice to buy stupid or invest stupid. I know this, I wouldn't have paid off the house if it meant dipping into our retirement or wiping out my savings.
The accountant and IRA expert in the USA today article said:
If you're under age 59 1/2 and you withdraw money from a retirement account, in most cases you'll not only have to pay income taxes on the withdrawal, you'll also get socked with a 10% penalty. You're wiping out your retirement and if that's the only money you have for a home, maybe you shouldn't be buying a home. And, after that money is gone, what if the roof leaks, then what are you going to do? This is just the beginning of the expenses of owning a home.
I agree with all of the above! I also feel for people who are trying to buy a home for all the right reasons but can't afford to buy in the area they would like. My s-i-l is trying to buy in our area and it's probably not going to happen. Actually she could do it but it would stretch her financial situation to the breaking point much like the couple in the article. She put an offer down on a condo in a city close by and later withdrew it. When she looked at the house she admitted that she got stars in her eyes but when she sat on the idea for a day she realized that the stars would eventually fade and the reality of the large mortgage payment would sink in and she'd be miserable. Her brother keeps pushing and telling her it's worth the risk but then again he's not the one making her mortgage payment.