Let a small apartment building set you free

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Want to pick up on something I wrote a few days ago. I mentioned that one of the attractions for Lucy and me about buying and living in a small apartment building is that it will allow us to get by on one salary for as long as our kids need Lucy to be home.

One of the weird things about the world we live in is that everyone is always working and yet it’s incredibly difficult for most couples to save, even when both partners work. Part of it is the high cost of the childcare that allows both parents to be away from home all day.

But a big part of it is that many people seem to think that the smart move is to go buy an expensive home with a mortgage that requires two salaries to meet the monthly nut.

I know I’m not like most people (and, any time I forget, Lucy reminds me!), so forgive me if I’m not getting it, but the above seems totally crazy to me.

Why would you put yourself in a position where there is no flexibility? Where the basic facts of your economic life demand that both people work? Is not having anyone sharing a wall with you really that important?

Contrast the above with a sensible owner-occupier apartment deal: If you do it right, the amount you pay to live each month will be less than the unit you occupy would fetch as a rental on the open market. And the losses you incur (that out of pocket expense), plus the depreciation on the building, end up sheltering a ton of your income from taxation. If your deal is particularly good, those benefits can be enough to make it possible to carry the mortgage on one salary, rather than two.

And think of the possibilities that can open up in your life: If you have kids, one of you can decide to spend some time actually raising them. If you don’t, one of you can take time off to work on a business or a non-profit. Or both of you can work part-time. Or one or both of you can afford to work in high risk / high reward type situations where the pay has big ups and downs.

If the above sounds interesting to you, get in touch. Buying a small apartment building to live in is an amazing opportunity, but you definitely want to buy the right one, at the right price, and on the right terms. We can help.

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