Monday, July 22, 2013

Debt-free life and peace of mind

An important part of simple, peaceful life is discharging your debts; not always easy, as circumstances can be different, but it is an essential. And when I say debt, I include mortgage in the definition as well; I'm not saying a mortgage is always wrong, and never acceptable, but today people tend to forget that mortgage really is a state of debt; that a mortgage means one is not really an owner of one's home, or at least, an owner only conditionally - because if something happens and the payment cannot be made (in a case, say, of an illness and/or unemployment), the owners face a very real danger of losing their home. 

Owning the roof above one's head, free and clear, is therefore an important part of one's peace of mind. If your home is your own (as much as any earthly possession can truly be our own), a reduction or loss of income is, of course, a blow - but at least you have your safe haven, which is yours, and you don't owe anyone anything for being under that roof. 

Having said that, I will allow myself a little vent and say that, at least in Israel, paying for a home without a mortgage is a near-impossibility, as the prices of land, and consequently housing, are very, very high. Most young families - unless they are fortunate enough to inherit property, or to have parents who can assist them in a very material way - face being bogged down by very considerable, suffocating debt. 

Is there no cheap land or housing to be found here? To be sure there is; and we did find it when we were first married, even though it wasn't exactly the home of our dreams, and we have moved since. When people here are rioting for "affordable housing", I think they ought to amend and say they actually mean, "affordable housing in the tiny over-crowded piece of land that comprises most of the country's population" - which, in all fairness, I don't think possible. Yes, there are sparsely populated areas with very affordable housing - but the problem is, to live in such an area means fewer opportunities of employment. 

Obviously, each situation is unique, but there may be several options. Working from home, or mainly from home, is one; re-considering the possible length of commute is another - some people park their cars at the nearest train station, and make the chief of their daily journey by train. Or a family may move to a less expensive area as a temporary measure, to obtain low rent, and scrimp and save for a few years to be able to buy a home in a better area with no or lower mortgage. 

Another thing I wish for is that we weren't so bogged down with the difficulty of building regulations. I say, give people more options of doing things for themselves, and there will be less outcry and demand of the government to do everything for everyone. 

7 comments:

living from glory to glory said...

Hello, I feel blessed as we live on 40 acers in the middle of the country, but my husbands job is only 16 miles away. Debt is something we have for a bit then we pay it off then we must buy something else to keep our home in good repair. I hope you find favor and live peacefully and safe.
Blessings, Roxy

sara said...

In the U.S. even if your home is paid for in full, it is still conditional ownership. If you do not pay your property taxes, you will forfeit your home.

maria smith said...

living debt free is something many households, and especially young families, struggle with. With my own family we are still trying to make adjustments in our lifestyle, such a green cleaning, simpler living, and free entertainment, in order to work towards being debt free as soon as possible. Blessings to you in your similar journey.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Sara, around here we have property taxes as well, but still paying them is not as much a financial burden as paying off a mortgage, or paying rent as well (because you still have to pay the "space" tax, so to speak, even if you live in a rented home).

Laura :) said...

When we visited Israel in May, our friends were telling us that their apartment would cost as much to buy as our house here in the USA cost us. And it was a small 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment. We were amazed at how much a house costs in Israel. They live in Beer Sheva.

Mrs. Anna T said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs. Anna T said...

Laura, that is just right, and consider that Beer Sheva is not even one of the more expensive areas...