Just saw this article in the New York Times and thought it seemed somewhat appropriate. It’s about how people are second-guessing their decisions to buy homes or are staying content with renting. In other words, it’s saying that lots of other people feel the same way that I do, as I talked about in this post the other day.
The difference, though, is that this article is about men. The upshot is: “For reasons practical, financial and definitely emotional, there seems to be a growing cohort of men… who are falling out of love with the holy institution of homeownership.” More than twice as many single women buy homes as single men. Beyond that fact, I think their evidence is a little flimsy – for example, it strikes me as odd that so many of the article’s examples are men in couples rather than single men. But it’s not like I have any evidence to the contrary.
“For men, rejecting homeownership may involve broader questions of manhood,” it reads. “In almost every culture, Dr. [Roy] Baumeister said, ‘men are expected to produce’ more than they consume. In a similar fashion, men naturally compete for status. Buying a home, he said, is often tied up with those pressures.” I might not be a man, but I think I bought into some of the same ideas. I wanted to show that I was a grown-up like my home-buying friends: competent, steady, independent, providing for myself.
Here’s what I find appealing: “If the couple’s relationship with their home was like a bad love triangle, it was clear which partner needed to go. Eighteen months after moving in, Mr. Berks and his wife took drastic action: They dumped their house (managing to break even), sold almost everything in it, loaded up their Subaru and drove to Honduras for a six-month adventure.” Yup. I don’t have a house to dump, and one of the reasons I’m glad I don’t is that I could pack up my apartment, sell my furniture on Craig’s List, and take off on an adventure. I don’t have to be a guy to be averse to home ownership, to want to be mobile and free and open to possibility.