In 2019, around about the time we went on a blog hiatus, Poopsie and I bought a house.
We bought in Canberra, in a great suburb and we absolutely love our new place. This was definitely our BIG news of 2019.
As long term readers will remember, we have always been tossing up between Canberra and Newcastle as where we would like to settle. We eventually came to the decision that Newcastle would be the place.
However, as it turns out, that may not have been a decision based on complete data.
The data we had when making that decision is that Poopsie and I had lived on our own in Newcastle (before we met) and we had also lived together in Newcastle. I had lived on my own in Canberra, completing university here and also living here for a year in 2015. During that year, Poopsie visited me almost every weekend, but he had never actually lived in Canberra on a full-time and permanent basis.
After just a couple of months of living here, Poopsie was sure that he wanted to settle in Canberra as opposed to Newcastle. While I’m not willing to say yet that Canberra will be our retirement location, it will definitely be our home for at least the next ten years, if not longer. We both love it here and it has everything we need. It also has a lot of job opportunities for us both which means spending the rest of our working life here is a definite plus.
Poopsie and I are two people who prefer to own our Principal Place of Residence (PPOR) as opposed to renting it out. While we don’t count this as an investment in our early retirement portfolio, we do count it as an almost “free” place to live once we retire. We have always planned to live in a mortgage free PPOR in retirement, and that has not changed. Yes, we will still need to pay things like council rates and strata fees, but we took this into consideration on our house-hunt and have managed to keep these bills quite low. It’s not free but it’s definitely cheaper than renting.
I know there are a lot of bloggers out there who discourage buying a house. And if you’re looking to retire as soon as possible and be a bit more location independent, then I would agree with that. I would also agree that if it’s a home you’re going to live in, it’s not a good idea to include it as part of your early retirement ‘stash. Yes, it still forms part of your net worth, but your ‘stash needs to be something you can drawdown or take an income from.
The decision whether to own or rent is a personal one, depending on your own retirement plans. For us, owning is definitely the best choice and we couldn’t be happier we found our dream place… for now.
Do you plan to own or rent in retirement? Why have you made that choice? Let us know in the comments below!