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Just curious - have you chosen to rent instead of buy because you've decided it will get you to FIRE faster?

I believe it will, but it's not the chief driver of the decision. Renting is mostly a lifestyle choice, that I'm not interested in dealing with maintenance, and prefer not to be tied down to one location. (I work in IT and my company has been greedily jumping on exporting everything to India...)

I do believe renting is cheaper than owning for me, largely because it's difficult to buy as little housing as I need. I'm single and live by myself, so a cheap one-bedroom apartment is fine. 1-BR condo units do exist, but seem to be a sucker's deal, with monthly maintenance costs nearly as high as my rent anyway. I've run some scenarios, and I'd need to see completely unrealistic appreciation numbers (on the order of 14% annually) to outweigh the drag of property taxes and mortgage interest.

In short, I believe the housing market (at least in my current area, for single persons) is inefficiently priced, with renters getting the better deal, and I'm taking advantage of that.

- Erik
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