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Better off renters

'NOHOs,' you know who you are

The real estate event of the summer
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Some people are not cut out to be homeowners. I call them NOHOs. What distinguishes them is not their income, their mobility, or where they live -- rather, it is how they live. NOHOs live from week to week or month to month, depending on how often they are paid. Typically, they have nothing left at the end of the period, and if they run out early, they often borrow at high interest rates. When they purchase durables, such as a TV set, NOHOs price the purchase in terms of the monthly payment, which they attempt to fit into their weekly or monthly budget. They never get ahead of the game, and if they run into an emergency that costs money, they are in trouble. Because homeownership is rife with such emergencies, NOHOs should not be homeowners. NOHOs sometimes write me about buying a house because they have heard that owning is cheaper than renting. They would buy a house in the same way they would buy a TV set, by seeing if they can afford the monthly payment. They have no ...