Vail Daily column: Should we continue to rent? |

Vail Daily column: Should we continue to rent?

Joan Harned

Dear Joan,

My wife and I are in the millennium generation and we decided when we got married three years ago that we would just rent, and not saddle ourselves with a mortgage and a property to care for. We felt it would save us money that we could use to travel and purchase whatever we wanted. Plus, we could easily move if we had career opportunities open up in other cities. Now, after living in Eagle County for two years, we are rethinking our decision for many reasons. Do you think our reasons still have some merit? We feel we are at a confusing juncture in our life plan.

Dear Confused,

I commend you for taking a second look while you are still young enough to have great benefit from modifying your plan. I think many people in your generation have a distorted view of what home ownership means and can do for ​them​. I think there is much more freedom derived from owning your own home than there is from being at the mercy of a landlord who can sell the property you are living in out from under you, as well as raise the rents annually. Besides the probable significant tax benefits that often go with owning your primary residence, it is like a forced savings program that can have large and sometimes huge benefits.

My husband and I made our first purchase in a neighboring ski county. We were able to buy a one bedroom condo after being married for a few years. We then sold that and were able to buy a two-bedroom very modest older condo in Eagle County. We sold that in a few years and were able to buy a home with a little land in Western Eagle County. We eventually sold that (after some major remodel) for 13 times what we paid for it. We would have never “saved” that much money in a bank account nor would our saved money have increased in value like it did in our home.

Most people move every five to seven years; we didn’t. So what if you do stay​? Then you will be paying​ someone else’s mortgage for three, five, seven or 30 years? What do you have to show for all of your monthly payments? There are many statistics tied to financial success and home ownership. There are ​successful people in rental properties​, but most wealthy individuals own at least one home​ and usually an investment property as well​. As far as finding other opportunities in your careers and needing to move, you can either sell or rent your property and have someone else pay your mortgage! Right now, interest rates are lower than I have ever seen them in 29 years selling real estate in this valley, and rents are climbing at a fast pace. There are loans for first-time home buyers that require little or no money down. I strongly suggest you find the best Realtor you can to help you see all of the opportunities available to you. Congratulations for not being one of the sheep headed for a financial demise in ​your not too distant​ future. Best of luck to you!

Joan Harned is an owner/broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or

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