Case Khor

Buy a house, they said. See the world, I said.

Buy property they say, get your foot in the market. Don't pay off someone else's mortgage. Don't fund somebody else's investment. Don't pay rent and make someone else rich. Well if you follow that logic, why work for anyone but yourself? Why fund someone else's yacht when you could be investing in yourself? Why stay back late and come in on the weekends to build someone else's business?

Yes there is security in full-time employment, but is there really? If they lose the account you’ve been slaving away on, is your job safe? The cheque at the end of the month (or week) is reassuring, but is it always going to be there for you? Some people choose investing in property and shares, placing their bets on the market, or profiting off someone else's ideas. I prefer to invest in myself.

One of my aunts gave me a fair piece of advice, trying to encourage me to enter the property market:

Start small but you have to start somewhere. The first property you buy might not be great, but now you have something to work with.

I prefer to apply that approach to an idea and watch that idea grow.

Buying property, either to live in or as an investment, has traditionally been seen as a smart move, a safe bet. I’ve seen too many cases of people being stuck with houses they can’t rent/sell, or people cashing out barely making a profit for all their troubles.

Not everyone afford to start something on their own. Some people need regular income, and someone else to impose routine on them. And it is painful to see money “disappear” every month while renting, and it is easy to envy those who have “made it” and bought their first place, those who have bought themselves a piece of the pie.

Renting gives me options. It allows me to take risks and let my bank balance go dangerously close to red. This year renting allows me to not rent, to get up and go and live nomadically, to worry less about earning money and worry more about self-initiated projects and new ideas. A life choice that people I’ve spoken to about envy but are unwilling or incapable of choosing.

Eventually I do intend to buy myself a place, but it will be a place to call home, a place to live and call my own. It will not be something to put my money into in the hopes that it will pay off, while I slave away for somebody else.