Comment of the Day: The Rent Vs. Re-Buy Decision

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE RENT VS. RE-BUY DECISION Storage Unit“I once rented a self storage unit. My wife (then girlfriend) and I were condensing from two apartments to one. After a year and a half of paying the rental fee, I did the math. For what I had paid on the storage unit, I could have bought, brand new, everything I was storing in it. So we ended up emptying the unit and tossing whatever we didn’t immediately have use for. Bottom line, the storage unit was some of the worst money I’ve spent in my entire life. I suspect that’s often the case.” [Walt, commenting on Old Prince’s Hamburger Sign Is Leaving North Shepherd for Points Even Further North] Illustration: Lulu

10 Comment

  • Public storage is a two pronged business plan, on one hand you’re catering to consumerism culture since the 80’s which dramatically increased the amount of physical possessions of an average family causing a physical overflow of a home’s storage capacity, and the said positive cash flow is allowing you to hold onto the PROPERTY on which the storage units sit for an extended period of time. It was said in Forbes (or some other business publication of similar reputation) that Public Storage and Car Washes are primarily a tool to hold ivnestment land for long term without cost.

  • And parking lots, Commonsense: parking lots are often used to generate income to offset the taxes on long-term investment properties.
    That said, I always thought the people who manages a Self Storage have a pretty nice deal. Most of them get to live in apartments on-site, so no rent. And the job seems pretty easy – just man the front desk (or have someone else do it), watch a handful of security cameras, and every so often patrol the grounds to keep an eye on things.

  • Add golf driving ranges to the list too

  • So true!!–I think we’ve all done this–it’s best just to sell the stuff and be done with it!

  • My mom has probably blown fifteen to twenty grand on storage fees and late fees and penalties for a huge storage unit filled mostly with items of sentimental value. It’s infuriating. Or it was when I was supporting her.

  • commonsense / ZAW: Add Class C apts to that list.

  • This is similar logic to what I heard from a realtor friend about excessive house size. He tries (in vain) to discourage suburban home buyers from buying homes with 3 and 4 car garages just so they can store their enormous amount of shit that they don’t need. That extra square footage can be costly over the long run on your property taxes.

  • We’ve used self storage units a few times for specific reasons, like getting clutter out of a house that’s for sale, or as somewhere to put stuff while you paint or renovate. It seems sort of dumb to just keep stuff in one for a years, though. We have also used a Pod to help sort stuff while cleaning out the garage.

  • As someone who has moved apartments every year for 7 years, I find this interesting. We are brought up in such a wasteful society and upon a someday self realization, try to avoid doing this ourselves only to realize later that it is so much more convenient and economical just to throw away and start over. The value and desirability of used furniture and other stuff is so low it isn’t worth the hassle of even selling or giving away. Definitely something I struggle with.

  • @JohnC – Oy, that stinks. I remember moving every year when I was in college. Not fun.
    .I pretty much furnished my home with 2nd hand furniture from estate sales and Craigslist, and there’s no way I could buy any of this stuff new. Even Ikea/Target furniture is significantly more expensive than some of the antiques I’ve bought and not all of it could survive 1 move. Houston, IMO, has some of the best selection of 2nd hand items I’ve ever seen at a truly affordable price. I GUESS you could dump everything and buy it all over again, but why? It cost me about $200 to move my 1 BR apt in Montrose into my house in Brooke Smith.