I'm 27 and I live with my parents. It causes me an enormous amount of anxiety, because I do feel like a loser.
Yet at the same time, I am in a vastly better financial position than almost all of my debt-ridden friends, who live alone in often really, really atrocious slum-level apartments.
What's unclear to me, however, is what my next goal is supposed to be. I hear such wildly contradictory things regarding the value of home ownership, and, ironically, for all this talk of social stigma, renting, where you're just throwing money at some jerk landlord in exchange for nothing tangible seems myopic and wasteful.
So I don't know. One thing that is worth noting, however, is that many suburban boomers, such as my parents, own enormous houses. Creating basement suites or attic suites for the kids to live in with a high degree of sovereignty from day-to-day family life is something that's quite new and unprecedented as well. "Living with your parents" doesn't necessarily mean eating your cheerios at the kitchen table with mom and dad in your feetie pajamas.
(1) It’s always wasteful to have more house than you need. Even if you “own” a house, you are still paying real estate taxes, maintenance and repairs, condo or HOA fees, landscaping, interest, air conditioning and heating for the extra space. So the frugal person will live in the smallest and least expensive residence possible.
(2) It is usually less expensive to own rather than rent the same-sized dwelling, primarily because the government subsidizes you with tax breaks. This is truer now that house prices have decreased than it was at the peak of the housing bubble when houses were ridiculously overpriced. But there is also a benefit to being able to control your own house rather than having to depend on a landlord, who could kick you out at the end of your yearly leased if he feels like it.
(3) If someone is giving you a free place to live, obviously that’s going to be less expensive than either owning or renting. Nothing is less expensive than free.
(4) When you live with your parents, you are limited to working within a certain radius of wherever your parents live. If your parents don’t live in or near a major city, this could severely limit your career opportunities. Unless you were smart enough to become a doctor, or a nurse if you couldn’t hack medical school, because there is demand for medical professionals all over. But if your goal it to work in finance, that means living in New York City or perhaps southwest Connecticut where there are a lot of hedge funds.
(5) Not all parents give their children space. My mother likes to hover around me whenever I’m in their house, and I don’t like it.
(6) Living with one’s parents can be demotivating because life is pretty inexpensive if you have free rent. What’s the point of working?