I agree with your sentiments exactly!
We had "owned" (well - us and the bank!) our own single
family American Dream Home (actually four different ones) from 1976 until 2001.
We sold our beautiful custom built, hill top view... etc home of 19 years in July 2001 and continued our cruising (we had actually left in Aug 2000 but it took a while to finally sell the house a couple times).
We have tired to buy a new place many times since returning from cruising but continue to rent - a nice place but it is still rent.
It has been very liberating not owning a home while cruising 1/2 time on our boat - such freedom - we can do anything we want. When my wife retires for the 2nd time in July this year all we have to do is give the landlord 30 days notice and we are free to take our boat anywhere we want.
And - I don't think home ownership
is such a great deal as most people think. My previous life involved a bit of financial analysis and comparison of various types of purchase/lease/rent options for very expensive capital equipment
The home we purchased in spring 1982 and sold in summer 2001 more than doubled in price
(way more!) during that time. But - when you factor in
investment opportunity on the down payment
mortgage interest write off
home off write off
our return on the original investment and the payments was about 2.5%/year for 19 years. During that same time our financial investments averaged over 10% annual return. We would have been way further ahead by renting
for 19 years and investing the significant down payment we made.
And we would not have had 10 months of heart ache trying to sell the house while we sailed from Puget Sound
That home is now for sale
for just slightly more than we sold it for 12 years ago and the current
owners put about 40% of the value of the house into "improvements" so they are way behind after 12 years of taxes
During the summer of 2010 we sailed our boat from Puget Sound
to San Diego
so that we would have a nice winter place and a boat to sail in the California
sunshine. We still keep a place in Tacoma to be near my wife's family and for her to work some but having the boat in the warm sunshine year round is great.