Engineer Runs the Numbers, Stops Renting

View from condo in Bethesda, MD

Nip across the street to the bookstore, then sit in the sun and read.

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
–T. S. Eliot

Why should he move? This engineer was renting a huge apartment in downtown Bethesda. The Metro was three blocks away and the bookstore was across the street. There was dozens of restaurants and bars within walking distance.  He was single and comfortable. But it was time to be a home-owner.

We began the hunt. The first weekend out, I showed him a great condo right in Bethesda. No, he wanted a change. He wanted to be near a park, have space for a piano, and have an easy commute to his job far outside of DC. Of course, it had to be move-in ready. We saw a great townhome in Rockville, and houses from Bethesda to Rockville to Gaithersburg. Nothing felt right. Maybe he should continue to rent?

But my engineer understood numbers as well as any banker. He did the math. Rent with no tax benefit does not compute! Interest rates were in the low five percent. You don’t have to be a banker to know it was time to buy.

He ended up six blocks from where he rented. His home is one block from the Metro and one block from the library. And it was the first place I showed him.  He just had to look at 20 other properties before he knew for sure what he wanted. We’re all like that sometimes.

“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.”
–George Moore

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