Renters Win, Home Owners Lose: Revealing the Biggest Scam in America
Tom Graneau

AuthorHouse (June 17, 2009)

Renters Win, Home Owners Lose by Tom Graneau flies in the face of conventional wisdom, questioning the long standing belief that the American Dream—home ownership—is the path to success and financial freedom.

Mr. Graneau begins the book with a detailed examination of how Americans are obsessed with home ownership and how the lower risk and often more affordable renting route is believed to be a bad financial choice. Society in general, our parents, and peers have instilled in our brains that renting only makes landlords rich. Now Mr. Graneau asks us to think about whom mortgage payments make wealthy. Bank shareholders win while home owners turn to credit cards when cash flow doesn’t equal expenses. Buyers are told to use our equity to take out loans to cover upgrades, remodeling, and repairs and we do it—because it’s an investment—or so we believe.

Most of us gauge our lives by our careers and by our homes. Owners want to own bigger homes and renters want to buy no matter how much financial burden it puts on the family. Owning is believed to be better as the sacrifices today will pay off later when the home is sold. Home builders associations, Realtor associations, financial institutions, and governments each have done their bit in instilling the belief that home ownership guarantees success.

I believe the author has done a wonderful job making his point with sufficient evidence to back up his claims. His thoughts are presented clearly in plain, understandable language. He doesn’t preach or condescend and I quickly began to see how his suggestions could work for my situation. The back cover outlines the meat of this book as it poses the following five questions:

·    Is home ownership simply a huge economic scam designed to keep you broke?
·    What if this popular, “best investment” choice is nothing more than a dangerous dream?
·    Could you be working to pay a mortgage that makes your lender rich while you stay poor?
·    What if “home equity” is only an illusion?
·    What if people who rent are in a better financial position than those who own?

Soon after reading Renters Win, Home Owners Lose I was talking to my wife about selling our apartment and renting a larger home. The savings from a lower monthly rent compared to mortgage payments, and no longer needing to pay property taxes, repairs, and condo fees could be invested in our family’s future. Over the length of a 25 year mortgage, I believe we may be further ahead as Mr. Graneau has effectively shown here.

I highly recommend Renters Win, Home Owners Lose to anyone considering buying a home and to owners tired of experiencing financial hardship.

By William Potter for Reader’s Choice Book Reviews.

TOM GRANEAU is a personal financial management coach, educator, and trainer. He’s done extensive financial counseling and workshops with people in the civilian community, government agencies, and the military.

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