Why I prefer access to ownership, part 2: housing

This article is part 2 of a series. See also: Why I prefer access to ownership, part 1: cars, books and more

An Airbnb apartment in Omaha (Dundee neighborhood) where I stayed for a few days.
An Airbnb apartment in Omaha (Dundee neighborhood) where I stayed for a few days.

I like the idea of not owning a place to live, but instead having access to well-designed living spaces that I can use as needed — like Zipcar, but for housing.

Since I didn’t purchase real estate until later in life (and right before the housing crash), I never made money from it or built equity (since I had 100% financing). It’s currently breaking even as a rental and when the value comes back up to a little more than I owe, I’ll probably sell it, since I don’t want the responsibility of owning something in a city where I don’t spend much time. Continue reading “Why I prefer access to ownership, part 2: housing”

My first stay with Airbnb – loved it!

I’ve been reading about Airbnb for over a year, and now I finally had a chance to try it. It was a totally positive experience! Since I’m living a “location-flexible life” I’m interested in easy ways to find short-term housing. Airbnb seems like a good solution.

With Airbnb, you can choose to rent a room in someone’s house or apartment (while they are living there), or an entire house or apartment (without them there). For my one-week stay in Mexico City, I wanted to stay with locals, so I could get advice about how to get around and what to do in Mexico City. Renting a room in Edgar’s apartment was perfect for that.

Airbnb apartment in Mexico City.
Airbnb apartment in Mexico City.

I chose his place for several reasons: Continue reading “My first stay with Airbnb – loved it!”

Location-flexible living in the U.S. — deciding where to live next year

Now that I’ve lived in Oaxaca for a few months, I’m starting to think about future locations. I’m glad I came here this year and I haven’t ruled out returning at some point, but I think I’d like to try some U.S. locations in 2014.

For a summary of what it’s been like living here, see my last post: Living in Oaxaca, what it’s like for me.

I now have a renewed appreciation of the convenient infrastructure of the U.S. Here are some things I’m looking forward to:

  • drinkable tap water
  • reliable internet
  • convenient shopping (i.e., Trader Joe’s)
  • speaking in my native language
  • paying for most things with credit cards (so I can earn more frequent flyer points… see my post about “travel hacking“)
  • a good selection of indie films (one of my favorite things to do for fun)
  • discounts on electronics, and being able to have things shipped cheaply from Amazon
  • being able to stream Netflix or Pandora without needing to use a VPN service. (I use and like Tunnel Bear, but it can slow down your connection).

Continue reading “Location-flexible living in the U.S. — deciding where to live next year”