Stop telling me to buy a house! One renter's story

It's time to buy a home! That's what I hear several times a week from friends, co-workers and commercials. I've heard the same prediction since I graduated four years ago and signed a lease on an apartment to share with my new wife. We've been living in the apartment ever since, and despite its small size, it has served us well. Even though I want to get a house, and I assure everyone concerned with my living arrangements of this desire, lest I be cast as a financial fool or someone who doesn't buy into the American dream of home ownership, it doesn't stop.

When I graduated I was still swept up in the dream of owning a house, but for lack of money, settled for an apartment, despite the fact that it seemed like we could afford one of the zero down variable rate mortgages at the time. It didn't take too long, six months, before we realized just how much the last four years of education was going to cost us, and put our dreams of home ownership on hold. That's right; we made the responsible decision to hold off on buying a house we couldn't afford; even when banks would have gladly given us money, showing restraint that even more informed individuals, like an economics reporter for the NY Times, failed to exercise.