I've seen a lot of discussion forum threads, FB groups, and YouTube channels popping up recently focused on "Moving to the Magic". It's gotten us thinking about it very seriously. We are no more than five years from retirement, and probably could make the jump even earlier than that - and may do so if something pushes us to do so. That brings us back to the age-old question about how important it is to move and rent for a while before buying. The only one of the four places in which we lived more than five years (so far) was the place we lived right before this, and we moved into that place from another suburb of the same city, so the standard "rent before buying" advice wouldn't apply. And there are things we regretted about all four places, even the place we lived in for twenty years - no place is perfect - right? And the reasons for our moves from the two places we lived short-term (and from where we are now, still short-term, and planning to move again soon) weren't (wouldn't be) related to the regrets: The first place wasn't great, but it was quite nice for what we were able to afford at the time. We moved out after just a few years because my spouse got a great job in another city. The second place was a fantastic place to live, but my spouse's commute was a killer due to traffic. And in that case we actually did rent before buying: My spouse's employer put us up in rental housing for six weeks while we sought a new home. The commute just didn't bubble up as a big problem until a couple of years later. Where we are now - well - we're just not happy here anymore. Our family members that lived nearby have passed away in the last year, and the community we have been enthusiastic members of for over four years has turned sour. My spouse is retiring next year and my job is horrendous (so yes I suppose you could say I'm secretly hoping to have a good excuse to quit.) Regardless, the point I'm making is that the reasons why we didn't (and wouldn't) live in any of these places for a long time wasn't anything that "renting before buying" would have addressed. For example, in the case of where we live now, if we rented before buying we would have lived in a place where there were rentals (not around here), and probably would not have joined this community that turned sour until we moved into our home. So we couldn't have even seen any signs that it would eventually turn sour (and that's assuming that there were such signs to see - I don't believe there were). So I'm again questioning the "renting before buying" advice. What do we really get out of it, other than basically flushing the difference between the cash that we spend on rent and how much we would pay in property taxes down the drain? It seems to me that unless it is a "rent with option to buy" situation, it is unreasonable to expect much from "renting before buying".