As the American housing market continues its slow crawl towards normalcy, real estate experts and economists are often quoted in news stories on the topic, touting the benefits of homeownership. For example, many point out that renting a home amounts to “throwing money” away or that a certain, intangible “pride” comes with homeownership that renting doesn’t provide.
While those are great reasons to purchase a home, they’re pretty tired examples of why becoming a homeowner rocks. I recently purchased my first home, and yeah, I like the fact that I’m not writing a check to a landlord anymore. Sure, I feel pretty jazzed that my condo is mine. But honestly, I can think of much better reasons that it’s great to own my home.
In fact, I can think of three:
I never have to worry about my housing payment going up again
When I was a renter I used to get a nervous, sick feeling every May when it was time to see how much my rent would be increasing for the next year. Every raise I got at work was nearly meaningless because it would always get eaten up by a higher housing payment, so one of the best things about owning my home is knowing that I never have to worry about a hike in housing payments again. Sure, my property taxes will go up over time, but my mortgage payment is locked in for the next 30 years. I find that mighty comforting!
I’m investing in my future self
Every time I make a mortgage payment, I think about how my future, older self will benefit from the investment. Sure, maybe some day I’ll sell my condo (hopefully at a profit!) but even if I don’t, I know that, in 30 years I’m going to have a piece of property that I own free and clear. Not only will my condo be a nice asset on my personal balance sheet, it will provide me with a huge level of personal security – I’ll never have to worry about having a place to live. When I look at owning a home from this perspective, it seems like a great decision.
I can do whatever I want to the place
My old apartment was a great starter place, but the kitchen had a fatal, incurable flaw: it didn’t have a dishwasher. As a renter, there was nothing I could do about this. But when I purchased my condo, which was also dishwasher-free, I immediately set about fixing this. I got in touch with a contractor, got the permits, bought the dishwasher, and within a week my problem was solved. Being able to create exactly the home you want just isn’t possible when you’re a renter, so being able make my place my own has been seriously satisfying.
Owning a home is a huge responsibility, but it also has some pretty cool perks. If you think you’re in a position to buy, now is the time. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!