The American Dream has always included owning our own home. In fact, many of use probably didn’t even think about being serious about being adults (or adultering as my 20 year old daughter likes to say) before we purchased our first home.
However, as with any other progressive time, people are beginning to question the idea if buying a home is a good idea. If you type in the phrase, “Don’t buy a home” into Google, here are some of the headlines in the search results.
- Here are 6 reasons not to buy a home, according to a financial planner …
- It’s Financial Suicide To Own A House
- Don’t buy a house (+ how to ignore dumb propaganda)
- Why Houses Are a Scam
- Disowned For Being A Millionaire: Why I Still Won’t Buy A House
- A homeowner’s advice: don’t buy a house
- Don’t Buy A House Just To Buy A House
There are a lot more articles written about why buying a house is a horrible idea. All them seem to come up with a different reason not to do so…costs too much…makes it hard to move again…you should use that money to invest instead…its all part of the propaganda machine of the real estate market and (my favorite) it is too hard to get a house today.
For me growing up, I never really thought much about owning my own home until my wife got pregnant and we suddenly had to think about someone else. Our thought pattern was that we didn’t want to have to raise our children in an apartment complex. We wanted a chance to give them a familiar area that they can call home. It didn’t work out like we thought, because we ended up moving two more times, but for since our kids were three and five, they have lived in the same house (they are now 18 and 20).
For some of these individuals, this might seem like a lame reason to own a home. In an age where anyone can make their voice heard to thousands around the globe, it can be thrilling to cry out against the system we have built, claiming faults where none truly exist. If the system came up with the idea, it must be a bad one.
When it comes to home ownership, I believe there are still some really solid reasons for it. I already wrote about one. It provides stability for family life. Here are three other awesome reasons for owning your own home.
You get to make all the decisions – When living the renting life, you are very limited on what you can do to your home. If you want to paint your living rooms walls purple, you can’t do it without getting permission to do so, and many landlords will require you to put it back to its original color when you move. Why even bother?
When you are renting and the sink is suddenly not working correctly, you can’t just fix it. You have to call your landlord to arrange someone to come out to the property to fix it. If you want to build a covered patio in the backyard, you have to ask to get permission and what landlord is going to build a cover patio just because a tenant requests it.
No matter what you need done to a property, when you are renting, the decisions are not yours to make about the residence. You will always have to ask permission. When you own a house, it is yours to do what you want with the property. Sure, there are HOA rules and City Codes that you have to follow but these are in place to help keep the neighborhood safe and looking nice. It is nice feeling to be in charge of the place of where you live without having to answer to someone else about every decision.
It is still a good investment – There are still plenty of us who think buying a home is a good investment. For one thing, rent has gotten so high in this area that I would pay more if I sold my house and rented than I do with my monthly mortgage payment. Short term returns can be had when owning versus renting.
For long term investing, you are set because you are building up equity in the house. When you sell your house, you get the equity back (minus the expenses of selling). If you plan to live in your home a long time and appreciation is good, you can expect a large payout when you sell. Of course, you have to keep up with the house and maintain it, but most do this anyway. You also get some pretty nifty tax benefits from owning a home (not as much as you used to, but it still helps a lot of taxpayers).
Finally, if you want to build wealth, you can keep your first home and purchase additional real estate, which means your net worth will grow as well. It should be noted that if you plan to live in your house for a short while before moving again, then you do need to run some cost comparisons to see if buying is better than renting.
No shared walls – If you are renting an apartment or condo/townhome, I am sure you have had this happened to you. You are about to go to bed when a loud thump is heard above you on the ceiling. Your upstairs neighbor has decided to work out again at 11 pm. You might also have had the nice experience of walking out your front door and getting hit with a strong odor from your friendly neighbors taking a smoke near their front door.
For an introvert like me, it is so very nice to not have strangers sharing a wall, and don’t like having a crowd of people living in very close proximity to me. I realize that some people do enjoy being around others when living in their home, but for the rest of us, you cannot beat a house that does not have noisy neighbors fifty fee away from you. We love our current home because it only has one true neighbor and most people can’t see into our backyard easily. I love being a hermit and owning a house is probably one way to get away from the crowds.
Of course, if you are renting a home then you get this kind of privacy while renting, but you lose out on the other benefits we have mentioned.