According to the independent research center Pew, more U.S. households are renting than at any point in 50 years; don’t flock to the masses just yet.
For most people, investing in a home will be the largest purchase they will ever make; this decision should be a deliberate and astute. If you’re 25 and feeling like you need to purchase a home just because your friends have, but you are not financially ready…. please, do not purchase a home. Owning a home won’t suddenly make you a grown-up, taking care of your finances will.
Let’s dive in.
Investing in a home presents many advantages to the homeowner, with the main one being ownership of an appreciating asset. Every payment you’re making towards your mortgage is one step closer to owning that home, aka achieving the American dream!
Appreciation is also another huge factor; since land is finite, homes almost always appreciate with time. This means a $200,000 home you buy today could be sold for $270,000 in future. Along with appreciation, home ownership also provides tax advantages, you can count your mortgage interest and property taxes as a deduction when you file taxes!
Because most apartments divide tenants with just a few layers of drywall, your comfort is ultimately at the mercy of your neighbors; this means you will hear Jim blaring his techno music at 3am if he feels like it. Along with tons of privacy, homes offer much more flexibility. You have the option to completely renovate your home as you wish, just know that some home remodels do require permits. No longer are you trapped in the layout plan your landlord has preset!
If you are someone that’s very sporadic or travel a lot due to your job or other circumstances, you might not want to purchase a home. Houses are illiquid assets, meaning it takes time to sell your home and recoup your investment; it’s much more difficult to constantly relocate when you’re a homeowner.
Don’t forget that owning a home comes with additional costs such as higher utility bills, additional insurance policies, HOA fees, property taxes, closing costs, etc.
Since you own the asset, you must take care of it. You must maintenance the house and absorb all costs associated with it. Water heater broke? A/C stopped working? Found cracks in your foundation? No landlord to call means you must take care of the problem, and sometimes it gets expensive.
Unless you plan on outsourcing all maintenance, you’ll need to purchase things like rakes, a leaf blower, a lawnmower, weed whacker, push brooms, hoses/sprinklers, snow shovel, ice melt, nails, hammers, drills, screwdrivers, tape measures, duct and electrical tape, flashlight, etc.
If you’re financially ready to invest in a home, you should. Paying your landlord rent means you’re just paying for a living space; that money is never returning to your wallet. Why not pay a mortgage and slowly work towards owning an appreciating asset instead?
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