A place to live is a basic need—it’s as integral to happiness as water, food, and watching Tiger King on Netflix so that you can implicitly understand all the fun memes circulating these days. Going into the psychology of a place to call one’s own is a favorite pastime, after all, we are in the mortgage business.
But let’s skip that for now and address what we’re best at—what’s better than having a place to live? Owning your own place!
Renting definitely has its benefits, but there comes a time when the drawbacks suddenly outweigh the benefits. In the interest of being transparent and fair to what’s so great about renting, we want to note that there are perks.
For example, when you rent, if you don’t like the location for some reason, well, easy. Just move when your contract is up. If the water heater breaks, call the landlord and get them to replace it.
For some, renting is the only way to live. The sacrifice is ownership, which translates to a certain type of freedom. But ownership brings its own benefits, which we’ll address in our list below.
Renting Is Inherently Unstable
If you’re not so lucky as to live in New York City or one of the few other states that have it, then chances are you don’t enjoy the security of rent control. As housing prices change, so too do other markets. Rent goes up, and more of your money flies out of your bank account to cover living expenses.
A monthly rent increase as little as $30 a month equals $360 a year, while a $50 monthly bump is $600 over a year.
But it isn’t just the prices that are unstable. Landlords can change their policies when it suits them—a pet could suddenly be deemed unwelcome, putting you in a tight spot. Regulations and laws protect homeowners that don’t always extend to protections for tenants.
The Sweet Tax Write-Offs*
The money you pay to rent provides a benefit to the landlord that a renter never sees. That benefit? Tax write-offs. Interest on a mortgage is something that can be deducted from the amount you owe on taxes.
Your Own Airbnb
Maybe you don’t want to become a landlord (which you could totally do if you buy a house!) per se, but you do want the freedom to leave for long periods of time. While you can sell your home and use the equity to pay for a new home or something else, you could also turn your home into its own money-maker: an Airbnb.
Before you do something like that, educate yourself on the zoning laws in your area and keep in mind that there will be risk and wear and tear on your property. That said, it’s a great option that means you don’t have to ask tenants to leave when you’re ready to come home and settle back in.
A Sanctuary of Your Own, with Pets
What’s better than having one cat? Having ten! OK, not really. Just a little humor there. The truth is, if you want one cat or three, the nice thing about owning your own home is that no one can ask for a pet deposit and charge you for damages if or when Snowball uses the doorjamb for a scratching post.
Developing Home Equity
Home equity is industry-speak to describe the money that your home earns as you pay down the principal balance on your home and as rising home market prices in your area increase the value of your home. It’s one reason many people value owning property rather than paying to live in someone else’s home.
Everyone has to live somewhere, which is one reason homeownership is appealing—you can either pay off someone else’s mortgage and increase their wealth, or you can pay off your own and find some security over time.
Delicious Longterm Stability
Similar to other reasons here, longterm stability is something that’s a bit harder to achieve when renting. After all, there’s the knowledge at the back of your mind that your landlord could ask you to leave or raise your rent to push you
out if they want to.
As that feeling of impermanence and transience remains and begins to bother you, it may be time to consider buying rather than renting. There are very few ways that you can be pushed out of your home once you occupy it.
Lord of Your Own Land
There’s nothing quite like the experience of moving from being a renter, to being a homeowner. It’s a Life moment with a capital L. Now you can tear up the carpet and refinish the wood floors without asking permission from your landlord. If you build your own home, you get to choose what that flooring is in the first place.
If you found yourself nodding in agreement with any of these, then perhaps it’s time to assess what you want your future to look like. Homeownership can be a way to control your destiny in a time of uncertainty. When in doubt, we’re professionals and are here to answer all your questions.
*Please consult a tax professional about your specific situation and the tax savings benefits of homeownership.