A big part of the traditional American Dream is having a permanent place to call home. Homeownership gives you roots and it also gives you equity. Being a homeowner also means no dealing with landlords for rental drama and repairs. Also, the thought of never paying rent again is enough to make anyone eager to own a home. At the end of the day though; is the American Dream of homeownership everything that it’s built up to be?
I think owning a home / homeownership is definitely a goal people should aim towards in life. Nevertheless, there are a few things to think about before you jump into it. For some of you, renting a place might make more sense for the time being – there’s no need to rush into homeownership!
So, what are some of the things people never mention about owning a house?
Monthly Payments Continue
The idea of never paying rent is what spurs lots of people into buying homes. But, you have to understand that monthly payments aren’t going away, they just transfer from rent to mortgage payments. You’ll spend a lot of time looking at mortgage quotes before buying a house, and the good news is that the monthly rate is often less than what you’d pay in rent. Still, these payments will be made for most of your life, with many people taking decades to clear their mortgage debt. So, if you think that owning a home means you no longer have to worry that much about money, think again. The upside is that at least you’re making payments towards something that’s yours – with rent, you’re basically paying for the landlord’s mortgage!
Very Little Protection
One of the few advantages of renting is that you get protection from certain things and problems. For instance, any structural issues in the home – or general problems with appliances that the landlord owns – you don’t have to pay for them. They’re the responsibility of the property owner, provided you didn’t cause the issues themselves. It basically means that things like roofing leaks are covered by the landlord, saving you money. When you own a home, you have to be ready to look after everything. The only protection you get is through home insurance, but you don’t want to keep claiming that all the time. It just means you have more things to worry about and be concerned about when owning a home.
Less Flexibility and Freedom
Owning a home means you have to commit to staying in one place for a fairly long time. Unless you leave and rent a place somewhere else, but that means you pay rent and a mortgage – it’s expensive! When you rent, you have more flexibility and freedom to move to new places when your contracts run out, which might suit some lifestyles more than others. Having said that, you do have more flexibility to perform home improvements, so that’s worth keeping in mind as well.
Overall, homeownership is definitely still a positive thing that’s worth aspiring for. However, with a new wave of people facing unemployment, and concerns about the economy, it’s normal to worry that you’ll be unable to afford a house in the near future. That’s completely fine; renting does have its benefits. Take your time, and understand what comes with homeownership – you have lots of responsibilities, so don’t assume you can just take it easy and live a carefree life without financial stress.