Home ownership can seem like the impossible rung to reach on the ladder of adulthood. Many people of all ages have rented for so long and become comfortable with the idea of renting that they fail to consider the positive side of owning a home. Renting may seem convenient and cost effective, but the reality is that the money you spend towards rent is money invested in your landlord’s future. Why not make a plan to purchase the next time you’re in the market to move and consider some of these plusses to putting down roots.
Mandatory Inspections Before Purchase
When renting a home you usually only discover pre-existing problems after you’ve moved in. We’ve all been there, firmly nestled in to the new bedroom when a sudden scratching in the roof starts in the middle of night or you realize that you can’t wash clothes and shower at the same time without the water pressure in the bathroom giving way. For most lenders, to be approved for a home loan, a mandatory inspection is required to ensure that the house and property are both sound. You can save yourself a mountain of renter’s woes, time, money and frustration by considering to purchase, not rent your next home.
Freedom to Design However You’d Like
Bright purple is beautiful! But your landlord would probably beg to differ. While you may be able to customize to a degree in a rental, nothing is as liberating as being able to create a home that precisely meets your style. Renting may feel convenient and noncommittal, but the truth is that there are limits to what you can do and how often. Want to rip out those cabinets and add a subway tile backsplash? Definitely something you’d have to run by a landlord if renting a property. How about that builder grade light in the bedroom that you’d love to do away with? It probably has to stay too. When you own your own home, you are free to upgrade, renovate and re-do as you please. Additionally, adding custom features will increase the home’s value, rather than your monthly rent payment, when you are ready to sell.
Room to Grow
One of the top reasons cited for new home purchases is the need for more space. Many people get married or decide to move in with their forever roommate, but continue living in a rental property because it seems convenient and like the more inexpensive option. Over time however, rental payments add up, and over the course of a few years, half of your rent put aside could’ve been a sizable downpayment on a larger space that’s all your own. Not to mention, bringing home baby to the closet-sized, second bedroom also means that visitors will probably have to crash on the couch. Enough room in case you decide to grow your family, extra space to make friends and family feel at home when they visit, and the assurance that you’ll never have to worry about not having adequate space to store your belongings are all advantages of home ownership.
Sense of Belonging
The renter’s world is a transient one. In big cities like NYC or LA the market is super competitive for quality homes and even if you have a great place now, you could be priced out a year later. When it comes to putting down roots and owning a piece of the community you call home, the best way to do that is to purchase. Many of the lucky owners of some of today’s most desirable real estate, purchased when the neighborhood was up and coming [see: not that nice. Brooklyn wasn’t always the hipster oasis that it is today]. Strategically this may be where you want to start your search if you’re considering purchasing and have a tight budget. Generally lots and houses in areas that are in transition are cheaper and little run down, but these same areas in the next five to ten years could see massive transformation- Detroit anyone?
Even if you’ve been paying rent at the same property for multiple years, it’s not like a mortgage, which lenders and the credit bureau see as healthy debt management. While renting may be easier it certainly doesn’t provide the peace of mind, comfort, and stability that owning your own home does.