Although home ownership is one recommended way to build wealth long term, its benefits go far beyond money.
By Michelle McCann
Home ownership—and particularly home affordability—has earned a bad rap in recent years. But the American Dream of owning a home is alive and well. Owning a home makes sense for many reasons. Yes, the financial reasons are impressive. There is no doubt that home ownership is one way to build wealth long term, but there are other benefits to owning a home. Consider these five reasons that you should embark on the homeownership journey sooner rather than later.
- You have the freedom to create your ideal living space. You’ll no longer have to worry about your security deposit refund—or lack thereof. Your new home is your castle, and you can decorate it as you wish. Should you paint your walls bright orange? Probably not. But you could if you wanted to! The freedom to customize your home to meet your specific needs (think home theater system) and tastes is probably the greatest benefit of all.
- It is easier to be energy efficient in a place of your own. Buying a home allows you to ramp up your efforts to “go green.” You can choose your own energy-efficient appliances, upgrade your air conditioning unit, add solar panels, install an energy-efficient roof, and opt for eco-friendly landscaping. Making your home more energy efficient is easier as a home owner than negotiating with a landlord, and you’ll feel good about what you are doing for the environment—and what you are paying in utility bills.
- Your pets will have a forever home. Animal lovers and landlords don’t always mix. Not only will you stop having to pay that extra pet deposit when you buy a home, but Fido will no longer have to worry about the possibility that he will not be welcome in your new rental.
- Your children will perform better in school. If you are a parent or thinking about becoming a parent, owning a home may help your children do better in school. Your children will likely attend the same school with the same classmates and teachers year after year. Living for a long time in one neighborhood provides children with an opportunity to establish lasting friendships and reap the benefit of educational continuity. You might start thinking of your monthly mortgage payment as an investment in your children’s future!
- You have a sense of privacy. Home owners enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having privacy and control over their property. Owners have the freedom to maintain whatever level of security they want, while renters typically have landlords who have access to the property. Living free from the fear of unexpected visits from meddling landlords or the maintenance man who just happens to show up at your front door might be priceless!