About six years ago, I acquired a house through my boyfriend who already owned it. Homeownership was one of those things that I never really planned on especially at such a young age. It has been something that has been a blessing and an annoyance at different times. It’s a big thing to take on and is a decision that must be made while considering the pros and the cons. I should know. I was completely green when it came to the costs of being a homeowner, and I certainly could have benefitted from some good advice.
The Pros of Homeownership
Owning a piece of real estate is often touted as a way of building long-term wealth. I can attest to that. Our home has risen in value over $50,000 since it was purchased. It is important to consider though that this value did not occur overnight. It feels great to have equity in something that is generally thought of as an asset. I also like the fact that I am not just throwing money away when I make a mortgage payment as opposed to rent payments. There is definitely something that is being built and stored for the future at least for right now. The whole feeling of being able to say that you own something like this is a wonderful feeling that is hard to put into words.
The Cons of Homeownership
The recent economic crash has proven that there are many drawbacks to having a home. One of the first and foremost things is that you can lose money on real estate just like any other investment. Another big thing is that you are suddenly responsible for all the upkeep of the home including things that most people don’t think about. This means simple things like lawn care, door hinges, gutter clearing, grout work, tile cleaning, caulking, painting, carpentry and the list goes on and on. Are you willing to learn or pay for these services should they be needed? I was fortunate in the fact that my boyfriend was able to perform most of these tasks and save us money. Most are not that fortunate.
Are You Ready for Homeownership?
This is something that you will need to figure out for yourself, but there are a few things you can ask yourself. Are you willing to pay for repairs? Do you have a fund prepared for such repairs? Are you willing to stay at your home for a while in order to build up equity? Are you prepared for the fact that your home may lose value? If you are not willing to face the challenges that can come with homeownership than I encourage you to reevaluate some things.
I don’t want to make anyone nervous about owning a home. The truth is that having a real place that you can call your own is an indescribable feelings. I love the idea that I have a little corner on the Earth that is my own. You just need to be prepared like all big decisions in life. I would not change home ownership for anything in the world and feel that it has helped me secure wealth. It is something that I would highly recommend just as long as you are ready for it both mentally and financially.- Natalie Alex