Karen Lawley's Blog
Most adults go through a series of predictable life stages, which include the eventual desire to be a home owner. Some people take the plunge sooner than others, but that decision is typically set in motion by changing circumstances, such as financial readiness, additions to the family, or career advancement.
Owning your own home certainly has a different "feel" to it than being a renter. Not only do you tend to feel more established and successful, but home ownership gives you more control over your environment. When you no longer have to answer to a landlord, you don't have to concern yourself with unannounced visits, inspections, restrictions, rent increases, or even lease terminations.
Renting an apartment, condo, or duplex may make the most sense when you're getting your first taste of independence as a recent college graduate or a young newlywed couple. However, as maturity settles in, buying a house becomes the next logical step. In addition to the investment value of real estate, most people also gravitate toward the idea of more privacy, more control over their lives, and the sense of accomplishment that comes from owning your own home.
Parenthood brings changes. Once children come into your life, your whole perspective undergoes a seismic shift! New priorities come to the forefront, such as relocating to a better school district, living closer to relatives or a recommended child care facility, and having a spacious yard where your kids can play. Owning property with a private, grassy space for a sandbox, a swing set, or backyard birthday parties are also among the reasons home ownership appeals to young parents.
Gardening becomes an option. With few exceptions, the joy of backyard gardening is a pastime that's only available to home owners. Whether your interest lies in growing your own vegetables, herbs, or wildflowers, cultivating a garden can be a very satisfying aspect of home ownership. While there is definitely more work involved in landscaping, maintaining property, and keeping your lawn looking manicured, the pride of ownership that comes from beautifying your own yard makes it all worthwhile!
Building equity: While deluxe townhouse rentals and luxury apartments may offer some temporary appeal, there comes a time in life when you want your monthly payments to begin feathering your own nest, rather than helping your landlord retire comfortably! Although your rented living space may provide you with immediate comfort, ample storage, and a place to entertain friends, it's your landlord, not you, who's receiving the tax advantages and investment value of the property you're living in.
Even though apartment living or townhouse renting may have suited your purposes up until now, you can't help but wonder whether it's time for a change -- specifically, a change that can strengthen your financial security and provide you with a resource you can leverage and enjoy for years to come.