When you work in real estate, you spend much of your time in the weeds of a transaction, so it’s easy to forget about the true joy that comes from home ownership. At the end of the day, after all the paperwork is signed, after the champagne has been uncorked, real estate is all about real people being able to call someplace their own—a small slice of earth where they can lay their head at night and make a future for themselves and their families.
Here are some of the true benefits of homeownership that we hear about from many first-time homebuyers:
1. Locked-in monthly expenses
Renting and hopping around from place to place can be exhausting—not only because of the constant upheaval, but also because rent keeps rising, especially if you’re in a major metropolitan area. Buying a home fixes your costs in place (save for increases in taxes and insurance), and allows you the peace of mind of knowing your mortgage payment will be the same next year as it is this year. This might not seem so dramatic when you look at it in the short term, but if you’re thinking ten or fifteen years out, it’s a big deal.
2. Building a nest egg
In addition to fixing your monthly costs, you’re also buying an asset for yourself, as opposed to spending money to pay off someone else’s. The majority of Americans have a significant portion of their net worth in their home’s equity, and it’s long been a reliable way to accumulate wealth over time. Many homebuyers are sick of throwing their hard-earned money towards rent, and love the idea of using a home sort of like a savings account, especially when residential real estate has consistently appreciated over time. While it might not be the “get-rich-quick scheme” many people dream of, if you’re going to pay for a place to live anyway, why not be the primary beneficiary of your own hard work?
3. The joys of personalization
Sure, you can decorate an apartment or a rented house, but you can never make those intrinsic changes that make a place truly feel like it represents you. Spend enough time in a home and you’ll know exactly what you want to change to make it perfect. And decorating and remodeling can (and should) be fun. Your home is your castle, and you should make yourself feel as comfortable as possible. That’s why most people choose a home that has just the right amount of stuff they love, whether it be location, kitchen, or layout, and then change the rest of it themselves to truly make it their own.
4. Becoming part of a community
You can, of course, become a member of a community when you rent. But ownership conveys a deeper sense of belonging, especially on your end. Think about how you feel when you accidentally break something at home. When you own, the emotional frustration is deeper because that home belongs to you. It’s this same concept that drives communities to push for higher rates of owner-occupancy and homeownership. People who own in a community tend to have a bigger stake in it, if not only out of self-interest. When you buy, you’re not only making a commitment to yourself, you’re making one to your entire neighborhood.
5. A safe place to call your own
People have long valued a place to come home to and call their own. It is, after all, where we go when we’re done being out in the world. It’s a safe refuge where we can close the door and rest, spend time with our families, and be ourselves without having to worry about other people. A home gives us our own sanctuary—something every human being needs to feel safe and secure. At the end of the day, this is the most powerful reason why people strive to buy homes, and the true benefit of homeownership that outweighs all the others.
Those are just a handful of reasons agents hear from homeowners. But everyone has their own personal reasons for wanting a home.
So if you’re already a homeowner, let’s hear what you love about homeownership! And if you’re not, what would owning a home mean to you?