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Is Owning a Home Overrated?

February 5, 2022

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Lifestyle

I saw a tweet that said, if you have a mortgage, you do not actually own a home, you are just renting. I was confused because…are you new here? My name is on this deed, I own this home. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that most people’s perception of homeownership is skewed.

Generational wealth is the new black (or whatever that show said). We all want it, it looks good on everyone, but is homeownership the yellow brick road that leads to generational wealth? For some, homeownership could be more of a liability than an asset. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether it is a risk worth taking. Don’t get me wrong, homeownership is a beautiful thing however, is it one size fits all? Absolutely not.

When you are determining whether you should rent or own, the first thing you should do is assess the kind of life you would like to live and see which would best fit that lifestyle. Do you want to live downtown? Or would you prefer the suburbs? Do you need that backyard for the kids? Or are you content with a smaller outdoor space? Do you like plowing snow? Or would you prefer watching somebody plow it through your window? Is the price of the house worth it? Or would it be more cost-efficient to rent?

These are some of the questions you should ask yourself when you are considering whether renting or owning is best for you. To make it easier for you, I have compiled a list of 6 categories to which you can compare the pros and cons of renting versus homeownership.

Ownership

If you purchase a home then it belongs to you, regardless of if you are paying a mortgage or not, it is YOURS. You have the legal right to the property, your name is on the deed, you can put it in your will, you can paint the walls burgundy and have a sponge for tiles because that house belongs to you. While if you choose to rent, you are denied that sense of ownership and are required to follow the rules put in place by your landlord.

Flexibility

With homeownership, you are in this for the long run. You purchased the home, so you really have to stick beside it. You can’t just wake up one day and decide that you would like to leave (well maybe you could, but is that responsible?). It is recommended that you stay in your home for at least 3 to 5 years because selling too fast can be costly. On the other hand, rentals normally come with a yearlong lease (at minimum) with the option to break or extend after a year. If you are that person who changed their major in university every two weeks, maybe you should hold off on homeownership until you are 100% sure that you are ready to commit.

Change in Value

With homeownership, you have to ride whatever wave hits your home. If the home increases in value, you reap that reward. If the home decreases in value, you have to take that blow. What people don’t realize is that even if you are paying your monthly mortgage, it isn’t the same as rent because you are building equity in the property. As the value increases, it benefits you. As a renter, there is no risk of the property losing value and it impacting you, but you also don’t gain anything when it increases in value.

Monthly Costs

Owning a home means you also own all the costs associated with the home. Yes, I know you thought you were in your bag when you got pre-approved for that mortgage; however, the costs of maintaining a home will constantly dip into that same bag. Have you ever heard the saying, do not bite the hand that feeds you? Well, you will feed this home your life savings and it will come right back around to bite you (I speak more about the costs associated with homeownership here). When you choose to rent, the only costs that you are responsible for are that which is outlined in the lease, point blank period. 

Stability

Homeownership gives you the security and the peace of mind of knowing that this place belongs to you, and no one can ask you to leave. Renting, however, leaves your housing situation in the hands of your landlord. Numerous laws across the world protect renters from being evicted by their landlords without just cause, so there is no need to worry. However, if you do desire 100% stability and full control of your investment then you should consider purchasing your own home. 

Source of Income

Owning a home allows you to have an extra source of income. I bought my first home at 23 years old (you can learn more about that journey here) and I have had tenants living in it ever since. This generates an extra source of income for me without me physically doing anything (because we are all about working smarter never harder). LEGALLY, you are not allowed to turn your rental into a rental. I know the girls are turning their rentals into AIRBNB’s and while I respect the hustle, LEGALLY, it’s a no. 

Homeownership is not a member of the family of pants that the sisters travelled in. It is not one size fits all. While it is amazing to own a home, it may not be what you need for the season of life that you are in. Overall, I think you need to make the decision that is best for your lifestyle and understand the pros and cons of each.

Here is a video where I talk more about renting versus buying a house.

xo,
Reni

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