So often you will hear that everyone needs to own a home; that is simply not true. While it does make sense the vast majority of the time, there are both pros and cons to homeownership. When you are thinking about buying vs. renting, you need to consider your lifestyle, finances, and your goals. What works for some people doesn't work for others. And that is ok. So what are the pros and cons?
Pros of home ownership include:
Some of the pros include financial advantages, pride of ownership, and stability. This might seem obvious, but one of the major benefits of home ownership is the financial advantage. Your home is an asset and every month that you make a payment, you tuck a little money away into the equity of your home. Hopefully your house appreciates over time, which can also make you money on top of storing your monthly payments in the house. Pride of ownership is another huge benefit. When you own your house, you control your house. You can make it fit your needs, lifestyle, personal style, and more. You can paint your whole house purple if you want, have as many dogs as you want, and make your backyard anything you can dream up. It feels great to make your house your home. The other part of this is establishing stable roots. No one is going to increase your rent, make you leave or sell to another owner, because you are in charge. You can build your community around your house and establish micro-local roots.
Some of the cons of buying a house include out of pocket costs and loss of some freedoms. Owning a home is an investement and that means you need to be willing and able to maintain your house. You need to pay attention to it and take care of small problems before they turn into big problems. You also have to be willing to handle big problems if and when they arise. You also do lose some freedoms when you own; you are rooted in an area so if you are the type of person who wants to move around every few months, owning a home would not be a good fit. Most people have to stay in their home for 1.5-3 years to make it worth owning it.
There are some wonderful reasons to buy a home. Give some thought to your lifestyle and goals and if they are in line with the advantages of home ownership, then it's time to go house hunting!