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Have you been waiting for this follow-up post after reading my previous entry about why current market conditions may offer great opportunities to jump into home ownership? If you’re sitting on the fence, or feeling uneasy about navigating the real estate industry, go check it out to discover five reasons why there’s no need to panic. If you’re already convinced that home ownership is a great next step for you, read ahead to understand five reasons why home ownership is beneficial.
- Autonomy and personal enjoyment. When you have ownership rights to your OWN space (not your landlord’s!) you can do with it as you please. Rather than waiting for the dingy carpet to be replaced when the landlord feels like it (which, by the way, could be NEVER), that 1993 wallpaper to come down, or whatever other detail you desire to address, home ownership grants you the control over making the space as you like and enjoying it for yourself. Want to plant a garden but the landlord says ‘no’? Keen to paint that neon mural on your wall but getting resistance? When you own your home, you don’t need to ask for permission to personalize … enjoy it as you like!
- Benefit personally from your improvements. “But my landlord already allows me to improve the space!” … if this is your response to the comment above, keep in mind that all your sweat equity, financial improvement, time, and energy is going towards improving an investment that you’ll never reap the benefit of. Wouldn’t you rather see the payout of your hard work in YOUR pocket rather than your landlord’s? Home ownership allows your improvements to add value to your own investment rather than someone else’s.
- See your value grow over time. Even in slower markets, real estate has proven to grow and increase in value over time. The longer you hold onto it, the greater your equity will be when you decide to sell. Even if you do nothing but live there and make little to no cosmetic improvements over time, the odds are that your value will increase simply by owning property that will grow with the rate of inflation. This value is something you can only take advantage of when you have secured ownership privileges rather than tenancy rights.
- Your mortgage payments are reducing YOUR debt. Alongside the intrinsic inflation you’ll benefit from over the years, every mortgage payment you make is working to pay off your debt rather than your landlord’s. Concerned about rising interest rates? Consider this… the interest you’re paying on rent is 100%! Even if your borrowing costs are a little higher to service a mortgage, your principal will be paid down over time, benefiting your personal financial position instead of the individual who collects your rent payments.
- Personal Protection. Though legislation does a great job of protecting the rights of tenants, you remain at risk while living in a space that is not yours. A landlord may opt to complete major renovations or move in themselves, forcing you to be evicted regardless of how long you’ve lived there or whether you want to leave. If you’re in a position to own your own space and eliminate this risk, why wouldn’t you? The highest level of protection and peace of mind regarding a roof over your head comes from the knowledge that no one will have the right to put your home security at risk.
It’s true – home ownership does come with responsibilities. Upkeep, improvements, emergencies… I certainly do not want to make light of these details. However, home ownership comes with several advantages to the individual or family who is in a position to make it possible. If you’re on the fence about whether it’s time to make the jump, I would strongly consider sitting down with your financial advisor, mortgage professional, and realtor – together, we can develop a plan that will enable you to benefit from all the perks of home ownership. If this has been a conversation around your table, please reach out – I’d be happy to put you in touch with professionals who can help as you begin to navigate the possibility of home ownership!