What Home Ownership Can Mean for You
Triad New Home Guide - Spring 2015
When you’ve never owned your home, your relationship to it is less personal. Let’s face it, when something goes wrong in your rented apartment, you call the landlord or manager to fix it. You don’t worry about insurance against natural disasters, save up for that new roof or upgraded furnace, or myriad other requirements of homeownership. After all, you just live there.
Homeownership changes all of that. You are your landlord! You are the manager, and all those repairs and upgrades? They’re your responsibility now. So, do you really want to own a home? Yes! And here’s why:
When you own your home, every payment that you make toward your mortgage principle (i.e. not an interest only payment) increases your equity (ownership stake) in your property. As a renter, your payment goes toward the property owner’s equity. You also gain equity when the fair market value of your home increases due to changes in the market, economic growth in your region, or shortages in housing due to increased demand. And, if you make useful improvements after you purchase your home, both your improvements and your principle payments may increase your equity.
As property values and costs increase, rents go up. If you are not in a rent-controlled situation, you have no control over what your lease payment will be from year to year. When your current lease ends, you may find yourself priced out of your building or neighborhood. When you buy a home with a fixed-rate mortgage, particularly in an area that does not have association dues, your monthly and yearly outgo is steady and stable. Having predictable payments allows you to stick to your budget.
A Place of Your Own
We teach our children to save up for that toy they want, and that teenager to work toward the cost of that first car because we know that the personal investment brings pride of ownership, increased responsibility, and appreciation for the cost and value of the object. When you buy your own home and have the responsibility of caring for it, you work toward keeping it in the best possible condition and presentation. When something is broken, you fix it. When it needs an upgrade, you save up for it. It becomes an extension of you and your dream for yourself and your family.
You also take more pride in how your home appears to your neighbors. You know that if yours is the only uncut lawn, your standing in your neighborhood diminishes. Neighbors that work together to increase the curb appeal of the entire neighborhood have not just pride of ownership, but also a sense of belonging. Common improvements to the neighborhood raise the value of everyone’s property.
Homeownership changes you in positive ways. It grounds you to your community and connects you to your neighbors.