Advantages & Disadvantages to Homeownership

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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by COUNTRY Financial®. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Post contains affiliate

When I was coming of age, my generation was on the cusp. Somewhere between Generation X and Millennials there is a micro generation of people. That’s me.

True we’re usually lumped in with one of the others, but we lived part of our childhoods with household phones, no cell phones and no computers.

But then our teenage and college years were heavily influenced by the arrival of the internet and the worldwide connections that brought with it.

I’ve been lucky enough to be influenced by the ideals of both generations. One defined as a hardworking, sarcastic group of people that idolize Molly Ringwald and believed homeownership was the key to adulthood.

The other defined as an optimistic bunch – always dreaming of more – that can barely turn their eyes away from a screen and perhaps, wants to see the world more than settle down into a home or a job.

But somewhere between these two generations, more changed than just the look of the Apple computer.

Somewhere – someway – the American dream changed. Unlike generations before them, Millennials are opting to wait when it comes to buying a home.

Business Insider recently reported on the decrease in homeownership (dropping from 64.8 percent from an average of 65 percent to 64.2 percent) and homeownership in households headed by someone under 35 fell more than a point – from 36.5 percent to 35.4 percent.

The article listed a few financial reasons younger people are waiting to buy homes including:

  • Higher mortgage rates
  • Larger down payments required
  • More student loan debt

With all of that, there’s still advantages to owning a home. In partnership with COUNTRY Financial, I’m looking at the pros and cons of homeownership.

ADVANTAGES

Building equity

Homeownership generally comes with the peace of mind that you’re investing in something for the future. Either a nest egg you can sell when you retire and downsize or a place that you will pay off and have equity in for any issues that come up. COUNTRY Financial says one of the most valuable benefits to buying a home is someday paying off your mortgage and going into retirement with a valuable asset and no debt.

Greater privacy

While not a financial benefit, being in your own, single-family home allows you more privacy than being in a condo or apartment.

Predictable costs based on a fixed-rate mortgage

You’ll want to give some thought to how buying a home fits into your list of financial priorities, according to COUNTRY Financial. However, overall a lot of your costs will be more predictable than they are while renting. Aside from tax increases, your mortgage should stay steady and you should be able to estimate utilities more accurately since you have dedicated utility lines.

Tax deductions

When you’re a homeowner, your mortgage interest and a portion of your property tax is tax deductible. That’s one benefit you won’t have with renting and a good source of money to start saving.

Ability to make it your own

When you own a home, you get to make it what you want. You get to paint, pick carpet, furniture and really put your mark on the property. This is something you can’t do when renting.

DISADVANTAGES

Long-term financial commitment

Homeownership is a long-term commitment. It’s something that you need to make sure you can afford now and in the future. Most lenders typically advise that mortgage payments should be no more than one third of your total monthly income.

Home repairs and maintenance

Once you purchase a home, you need to make sure you’ve thought about repairs and maintenance. You will run into issues and some lenders suggest you need to be prepared to spend 1-3 percent of your home’s price on maintenance and repairs. Fixes can be something as simple as re-glazing a broken window to a something major like replacing a furnace.

Buying a home requires a down payment and closing costs

Buying a home requires some upfront costs you need to be prepared for. This may have a negative impact on your ability to save for other financial goals according to COUNTRY Financial. Weighing the pros and cons of those financial goals before making the purchase is important.

Sometimes mortgages are higher than rents

The final downfall to owning your own home is, depending on where you buy, mortgages can be more costly than rent. However, you once again have to look at all the aspects here. With a house, you often get more space and a yard. Renting in the city of Chicago can cost just as much as a suburban 4-bedroom house with a yard.

How do people in your generation feel about homeownership? Is it something they look forward to or still look forward to? Or would you prefer not to be attached?

For more information on how COUNTRY Financial can help you meet all your goals, click here.

For more financial posts, click here. For more home posts, click here.

18 COMMENTS

  1. I am part of the micro generation as well. I rented a town home during college but as soon as I moved out of that house I bought one. I am so glad that I did!

  2. I love owning my home. There is nothing like turning it into exactly the home I want. From the floors to fixtures, everything is what we we like. Luckily my husband is very handy so whenever there is a problem he fixes it!

  3. I think there are always a lot of ups and downs to owning a home. I think it’s a wonderful thing though. My husband and I are only on year three of owning a home. It’s been fun, but a lot of work too.

  4. There are times when I want to go back to renting a home, but after owning 5 homes, we keep going back to home ownership, lol. I think the pros outweigh the cons.

  5. I am back and forth about this all the time. We currently rent and pay $750 a month and I LOVE our house but hubby wants a house with land which is going to double our payment so I don’t know. The thought of owning sounds amazing, but there is so much that I don’t have to deal with if I am renting.

  6. Homeownership is so much responsibility! The financial gain is worth it (hopefully) and I love being able to personalize but sometimes I miss the days of renting.

  7. I wish more people were educated about the disadvantages, because it really is a huge commitment. And it was sad to watch the housing crisis that blew up after families got in over their heads.

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