You know the picture–rose-covered cottage, while picket fence, yard for frolicking dog and kids. Is this still what we want? More and more polls and surveys are saying-No, we’d rather rent. Does that mean for now or permanently? This is the question for which not only the public, but every segment of the real estate industry craves an answer.
Let’s take a look. Is it still worthwhile to own a home today? What are some of the advantages of home ownership?
- Having a home is a great tax deduction. Yeah, sure, but that’s a pretty boring reason to go to all the trouble of buying a house unless you’re an accountant. Next.
- Having a home saves money. This is what we were all led to believe. All the money spent on the mortgage, repairs, lawn care would all translate into increased equity. Not lately. Do you believe that in the long run home values will go up again? If so, then this could still be true. I, for one, do believe that, eventually, values will go up, but I don’t know when or by how much. This one is kind of shaky.
- Having a home is a creative outlet. Well, this one is definitely true. Need to remodel your kitchen or bathroom, do an addition or just paint a bedroom? If you own the home, you get to do it your way even if that includes purple ceilings and green and orange striped walls or no walls at all. Your way is the right way if you own the home. This can be really fun.
- Having a home is a learning experience. You got that one right, for sure. You will learn all about interesting things like unstopping a toilet, repairing a leaky roof, getting the doorbell to work, putting up ceiling fans, and installing drywall. This will make you a better, more well-rounded person to boot.
- Having a home confers prestige. Ever give your address in a store and the clerk asks you: is that an apartment of a house? How proud you will be to say-It’s a house! And, it’s yours.
- Having a home gives you freedom. Oh, I know you’re going to quibble and whine how you’re tied to a giant monkey on your back. But, really, now you can turn the TV or stereo up as loud as you want. You can cook kippers and not worry about the smell. You can smoke if you want. [I hope you don’t want.]
- Having a home is good for animals. So many times when you were renting, you couldn’t have a dog or even a cat, sometimes even Iggy the Iguana was persona non grata. Now, you can have a dog or even two dogs, plus a cat(s), rabbits,chickens, snakes, lizards and a whole menagerie as long as you care for them properly. It’s all up to you.
- Having a home allows vegetable and flower gardens. For many, this is a huge plus. If you don’t have your own yard, you have to pay through the nose for organic produce which you can raise at home for peanuts. Plus, roses are beautiful.
Notice how this one is a double-edged sword, of course, just like many of the reasons for owning a home. Raising flowers or vegetables is a lot of back-breaking work. You have to try it to find out how satisfying it is. Training a dog takes time and attention. Caring for animals costs money and takes time. Most of us find the rewards are worth it kind of like raising kids. Often, the work involved in owning a home is as back-breaking as gardening. You have to want it. Apparently, we still do as 7 out of 10 renters say they are looking forward to buying a house someday.