There are pros and cons to everything, including where you live and how you pay for your home. You can buy your home, or rent it. Depending on your financial situation and location, what works for you may not work for someone else. In this article we’ll look at some of the reasons why we think home ownership can be better than leasing or renting a home.
Let’s have a look!
Why owning a home is better than renting
If you are on the fence about buying a home, then here are 13 advantages that we think home ownership has over renting.
1. Build equity
It’s well-known that one of the main reasons, from a financial perspective, that people like home ownership is that you can build equity. That simply means that your house becomes worth more than you own on it as you live there. This is through you paying down the balance of the mortgage and property values increasing. How much equity you can build depends on many things, but right now home prices are soaring. My own home has increased in value almost 30% in just over 2 years.
2. Owning can be cheaper
Yes, owning can often be cheaper than renting. If you find a decent deal on a home and get it financed with a 30 year mortgage, the payments can end up being surprisingly low compared to renting a comparable home. In most cases all of your taxes and insurance will be rolled into one neat payment so you won’t even know the difference.
Then you might ask, why doesn’t everyone purchase a home? Unfortunately for a bank to loan you the amount of money required to buy a home, your credit needs to be pretty good. Not necessarily perfect, but the better it is the better interest rate you get. Also, with traditional loans you usually need 20% down in order to close the deal. Not everyone has that kind of cash lying around.
3. The rent can’t be raised
Once you agree to terms with your bank, the rate and payment amount is locked in and won’t be changed for the life of the loan. The only thing that can fluctuate is the taxes and insurance. However that can go both ways. My mortgage payment actually went down $50 recently because the tx payment changed in my favor, I didn’t ask questions.
4. There’s no landlord
Obviously there is no landlord when you buy your home. You lender holds a lien on the deed to your home, but as long as you are making the payments on time you are essentially the legal owner and have 100% rights to your home. No one can tell you that you aren’t allowed to do something in your own home. This equates to more freedom.
5. More options
When searching for your next residence, having the ability to buy using comes with more options. If you’re handy then you can even look for fixer-uppers in order to save some money. You can also buy a home that’s almost perfect, but you just need to change a few things. For instance if you find a home under your budget that you love, but you just need to add a master suite. Renting doesn’t give you that option.
There is just more stability overall in owning your home, it doesn’t feel temporary. When renting, I think most people know that it’s not long-term and they may have to move at the drop of a hat. There are obviously locations where renting is more commonplace, like in large cities.
Your right to live in a rented space is all reliant on your rental agreement. If your landlord sells your home to another party or decides to make you, you may have to move. In most cases, you feel safer in this regard in a house that you bought.
People love their pets and nine times out of ten will not part with them when they move. So that means they have to make their living arrangement search incredibly narrow by filtering down to only landlords that allow pets. This can wipe out pretty much all of the good rentals in many cases.
If you just go the route of buying a home then this is no longer a worry. You may have to look at things like having a backyard with a fence, but that’s much easier to find. Also, you can always add a fence to property that you own assuming that it’s ok with your home owner’s association.
8. Low interest rates
Interest rates have been at historic lows for some time now. It’s one of the best times ever to buy a home, which is part of the reason why homes are so expensive. Even taking that into consideration, these low interest rates make home ownership a no-brainer.
Interest rates aren’t quite as low as they were in mid to late 2021, but they are still hovering around the 3% range which is still quite good.
9. Low down payments
there are many different types of loans created to help get first-time buyers into homes. They come with some drawbacks, but one of the benefits is that the low down-payments are incredibly helpful to some people. How about only having to come up with $10,000 instead of $50,000? Or if you have a good mortgage broker and get the right assistance program and loan structure, 0 down?
If you go the traditional 30 year fixed route you can avoid mortgage insurance, which is usually tacked onto these low down payment options. So I’d do that if you have the cash for a larger down payment.
10. Passive income
In the age of AirBNB there are many opportunities to make some extra income simply from being a home owner. People are transforming basements or detached garages into guest spaces that they can rent out, resulting in extra income. Not all cities allow this so it’s definitely something you’ll need to check into. My current house was at one point used for this purpose, but went up for sale once the city found out and put an end to it.
11. Tax benefits
There are tax write-offs that come along with home ownership and the taxes you pay. The amount you can write off likely won’t be enough to make a huge dent in your tax return, every little bit helps. Turbo-tax or any other online tax tool will ask for the appropriate tax documents when you are doing your taxes each year, as will your CPA.
12. Real estate appreciates in value
Real estate is and always will be one of the best investments there are. There is a finite amount of land and they aren’t making any more of it. The value of real estate will always go up, and if it goes down it’s likely only temporary. Your home is essentially making you money just by you living and sleeping in it.
13. More privacy
It goes without saying that owning a home gives you more privacy. Here are a few reasons that owning a home gives you privacy:
- You have the ability to choose a large and private lot
- You can have a fenced-in backyard, and can add one if there isn’t one
- Live out in the country, away from where where homes and apartments are normally rented
- Plant large privacy trees around your lot
In our opinion purchasing your home is the right decision. We view a home not as an asset, but a vehicle in which to build equity that can help you later on. With renting you are pretty much flushing money down the toilet each month, if you were a home owner you would at least be flushing less of that money away in the form of interest. As your mortgage matures less and less goes towards interest.
After time has gone by and you’ve paid down your balance some, property values will also likely have increased. In most cases your home will be worth considerably more in 5-7 years than it was when you bought it.
If you choose to sell, you got to live in a nice home oftentimes for cheaper than renting while you built up equity and then sold it for a profit. A win-win situation!