Why I Still Love Home Ownership

Yahoo Finance just had another article about the joys of renting over home ownership. I’ve seen a lot of these lately, along with some rebuttals as to why owning is better. So I’m jumping in to add my own two cents because I’ve done both.

To me, the difference between owning and renting is a little like the difference between living with someone and marrying them. Ask newlyweds who previously lived together for years, and many say there’s a subtle but delicious difference. As a married couple they often feel a stronger, more comforting sense of commitment and belonging.

The Perks

As a home owner, I feel a sense of commitment, not only to my home, but to my neighbors and community. There’s a shared closeness that grows over time. As a renter, I didn’t feel that strong a bond to my area and the people around me.

Every time I unlock my front door, I feel like I’m truly “home”. It’s my private sanctuary in a world gone mad.  As a renter I felt more like a perennial guest at someone else’s place.

I also love looking out my window and knowing the trees, the stonework, the patio and the driveway are mine. As a renter, even though I enjoyed the landscaping, I felt distant from it… like petting a dog that isn’t yours. It’s nice, but you have a much deeper connection when it’s your own dog – or house.

I enjoy personalizing my surroundings… such as changing the bathroom fixtures and adding skylights, instead of living with what somebody put there for me. And even though renters can make some changes, let’s face it, there’s only so much you want to do to someone else’s place.

And, of course, I like knowing I’m paying down my own mortgage month after month, instead of somebody else’s. And, I like not being at the mercy of landlords who can raise my rent or kick me out in 30 days because they decide to sell the place or move their son into my space. (I’ve had the latter happen.)

The Bottom Line

Yes, the cost of ownership might be higher (or it might not be) but I like the quality of life much more. You can make the same argument about having kids. They’re expensive, they eat up your time, and they need a lot of maintenance – but it’s not all about economics and ease of life. It’s about living a life that you love.

Also, if you buy your house for a good price and plan to stay awhile, the economics can work in your favor versus renting. (Especially nowadays when home prices and interest rates are lower… and the cost of renting a place that has the space and amenities you want can be so high.) As a renter you are guaranteed not to get your money back, except for your deposit if you do a good job of cleaning your stove and refrigerator.

Plus, as an owner you can rent your place out if you get in a financial pinch or want to move elsewhere. I’ve got several friends doing this right now while their renters continue to pay down their mortgages for them.

So overall, even though it was tough when I went through the home selling experience, it didn’t make me want to quit owning one. I love knowing there’s one sweet spot on this earth that I can call my own.

If you’re looking for hundreds of good tips on how to sell your home and stay happy while you wait, read the Home Selling Blues eBook. (Also available on Amazon’s Kindle, Barne’s & Noble eBooks, and the Apple iBook store.)

Did you enjoy this post? Why not leave a comment below and continue the conversation, or subscribe to my feed and get articles like this delivered automatically to your feed reader.

Comments

And let’s not forget the awful landlords we’ve had as renters.

Leave a comment