With 93% of homeowners claiming to be happier after they buy their home, it's hard to argue against the idea. The benefits of homeownership on your wealth and your wallet are well-worn and tread by lots of writers. Few people talk about the social benefits of homeownership.
Here are the top five you should think about when considering making the leap from renting to homeownership.
1. Living in Your Dream Home
Inviting someone to your home is an intimate gesture that makes other people feel as good as it makes you feel. Nothing feels better than inviting someone to your dream home if it's everything you ever wanted it to be. You'll be showing them not just where you live but a home that you've made all your own.
Homeownership allows you to make modifications and changes to your home. You could add or subtract whatever spaces you want. If you need to knock down a wall, so long as it's not load-bearing, you can knock it down to create the space you want.
Renters don't have any of this freedom. Their security deposit will be at risk if they dare to even scratch a wall. It's important to realize just how differently you'll feel about your home when you rent it versus owning it.
When it comes to decorating, you can do whatever you want without permission. You can hang plants from the ceiling, paint your walls whatever color you want, and tile over sections of your kitchen without calling anyone. The choice is yours.
2. More Money To Do The Things You Want
While it might seem like buying a home is a major expense, in a lot of ways, it's much cheaper than renting. Every month that you spend money on rent, you can count as a loss. Every month that you spend money on your mortgage is a month where you put money into building your wealth.
It's also often cheaper to spend money on a mortgage than rent. That's because you don't have to include the costs of maintenance and potential repairs. Those are your responsibility and at your discretion.
When you're building wealth, you have more money to do all the things you want to in life. You can go on vacation, go out on the weekends with friends, and have friends over for parties. Your money can go into creating a more robust social life.
In half of the American markets, it's more costly to rent than to own. While you'll have to find a home and commit to it, it could lead to more money in your pocket to do all the things you want.
3. More Privacy
The thing about renting an apartment in a building is that you compromise your privacy. There's often just a layer of plywood and drywall between your neighbor's irritating piano playing and you. If you want to turn up the volume on some music while you clean the house, you could risk upsetting your neighbors.
When you own a home, you get all the privacy you want. This is good for young couples who don't want to be disturbed during intimate times together. It's also good for people with an active social life who have a lot of people coming and going from their home.
Consider how a family could feel about this increased privacy you can offer. If there are hard times in your family, a serious loss, or your family just wants to visit, your home could be the perfect getaway. The sound barrier and visual barriers will make friends and family feel very comfortable in your home.
4. The Retirement You Need
While there are financial benefits to homeownership when it comes to your retirement, there's also the social benefit. If you choose a home near all of the amenities you're looking for in your golden years, it could be the perfect investment.
Retirement means more time to yourself and more time to relax. If you've chosen a home that you've custom built to your needs over the years, you're going to want to enjoy that spare time in your house.
Retirement also means you can invite grandkids over to stay with you. Your other retired friends can come to stay in your guest room for their own getaway.
If you decide to go somewhere warmer or with other retired folks, you could always rent your home to fund your getaway.
5. Connected to the Community
The benefits of homeownership also mean that you're tied to the community. Since you're in a permanent home, you'll be naturally more inclined to learn more about local politics, schools, organizations, and infrastructure. You'll want the potholes on your street filled and you can have them filled when you call.
That's because local officials listen to people who own homes. They see that investment in the community and they know you're not going anywhere. By being a squeaky wheel as a homeowner, you could make a positive change for your neighbors as well as yourself.
The Benefits of Homeownership Are Plain to See
The benefits of homeownership are more complicated than just your improved credit score or your increased net worth. The ability to know your neighbors, build long-lasting relationships with local business owners and get to know your local schools has real social value. Your friends, family, and loved ones will all appreciate the benefits you contribute and share by being a homeowner.
Check out our latest guide to get a better perspective on affordability!