Owning your own home is the American Dream—even if it feels like a hassle at times. While you’re dealing with things like property taxes, expensive repairs, and high insurance costs, renters get the advantage of maintenance workers, free repairs, and the ability to move every year if they want.
Whether you’re on the fence about buying a home or you recently signed on the dotted line and committed to a multi-decade mortgage, you should know that there are some major benefits to being a homeowner that renting just can’t match.
So relax, enjoy your hard-earned living space, and read Blindster’s list of 10 benefits of being a homeowner.
You can negotiate on the price.
In most cases, the selling price of a home isn’t set in stone. That means you can make an offer below the seller’s asking price and save tens of thousands of dollars in the long run if they accept—which also means a smaller down payment and lower mortgage payments every month. But when it comes to renting a house or apartment, you’re often stuck paying whatever the landowner wants for the property without much or any wiggle room.
You’re free to change whatever you want.
When you’re renting a house or apartment, the most freedom you typically have is the ability to paint the walls or hang a few pictures. Large-scale remodeling projects are out of the question, as are any drastic changes to the outside appearance of the home or lawn. But when you own your own home, the inside is entirely yours to change and remodel as you see fit. Don’t like the extra wall separating the kitchen from the living room? Knock it down. Hate the tile in the bathroom? Replace it with something more to your liking. When you’re a homeowner, the possibilities are endless.
You get tax benefits.
Being a homeowner pays off big time when tax season rolls around. Claiming your home and other housing expenses on your return can net you a pretty nice chunk of change every year—all of which is money renters will never see. Over time, the savings you net can be significant and can go back into improving your home, saving for the future, or used to finance vacations and other leisure activities.
Your monthly mortgage payments don’t increase like rent.
Buying a home generally locks you into a fixed-rate mortgage, which are pre-determined payments due every month until the house is paid off. The stability and consistency of these payments can help you budget years into the future, as you’ll always know roughly how much money you need to set aside. But as a renter, your monthly expenses are subject to things like inflation, gentrification, and housing shortages in your city—all of which can significantly raise your rental payments year after year.
Your home accumulates value over time.
Living in an area that experiences rapid growth and development is often a bad thing for renters, as their rental homes or apartments may see huge increases in rent or may be purchased and demolished or remodeled by developers. But as a homeowner, any positive change in your neighborhood is also a positive change for the value of your home. Even if your neighborhood remains steady over the next several decades, its value will still go up over time as long as you maintain it.
You get increased privacy.
Apartments and townhouses are poor choices for anyone who truly values their privacy and peace and quiet. Not only do you share parking lots, parking spaces, and common areas with your neighbors, but you also share walls—and depending on the thickness of those walls, you may be able to hear just about everything that’s happening on the other side. Owning a home means you have the freedom to use your own lawn without intruding on your neighbors’ space, and not sharing walls with anyone else means you can play music, invite guests over, or remodel a room at 2 a.m. guilt-free.
It encourages you to get involved in your community.
When you’re renting, you may feel less ties with your community and your neighbors—especially if you move often. But when you own a home, you’re literally investing in your own city and community. Putting down roots in an area means you have more time to get to know your neighbors and more time to truly understand local issues. It’s no surprise that homeowners are far more likely to be involved in community civics meetings and to vote on issues that affect their neighborhoods.
You will eventually pay it off.
Even though it may seem like it will never happen—especially if you just signed a brand new 25 or 30-year mortgage—eventually there will come a day when your home is paid off. Not only does paying off your home give you and your family a tremendous sense of security that you simply can’t get as a renter, but it also allows you to begin saving money that went toward what was likely your biggest expense for more than a third of your life. There’s also the psychological benefit of knowing that each time you write a check for your mortgage, it’s going towards something you will eventually own.
It’s an automatic savings account.
Whether you’re a spend thrift who saves every penny or someone who believes money is meant to be enjoyed, owning a home means at least a portion of your income is going toward something tangible and lasting every month. As you pay off more and more of your home, your equity increases along with your home’s value. That means you always have a source of emergency income should you need it in the form of equity loans or even selling your home outright.
Your home can last for generations.
Owning a home is the ultimate family heirloom. Not only is it the place where you will raise your kids, but it can also be the place they come back to during college, as young adults, and with their own children in tow years from now. In addition, your home can also be passed on to your children or grandchildren after you’re gone. The sentimental and monetary value of keeping a home in the same family for generations are perks that can’t be matched by any traditional heirlooms or prized possessions.