8 Reasons I Want a Home

Yesterday, I talked about the declining popularity of home ownership. Given all those reasons and the current economy, there are still many good reasons I want to own a home.

Here is the list:

  1. Moving frequently is incredibly expensive if you consider the direct and indirect costs (you have to outfit your new home, reconnect utilities, and of course–move, not to mention all the time invested in the experience).
  2. I don’t like to move. On my list of least favorite things to do, moving is up there. It’s just too exhausting and there are too many things to keep track of.
  3. A home provides a sense of physical stability for a family, a “home base” of sorts. That doesn’t mean kids who move a lot are worse off, but there’s something appealing to me about a place we can always return to.
  4. I have individual freedom to modify my home as I see fit. If our needs change, the house can change. If my wife wants the walls pink, the walls will be pink (after a few days of me arguing about it, of course).
  5. I don’t have to worry about being so noisy. If I want to exercise, my downstairs neighbor won’t break out the broomstick. And I can finally buy that drum set I’ve always wanted.
  6. I want to get my hands dirty. A lot of people shy away from working with their hands–I actually want to do it. I grew up building stuff, but there’s only so much you can do in your apartment living room.
  7. Outside space. I live in Florida, and I love the outdoors. A patio is great, but a back yard is so much better. I’m longing to plant a vegetable garden that will actually get sun all day long and bear fruit.
  8. Financial reasons. Last but not least, there are the financial reasons. They are secondary to me, because a house is a place to live and not an investment. Having said that, it does provide a kind of forced savings program and some protection of wealth (your house can’t be seized in Florida as a result of a lawsuit). Tax benefits and potential appreciation are last on my list, but a definite bonus.

You’ll notice #1 and #2 have to do with moving. Why move so much in the first place? Changing space needs, and better opportunities (pricing, incentives, etc.). You might be wondering if these will still apply when I buy a home. Well, price is going to be a given with a mortgage, and we plan to buy enough space to last us a good, long while. So I hope not…

Are you looking to buy a home anytime soon? What’s your driving reason? (Hint: Don’t say “because everyone thinks it’s a good time to buy!”).

Photo by mach3

14 thoughts on “8 Reasons I Want a Home

  1. I bought a home with my fiance a little over a year ago after having lived in 4 different apartments over the course of 7 years. While we were financially ready, the buyer’s market and the tax credit available in 2009 were large motivators. We probably wouldn’t have bought without those two incentives.

    You sound like you have the right mindset for owning a home. Although moving is expensive I can definitely say owning has been more expensive for me, but that is more because of fixing things around the house (#6) which I hated at first but have (slowly) grown to love.

    And thank you for “a house is a place to live and not an investment”. I want to smack people when they say otherwise.

    Love the blog btw.

    1. The tax credits are definitely a big plus. I hear you about the expenses, and that’s probably going to be the case for me, too. But I think I’d rather spend the money investing in my home’s upkeep than in moving trucks. For me, it would be a great sense of ownership and pride.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  2. Good post. I’ve been wanting to move into my own house for several years now. I’m currently saving money for a house and waiting until my income is a little more stable.

    Mainly, I want a house so that I can better provide for my future family. I’ll probably get married in a few years, so a house that I have control over would be a huge benefit when I’m ready to have children. I’ll also have more space to move around.

    This post has been a great reminder.

    1. Thanks for your comment Christina! I also thought about buying a house pretty early in life but thought–what if my future spouse doesn’t like the same things/style as me? (Turns out she doesn’t). Have you given any thought to how you’d deal with that in the future? I guess if you already own the house at that point, it’s water under the bridge. 🙂

  3. Buying a house was both the hardest and smartest thing I have done. I saved for 10 years to have a decent down-payment and then it was difficult to qualify on a single income. But, now I am about 6-7 years away from paying it off. Then, I will have a lot of options, with very low expenses.

    It’s not just purely a financial decision either. Having control of your own property, the stability and the sense of pride is invaluable. This is the way life is supposed to be, if you plan well and can afford it.

    1. Sweet! Trying to save for the occasion is definitely an uphill road, but one we’re climbing. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story!

  4. Homeownership was the way to riches a few years ago, and now it has gotten a bad reputation. I don’t like either view even though I bought a house while prices were going up like mad. I did not buy the house to make money but to have a home for my family. I was a little bothered by the buying frenzy and the ridiculous prices (some of which are still ridiculous) but having a home was more important to me and my family than timing the housing market. We have not regretted buying the house. In the contrary, we are still very happy living in it.

  5. Regarding point 5: You may not want to worry about being noisy, but be very certain that you’re buying a home amongst neighbors that have some level of consideration. As a former home owner, I went through hell with a couple of neighbors who were constantly noisy and had very noisy kids. Trying to deal with noisy neighbors as an owner can be a legal nightmare. On the other hand, dealing with noisy neighbors as a tenant is much simpler and is anonymous. A phone call or letter to my landlord and the noise usually stops.

    1. Hmmm, good point. A neighbor of ours is dealing with this as we speak, and the police did a fine job of stopping the noise. 🙂 But you’re right–if we were talking about a house situation, things might be different.

      1. Very different! You will have to most like rely on the police, who will quickly tire of your noise complaints when they are trying to resolve what they consider to be more important criminal acts taking place in the community. You can try legal action, but that is very expensive and time consuming. If things don’t improve, you can opt to sell — but people buying your home look around at the neighborhood before they buy and may be scared off if the neighbors are putting on their usual show when you are showing your home.

        I’m also much better off financially since purchasing! My rent is not subject to change within one year and except for electricity and phone/cable/internet/tenant insurance, is very affordable. I live in a jurisdiction with rent control so my rent increases are generally around 2% per year. No taxes to pay and no ongoing maintenance costs that usually run between 1% and 3% of the home’s purchase price. (That adds up general to a combined total approach $10K annual for many home owners). I now live just a 7 minute drive from the downtown core of a major city in a great neighborhood along the water. I could not afford to do that if I was buying.

        My total housing costs including the utilities and phone/internet/cable run me about 25% of AFTER TAX NET INCOME. While I was a home owner, that cost was just over 40%. I now make a point of investing the several hundred dollars a month I’m saving.

        Finally, I have mobility. If I don’t like where I am, I can wait until the end of my lease and leave at no cost to myself beyond the move. When I sold my home, including real estate commission, legal fees and other items, the costs exceeded $22,000. Talk about “throwing money down the drain”. Similarly, if I have to change jobs, I am no longer restricted to an area within a 30 minute commute of my home. I can just move to where the job is.

        Finally, I absolutely adore the fact that if I have a tap that breaks or the heat stops working, I make a phone call and someone comes to fix it at no cost to me. I’m lucky because I live in a good building with a solid reputation and they are very good about maintaining the apartments. I can also make use of the grounds and facilities and I don’t have to spend hours maintaining them. I have freed up an enormous amount of time by not having to worry about exterior home maintenance.

        Home owners is good if you can afford it, but it should NEVER be looked upon as an investment. If you buy, you should be prepared to stay in your home for a minimum of 10 years in order to recoup your initial costs. If you cannot do that, and you cannot afford to put hundreds of dollars aside per month for ongoing maintenance, you should not buy. Renting is often a lifestyle choice. I could afford to buy again, but not in an area I would be this happy in. I’m finding renting to be economical, predictable and affordable. I don’t think I will buy again!

  6. Buying a house ties you down, but these are still good points in favor of owning vs renting.

    As an aside, unless the photo is your own, I’m sure the photographer who took that photo of the Robie House would like to be credited. Ahem.

    1. Thanks for commenting!

      And yes, all my photos are credited at the bottom of my posts. Wouldn’t do it any other way! 🙂

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