Renting has its perks. But there’s something about owning a home that gives you a feeling that you’re in control of your surroundings and you’re making an investment in something tangible. (Must be the “ownership” part.)
Here are six reasons that owning a home beats renting.
When you’re working with a rental property, there are often a lot of restrictions on what you can do to inject your own unique personality, from painting the walls to other finishing touches like hanging artwork. When you buy, you get to select the paint colors, pick your own installed décor and even make the outdoor portion of your property your own—including landscaping, plants and changes to the surface of the house.
Whether it’s some high-quality peace and quiet or the ability to make some noise of your own past nightfall, apartments often feel as if you’re bunking up with a handful of your closest neighbors since you share walls, ceilings and floors. Your neighbor’s high-def, surround-sound theater system? You hear every speck of it. That upstairs neighbor vacuuming at 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning? Par for the course. When you buy, you eliminate the wall-sharing and have the added benefit of yard or pavement separating you from your closest neighbors. That way, you can enjoy having people over when it’s most convenient, without having to feel like people are in your home 24/7.
When you rent, you’re often left to settle for whatever security options are made available to you. In most cases, your biggest line of defense is a deadbolt (at best). Luckily, when you have ownership of a home, you have more say in how your security is handled, whether it’s adding locks on your ground-level windows or installing an alarm system or entry keypad. In addition, you’ll more than likely have sole possession of a garage, where you can securely store expensive outdoor items, such as bikes, mowers or recreational vehicles. (Added bonus: You can change the locks so no one has ever been in possession of your house keys before!)
When you sign a lease agreement, you agree to a host of rules that your property manager has laid out. This includes the property manager’s designated schedule for repairs, check-ins and due dates. When you own, you’re less beholden to a property manager (because you’re the property manager). If something is broken, it can get fixed on your time—either by you or by a handyman you trust—rather than waiting around for a super to respond. Sure, the idea of no longer having a landlord to fix all your problems might seem like a negative—but being in full control over whether or not to install reliable, energy-efficient appliances that rarely break down is in your hands. In an apartment, the decision of whether or not to keep around an ancient refrigerator that breaks down every other month is fully in the landlord’s court.
In a rental situation, the owner could opt to sell the property at any time, affecting your rent amount or maybe even your ability to stay in the unit—regardless of how long you’ve lived there. When you own, particularly when you purchase with a fixed-rate mortgage, you can expect consistent monthly payments. And the decision to move or not is in your hands.
The ebb and flow of the financial markets can sometimes be unpredictable. But when it’s in a downturn, it’s a plus to have an asset in your financial back pocket. Whether you’re a short-term or long-term homeowner, the equity you build through your mortgage payments can be extremely beneficial when it comes time to move or buy again (or even upgrade your home with a home-equity loan). The longer amount of time you pay into your mortgage, the more equity you can build. When (or if) it comes to sell, you have more options than if you were walking away from a rental property empty-handed.