A lot of people talk about the monetary reasons to buy a home; I want to share you my top seven non-financial reasons I love owning a home to give you a little perspective on the softer side of home ownership. Rent vs. buy and home value appreciation calculations are great and all but when you unlock your front door, you don’t hear the ding of the cash register sliding open, you hear the click of your sanctum beckoning you in.
Reason #7: It’s A Milestone Achieved
I will admit that owning a home isn’t a milestone for everyone, some people are content renting and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it was a milestone for me and to be able to achieve it is something I’m proud of. It’s not something I’m going to shout about off rooftops or anything, but it’s certainly something I wanted and am glad to be able to get.
Reason #6: I’m Responsible For Everything
When someone tells me that they love renting because the landlord is responsible is for repairs, I ask them how long it took the landlord to fix something when it broke. The answer, from those who have dealt with it, is usually way too long. How many cold showers are you willing to take? How many sweltering hot days are you willing to spend at the mall or library because your AC is busted? Sure I have to pay for it, so do renters (it’s factored into the rent), but if the water heater breaks or the AC stops, I call up a guy immediately. I don’t call up a guy who then has to call up a guy.
Reason #5: My Own Parking
Each home in my neighborhood gets two reserved parking spots and those parking spots are crucial. While it’s not as nice as having my own driveway and garage, it’s better than searching and fighting for street parking. I know a lot of friends who struggle everyday to find parking where they live and a lot of friends who are resigned to parking in a huge lot and making a trek back to their apartment (which isn’t really all that bad honestly, not as bad as street parking). Now, it’s not a huge reason to buy a home, but it’s certainly a great perk to have when you do own a place.
Reason #4: My Appliances Aren’t Crap.
If there is one immutable law about apartments, it’s that the appliances in there are usually crap. They’re always beat up, inefficient, old, and crap because there’s no incentive for a landlord to upgrade the appliances unless they’re beyond repair. I don’t mind a visually unpleasant looking dishwasher but I don’t like the fact that the cold war era refrigerator uses up twice as much energy as a newer refrigerator (if it’s older than 15 years, replace it) and I have to pay for it.
Reason #3: I care about my neighbors, they care about me.
When you rent, you’re basically a transient. You know you’re probably not going to be there forever, so it makes no sense trying to make friends with your neighbors outside of the cursory hello’s and goodbye’s. I mean you could make an effort but they could leave in a month or they could care less about your cat. As a result of being able to build relationships with your neighbors is the ability to call on them when you need a hand (and lend a hand if they need it), such as looking out for your place when you’re away, watering your plants, etc. This is much harder if you live in an apartment and don’t know a single soul on the floor.
Reason #2: No More Moving! (unless I want to)
I hate moving. I hate dealing with moving companies (I especially hate Uhaul). I hate packing up my stuff into boxes. I hate moving box. I hate unpacking boxes. I hate everything about moving… that’s why the second best reason for buying a home is the fact that you move when you want to. I don’t pack a single box until I’m ready to pack a box and that’s definitely worth its weight in gold.
Reason #1: It’s Mine.
Number one reason why I like owning a home is because it’s MY home. I can do whatever I want with it (of course, within reason and subject to HOA approval and luckily my HOA isn’t militant) because I own it and my decisions aren’t really subject to the whims of someone else, like say a landlord. If I want to paint my walls bright anything, I can paint it bright anything. If I want to barbecue on my deck, I can barbecue on my deck. I can do whatever I want… it’s mine.