To Own Your Home, or Not

Reader Question: Should we own a home, or not? We have been married for six years. We have rented till now and have saved enough for a twenty-percent down payment with a tidy reserve. A variety of concerns make us wonder if we should buy a home. The economy appears to be doing well, but underfunded pension funds, the cost of healthcare, failing educational systems and other bad news in the media are concerning. We have also read that many younger people prefer to rent. We are also worried that we may be on the top of a housing bubble. Do you think owning a home is a good idea?

Monty’s Answer: The basic answer is that not everyone should, or does own a home. There is a myriad of reasons we make our real estate choices in life. Homeownership is a given for many of us and others are ambivalent. Our circumstances often drive our real estate decisions. Here are some advantages and disadvantages to owning a home.

Advantages of Homeownership

  • Community Standing (commitment and involvement; a sense of belonging and permanence)
  • Tax Incentives (deduction of mortgage interest and real estate taxes)
  • Family Security (a place to call “home”)
  • Psychological (prestige and status)
  • Financial Investment (equity through loan reduction)

Disadvantages Of Homeownership

  • Conviction(to save for the down payment)
  • Commitment (to borrow and repay the mortgage)
  • Maintenance (to keep your property clean and protected)
  • Repairs and improvements (to promote safety and maintain value)
  • Extra Time invested (less time to devote to other activities)

Ask yourself this question: Is homeownership worth the sacrifice and hard work we invest for the psychological and financial benefits that a home may offer us?

Investment is not the primary reason to buy a home

It has always been true that not every home will increase in value. Part of this depends on how well you purchase it. Do not buy counting on your house going up in value. Buy it to fit your plans and dreams and as a place to live and be comfortable. Become knowledgeable about locations, school districts and much more before you buy. Then learn about the care and types of improvements to make while you own your home. Doing so will considerably increase your chances of increasing the value. Learn more about homeownership at