The Ups & Downs Of Home Ownership

For the majority of people, home ownership is the goal in life. There is something so very secure about the feeling of being a homeowner, of knowing that you have your own place in the world that is just yours. You don’t have to worry about what your landlord will think if you decide to put up artwork and you can make decisions regarding your own decor like never before. It’s no wonder ownership is the goal for so many people.

Of course… then there’s the downside.

The truth is that home ownership is not a cure-all, a guarantee that life from this point onwards will be simple. There are moments when a homeowner will desperately wish for the freedom of renting again; perhaps even to the point they wish they were back living with their parents.

So if you’re contemplating your first purchase – or have already bought, and just want to know others go through the same range of emotions as you do – then it’s worth taking the time to examine the ups and the downs.

UP: Your Status Is Improved

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There is something about the mere idea of being a homeowner that makes people take you a little bit more seriously. You have proven that you are able to convince a bank to lend you money, so you must be a serious, reliable person. You have undertaken a huge responsibility, and there’s no doubt about it: you will be treated differently – better – because of it.

You’ll find it easier to secure finance in the future, be it for a car or poor credit homeowner loans to spend on household renovations. You will also be offered preferable rates by insurance companies. So yes, there’s definitely a status boost to being a homeowner.

DOWN: You’re Responsible If Something Goes Wrong

If you have a problem with an aspect of a house while renting, it’s not really your problem. If the boiler breaks down or a window needs replacing, your entire involvement is based around calling the landlord and then waiting for them to do the work.

If you’re a homeowner, you have to rectify these – often expensive – problems yourself. It’s not an enjoyable experience. You have to learn to have an emergency fund on hand for those sudden, unavoidable household repairs, as well as the knowledge that you can’t just move out if the problems become intolerable.

UP: The Sense Of Permanence

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Even if you live in a rented home for a long period of time, it is rarely with a feeling of permanence. You are always subject to the whims of the landlord. They might decide to sell, to raise your rent, or just to evict you to use the house for their own purposes.

As a homeowner, providing you pay your mortgage, the only person whose whims you are subject to is you. You can truly put down roots, become a part of the community, become friendly with your neighbors. You know you’re going to be there for awhile, which can be reassuring and help to provide a sense of safety

DOWN: You Can’t Move Quickly

When you rent, the only thing holding you back is the notice period you have to give – other than that, you’re free to move as you please. If you get a job offer that requires a cross-country move, you can take it without a second thought.

As a homeowner, you don’t have that luxury. That same permanence that is such a benefit in some ways, suddenly becomes cloying and restrictive. While there’s always a chance you will be lucky and be able to rush through a quick sale of your home, the reality is that house sales take around six weeks if you’re lucky, as well as the possible delays with the legal side of things. If things don’t progress as quickly as you would hope, there’s a chance you will have to turn down a lucrative job offer solely because your house won’t sell – and that’s no fun at all.

Overall, home-ownership is the goal because of the safety and security it provides – but to pretend it’s all smooth sailing is to misrepresent the reality somewhat. So enjoy the ups and try to survive the downs as best as you can. Keep a small emergency fund for all of those repairs, and ensure you keep the house in good order and condition in case you one day need a quick sale. With these steps, you should be able to ensure you have far more ups than downs.

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