What’s the best thing about owning your own home?

June 20th, 2014

Because of life circumstances, I’ve been renting a house in Madison for several years. And because of life circumstances I recently put an offer in on a house on Madison’s west side. This led to a conversation with a friend about the best thing about owning your own home. We had very different answers. Neither wrong, of course, but rather telling of who we are as people. This made me curious as to what other people think is the best part of home ownership. Here’s what I found out :

1) Most people start with the financial benefits. Namely:

  •   The tax advantage (the interest paid on your mortgage and property taxes are tax deductible) seems to make people quite happy
  •   The increase in net worth assuming you build up home equity over the years of ownership
  •   Potential long term wealth if you live in the home long enough to increase the value and sell it at a profit

2) Freedom is a big one, too

  •   You can paint the walls any color you want. Or – GASP! – even wallpaper them.
  •   You no longer have to live with someone else’s design choices. Goodbye ugly white vinyl flooring!
  •   You actually benefit from the changes you do make instead of lining your landlord’s pockets with your good taste.
  •   Sing in the shower, turn your music up, wear high heeled boots on the wood floor. . .no shared walls!

3) Owning a home creates a sense of community

  •  No matter how many years you live in a rental home, the transient feeling is hard to shake.
  •  Neighbors tend to be more welcoming toward owners as they likely suspect the home will be looked after better. (But honestly I    don’t think I’ll be very good about pulling dandelions in my new house, either.)

4) Security is not to be overlooked.

  •  Owning your home means you only have to move when YOU want to, not when the home’s owner decides to sell.
  •  There’s something to be said about feeling safe at home. No one has the key unless you gave it to them.

So while my friend appreciated the security of owning her own home and I am looking forward to the design freedom I will have in my new house, ultimately we benefit from all the possible reasons. Now excuse me while I go to the paint store. . .