There are many reasons why some people prefer to rent an apartment rather than purchase a home. Some jobs require considerable travel and occasional job-location transfers. Career-oriented professionals in their twenties find it easier and more convenient to pack up an apartment when it’s necessary to move. For the majority of people, however, purchasing a home makes practical and financial sense. Home ownership in the United States is at almost 64 percent and on the rise. It is within the majority of Americans’ reach and can be just as affordable as renting.
A rental unit can cost as much, or more, per month than the mortgage payment on a home, but without the financial benefits. Home ownership is an investment. Each payment increases your equity, and each improvement you make increases the home’s value. Owning a home is also a tax advantage. Real-estate property taxes, insurance, and mortgage interest are all deductible expenses. When you pay rent, you don’t receive any of these financial benefits.
Growing Money (Equity)
The amount of your down payment determines the size of your mortgage payment. The money you put down on your home is instant equity. When you buy a home, the majority of your early payments goes toward the loan interest, and only a small amount goes toward the principal. After a period of time, the majority of your payment will go toward the principal. That means the equity in your home is growing faster, and as the paid principal amount grows so does your investment. When you sell your home, you will make money on your investment. Home prices continue to rise, and any remodeling you do also adds additional resale value.
Freedom to Make Changes
When you own your home, you are free to paint a door, rip out a wall, add a porch, or plant a garden. You don’t need anyone’s permission. (Restrictions may apply if you live in a development managed by a homeowner’s association). A homeowner has freedom to make changes to their house, but a renter has to ask permission to repaint a wall.
With a fixed-rate mortgage, the homeowner will not experience any change in payment for the length of their mortgage. Knowing exactly what to expect each month places the homeowner in a stable environment. Renters, however, must continually sign leases and deal with increases in their payments. Their only option is to look for another apartment with a lower rent.