To lease or to purchase...That is the question. Actually, that is a question that most adults face at some point in their lives and it is one that is not easily answered. You might think that owning your own home is, or should be, the ultimate goal. One that tells you that you are finally a responsible and productive member of society.
But hold on...not so fast with that thought. There are several reasons that home ownership may not be for you, or at least not now, and that does not make you any less of a responsible adult.
The cost of owning a home is a lot more than just a mortgage payment. You also have to pay for homeowners insurance and property taxes. Usually, if you have a mortgage, the lender will pay both of these bills and charge you monthly for them. So be prepared when you see that your mortgage payment is a lot more than you have anticipated.
Also any maintenance costs that pop up, what seems like, every day are all your responsibility to not only pay for them to get fixed, but to actually fix them yourself, or call in a professional. You may not realize, not only how much money all this will cost, but also how much time that you will have to invest in just the daily upkeep. This is not even including all of the tools that you will now need to own. The costs really add up quickly.
Let’s not forget the BIG expenses. You know, a new roof, termite infestation/damage, a new A/C unit, or my favorite, foundation repair. These expenses can really put a dent in your wallet, and they are also things that you really can’t fix “someday”, they need to be done now. (I don’t know why, but the A/C always breaks down beyond repair in August!) You can’t call the landlord anymore, it's now all up to you and your bank account.
Now, I know what you are all saying. “But what about the equity that is built up in a house that you own?” This is true...you will not have any ownership stake whatsoever in a home that you are renting. However, you will not have to pay for that new A/C unit. You will also not have to call an electrician or pay for service calls or after-hour rates when there is an emergency, and you will probably never have a reason to purchase a shovel, among other things.
You will also not have to pay for property taxes, or homeowners insurance (although, you really should have renters insurance) and everything else that goes along with home ownership.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not telling you that you should never buy a house. I’m just reminding you that owning a home is a lot more than just signing on the dotted line. So, take your time and think everything through to make sure that owning a home is within your means. Plenty of houses will still be there when you are ready...and so will I.
Feel free to contact me to discuss your housing needs.