The Joys Of Home Ownership

Originally published on Source Weekly.

The financial reasoning for homeownership is bountiful: increased equity and wealth building, great tax benefits and predictable monthly payments—especially evident in today’s current rental situation with rents being raised frequently and excellent long-term investment potential. However, some of the lesser discussed advantages are more sentimental.

A home is more than four walls and a roof; it’s where life is lived, memories are created and futures are shaped. This is where people find sanctity and security, children take first steps, families and friends gather and accomplishments are celebrated. Oftentimes a home can be an indication of milestones reached or a specific stage of life. New homeowners are typically just starting out in life with fresh jobs and with ambitions of starting families, while more-established families may want to use hard-earned equity to grow into a larger home. Retirees find themselves simplifying and have ambitions of achieving their dream homes.

A different level of pride and freedom can come along with homeownership, which is difficult to attain while renting. Increasing functionality and cosmetic appeal with home improvements and remodeling is an opportunity to simultaneously increase equity. Tackling do-it-yourself projects can be a great source of self-accomplishment and pride, while renters taking on these projects makes living in the home better, but really only helps increase the property owner’s equity.

Besides the sentimental and financial reasons, there are also proven health and education benefits as well. Dr. Megan Sandel of the Boston University School of Medicine testified to Congress about safe, decent and affordable housing, stating that it literally prevents disease. A safe home can prevent mental health and developmental problems. A decent home may prevent asthma or lead poisoning, and an affordable home can prevent stunted growth and unnecessary hospitalizations [….]