Homeownership is not the right financial move for everyone. Here’s why.
- Some experts say the true path to riches is renting rather than buying.
- Buying a home should never interfere with your dreams.
For some people, owning a home is a dream come true, a place to call their own and decorate in a way that reflects who they are. For others, homeownership is an albatross, a burden that prevents them from doing things they want to do. If you feel pressured to become a homeowner (or to keep the home you already own), here are four reasons you don’t have to.
1. You and your situation are unique
Just because more than six out of 10 adults in the U.S. own a home doesn’t mean you have to. You’re not just like everyone else, and there’s no reason to enter into a committed relationship with a mortgage company if the idea does not make your heart sing.
If you loathe the idea of being tied down to one place, avoid it. Let’s say you work remotely and have always dreamed of moving from one foreign country to another. Owning a home in the U.S. that requires maintenance and management could get in the way of that dream.
Or, if you’re always busy, coming home to a lawn that’s freshly mowed by someone else is a nice reminder that renting has its perks. That’s particularly true if the relative freedom of renting makes you happier, and leaves more time to do the things you want to do.
2. You may be surprised by the actual cost
The global pandemic ushered some odd quirks into home-buying, like a growing number of people willing to waive a home inspection. Unless they are home inspectors or contractors themselves, chances are they walked into a new home blind to some of its problems.
Another reason for not buying a house is the cost of maintenance. Financial experts say you can expect to spend between 1% and 4% of a home’s value annually on maintenance issues. So, if your house costs $300,000, that means you’re likely to need somewhere between $3,000 and $12,000 extra to put into maintenance. When we refer to maintenance, we mean issues like:
- Having appliances serviced