Reason 1: Mortgages are cheap
Even though rates have spiked about 1% over the past year or so, at a 3.5% interest rate, 30-year mortgages are still very cheap on a historical basis. This is significant because in many cases, it is actually cheaper on a monthly basis to own a home than rent. In the market I live in, $350,000 gets you a relatively basic three-bedroom home, and I live in a hurricane-prone area, so we have to pay flood and windstorm insurances, which brings the total mortgage payment on a $350,000 house to about $2,100. The same house would easily command $2,400 per month in rent.
Reason 2: Your life, your way
Want to get a new family pet? Go for it! Want to landscape your yard, put in a pool, add on another bedroom, or remodel your kitchen? These are some things that are out of the question in virtually any rental situation and can be as easy as applying for a building permit if you own your own home.
If you’re a dog lover, finding an apartment can be a nightmare. Many of my friends who rent their houses are stuck with kitchens that look like something from a 70s TV show, and their landlords seem to be in no rush to update anything. The freedom to make your home truly your own is one of the best reasons to buy a house.
Reason 3: Credit
This may seem somewhat unimportant, since most people in a position to buy a house already have very good credit. Regardless, a mortgage will certainly report to the credit bureaus, and a rental company will almost certainly not. There are few items on a credit report that demonstrate financial responsibility and general stability in life better than a long history of on-time mortgage payments.
Reason 4: Equity
Having equity that can be tapped into if necessary is a big plus for homeowners. Having equity in your home is not only important to help pay emergency expenses, home improvements, or your kid’s college tuition, but simply having the equity available to you makes it much easier to get a loan for almost anything else. If you have, say, $75,000 in home equity, a bank will feel much better loaning you $20,000
to buy a boat than if you were renting an apartment.