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Pros and Cons of Homeownership

Everyone I talk to (including myself), is batting around the decision of whether to continue renting or to purchase a new home. Our reasons for not actively jumping on the bandwagon consist of worries about future finances, job stability, expected profitability and concerns about location. In a nutshell, money.

The pros, as we see it, are that we’ll have a place of our own to do with as we wish, and that the $20,000 or so a year we give to our landlords would give us equity instead of going down the drain. Those are big plusses.

But the cons are enough to make us forestall any action, at least at this point. Ranking high on our con list is that the equity we so desire won’t pan out if our new homes were to lose value. Or if our life circumstances changed and we decided to sell before we could even pay much toward the principal. Or if we faced a financial crisis that had us tapping into that equity before it had a good chance of accruing. Plus, there’s the staggering cost (and hassles) of maintenance.

For now, we’re writing out our rent checks and sighing. But we’re also keeping our eyes on the economy and getting all of our financial ducks in a row. For us, homeownership is part of our American dream, not a purchase to buy and flip. From that perspective, we figure we’ll know when the time is right for us as individuals to own our homes, regardless of the nuances of the economy or the possibility of a far-off future gain.

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