Buying a House Pros and Cons
While a list of all the advantages of buying a house instead of renting could probably fill an entire book, there are four benefits of homeownership that appeal to almost everyone. Freedom to decorate and remodel as you choose, own cats or dogs or exotic pets, and have a garden or even a vineyard are just a few of the perks of purchasing your own home instead of renting from someone.
Home Ownership Opens the Door to Many Benefits
Freedom Is One Advantage of Owning a Home
You Can Paint, Wallpaper and Decorate to Your Heart's Content
One of the pros of buying a house it gives you the freedom (in most cases) to be as creative as you choose with exterior and interior paint and decorative touches. Before you buy your first home, however, it is important to check for onerous rules that limit your free use and enjoyment of your new home.
For example, if you purchase a condominium or co-op, sometimes referred to as shared-lifestyle homes or common interest developments (CIDs), the use of your property is governed by restrictive covenants called Covenants, Declarations of Conditions, and Restrictions or CC&Rs.
These guidelines dictate important things like where you can park, how many vehicles you can park, and whether or not your guests can park on or off the premises as well as other lifestyle restrictions.
Want to change the color of your house’s exterior? Make sure you adhere to their specific guidelines. On the other hand, you could be stuck with whatever the exterior color of the house is and be unable to change it.
Does this sounds too confining? If you think you can avoid the issue by buying a single-family dwelling, better think again. Many developments and communities have a homeowner's association (HOA) with an accompanying list of rules, regulations and restrictions.
The point? If it is important to you to make changes to your new home, be extremely meticulous when you look at properties with your real estate agent because all of those confining restrictions are one of the cons of buying a house.
Setting aside any CC& R’s or HOA’s, when you own your home, you can change the window treatments, add an extra room on to the house, turn the garage into an apartment or workshop, or enjoy it just the way you bought it. The choices are yours and this is just one of the advantages to buying a home.
Want to Own Pets?
Pet Ownership Is a Pleasureable Benefit of Buying a House
Being a pet lover is another one of those excellent reasons to become a home owner and not continue to be a renter. Let’s face it; most landlords are not willing to allow a pet (or pets) on the premises. If they do allow a pet, it’s almost a given there will be rules and regulations you’ll have to observe.
For instance, they may restrict the height, weight or type of pet. While dogs and cats are common choices as pets and most property owners will allow them, what happens if you want to own a bird, a snake, or even a pot-bellied pig?
If you think getting a potential property owner to consider allowing you to own a Siamese cat or a tiny Chihuahua is difficult, just imagine the reaction if you want to include a tarantula, a sugar glider or other exotic pet to your family.
Now, this is not meant to disparage the landlords of the world because there are some perfectly valid reasons why a property owner would rather not have animals in residence. Here are just a few:
- He or she is at risk in cases of loss, injury or damage cause by the animal.
- Removing animal dander and hair from a vacated property can be expensive but it is necessary. The next tenant could have an allergic reaction to those allergens.
- The residence may become infested with pests like fleas and ticks.
By the way, one of the cons of buying a house is that as the new homeowner, you face those same disadvantages if you decide to have a pet. The point being, if owning a pet is important to your lifestyle, you are better off purchasing your own home where you can set the rules instead of being subject to someone else’s rules.
Gardening & Landscaping
Enjoyable Advantages of Owning a Home
Some individuals satisfy their green thumbs with container or windowsill gardens, but there are those who long for a little patch of earth to transform into a garden.
While most landlords have no problem with a tenant having a well-maintained garden, the issue of size does come into play. If you want to grow more than a few tomatoes or other vegetables, you probably need an area about 10 to 20 feet for your garden patch.
The benefits of home ownership include opting for a traditional garden or using an idea from Victorian days and planting a cottage garden, where you fit your plants into little nooks and crannies around the existing house and landscape.
If you want to add amenities to your garden such as a water fountain or pond, there is nobody to stop you. You can have garden statuary, bird baths, or even waterfalls and rock walls. The only limit to your creativity when you are a homeowner is those aforementioned annoying CC&Rs or HOA restrictions.
In addition to planting a garden, perhaps you have always longed to do some beautiful landscaping around your property. If you want to plant a living fence of bamboo or other ornamental bushes or shrubs, go right ahead. Your windbreak of Leyland cypress trees may turn out to be a wonderful privacy fence some day.
So go ahead, plant your own fruit trees, and enjoy your harvest or build a tree house in that stately oak tree that provides you with shade in the spring and glorious foliage in the fall. You are in charge and reaping the benefits of home ownership.
Privacy Is a Benefit of Home Ownership
Most property owners respect a tenant’s rights for privacy. However, a landlord does have the right to enter your property. In fact, depending on the laws governing your geographic location, he or she could be able to enter your home at any time and without any prior notice.
The home or apartment you currently rent may have an excellent security system, but it may not. How would you feel if you wanted to add an extra layer of security with deadbolts or by changing the locks but your property owner would not permit it? How about if you wanted to install a security system?
The Pros of Buying a House
It's Really All About Freedom and the Pursuit of Happiness
A common thread you will notice as we have discussed these four unique advantages of buying your own house and not renting is they all revolve around your freedom.
If you make a choice to buy in a community with restrictions and regulations, you are still free to exercise your freedom and individuality within the framework of those guidelines. If you choose to buy a home that is free from any restrictions, you have more freedom and more choices.
However, if you opt for renting, then you make yourself subject to the property owners’ rules and regulations. Choices have consequences but not all consequences are negative. Ultimately, whether you decide to move ahead with a home purchase or continue to rent, it’s strictly a personal decision based on what is best for you in your current situation.
After weighting these four advantages of buying a house, you may decide that home ownership is right for you. Start your search by interviewing several real estate agents. Ask everyone the same questions, compare their answers, and make sure that the agent's personality is a good match with yours. If you do all these things, you have the best shot at success.
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