Growing up, each of us was taught one lesson that we never forgot: becoming a homeowner is the ultimate American dream. As kids, we assumed that owning a home meant that you're mature, capable of being financially independent, and ready to start your family.
But eventually, we grew up — which shortly led to the realization that life is expensive and homes are, well, even more expensive. Reality Bites isn't just some '90s rom-com, it's also your mind coming to grips with the fact that you need to be ready to buy a six-figure property.
It's easy to say you need to be ready, but what does that even mean?
For a couple of years, I was anti-home-ownership forever. I figured, "Why should I buy a home that may or may not increase in value when I could rent for less and put the extra income I was saving toward investments?" I mean, wouldn't I be better off continuing to rent? I'd be avoiding stressors, like potential repairs, increases in mortgage rates, real estate crashes — the list goes on and on.
So why did I have a sudden change of heart? Was it our leaky fridge, the lack of office space, or the fact that our dinner table sits on white carpet? (I mean, who puts white carpet in an eating area?! How can I trust myself with red wine? Answer: I can't.)
I had to admit, it would be nice to come home to:
- An office.
- A guest bedroom for when friends and family visit from out of town.
- A backyard for my niece to play in.
- A backyard for my future adorable puppies to play in.
- A large enough space to entertain.
- My own everything. Me. Mine. Oh, and my husband's. I guess.
It was time for me to start looking at whether home ownership was something I could truly afford, both financially and mentally. That's when I broke out the checklist. I asked myself the following tough questions to consider when it comes to home ownership. Do you know your answers?