Are You Ready for Home Ownership?
My husband and I just moved to the Great Northwest, and we batted around the idea of purchasing our first home. We are both college graduates, have great jobs, and we’re ready to live the American Dream! Not only are we ready to live “The Dream”, but the financial aspects of home ownership are certainly appealing. I mean, who likes throwing their money down the toilet every month in rent checks? I sure don’t! So, why would we choose to rent rather than to purchase a home?
Everyone will tell you that the first step to purchasing a house is to analyze your budget. Can you afford the monthly mortgage payment? What about taxes, insurance, and maintenance? Would you be able to handle a financial emergency, such as your heater dying (and needing to be replaced immediately!) in the dead of winter? Most professionals will tell you that if you answered yes to all of those questions then you’re on your way to becoming a homeowner.
My husband and I answered a resounding “YES!” to all of those questions, but we have decided to rent an apartment rather than to purchase a house. Why? Because we are not ready to be homeowners. Although we want to live the American Dream with a house and white-picket fence, we are not ready for the responsibility of owning a home. Sure, we can afford the mortgage payments, but neither one of us wants to make those payments. We have other financial goals that we want to meet before we take on the burden of a house payment and house maintenance. Additionally, neither one of us likes house or yard work! So, after much deliberation, we decided that we prefer the relatively worry free life-style that renting affords us.
Although homeownership is a hallmark of the American Dream, the first step to purchasing a house should be to ask yourself if you’re ready for the responsibility of that Dream. Are you ready for the financial commitment? Are you ready for the preventive and emergency maintenance? Are you ready for the taxes? If you answered “YES!” then you are able to move to the second step of figuring out if you can afford the Dream.