Owning your own home is a huge commitment, not just to the building you buy and the area you choose to live in, but also to your life (and to another person if you are buying with a loved one or friend).
There are many benefits to home ownership. Here are just some of them. Once you’ve paid off your mortgage, your home will be yours and it could be worth far more than you paid for it. If your home increases in value you can use that equity to help you afford a bigger home or to fund a more comfortable retirement if you downsize. When you retire you won’t necessarily have the income you need to keep on paying rent – if you have paid your mortgage off you’ll be living there ‘rent free’. You can spend money improving your home and increasing its value, whereas you can’t alter a rented home without the landlord’s permission. And sometimes it can be cheaper to buy than to rent.
Potential downsides of owning. It’s a big financial commitment – you need to be sure you can afford what you’re taking on. Can you afford to buy? When interest rates rise, your repayments will also go up. It’s important to know how much a rise would be. There are ways you can get ready for changes in the rate. You also need to be sure you can afford maintenance costs such as replacing a boiler if it packs up or fixing a leaky roof. If you stretch yourself too much when you buy you may resent not having money for meals out, holidays and entertainment. You have less flexibility than when renting. For example, if you want to move for work or personal reasons selling up and moving on is far more expensive if you own as you’ll have all of the associated estate agency and legal fees. Also bear in mind that it may not always be easy to sell your home – you’ll be dependent on what’s happening in the market. If you’re living with someone else and split up, the process of sorting out the property will be far more complicated and expensive