In our culture, a home is a trophy. To buy our first house is to take one of our biggest strides into true independence, and, for many, into adulthood. Of course, that’s not all there is to it: homeownership is a statement of responsibility, of financial investment, and of a practical need to set down roots. But to you, your home is many things beyond just the pragmatic. Let’s take a look at some of the many non-financial benefits of homeownership.
Even while making your mortgage payments, your home is still your home. You (most likely) won’t have a landlord traipsing in at inopportune times, and you (most likely) won’t have to split it equally with a roommate. For you and possibly a spouse, it’s your space to make your own. You can choose to approach this mission from any angle; the pragmatic, of course, would be to maximize its future potential as equity. In the meantime, however, you have nothing preventing you from having a bit of fun. Paint your rooms a whole new color scheme, rearrange by rules of feng shui, or plant a personal garden and save on fresh veggies. Within your budget, your freedom is unlimited.
Your home is your personal piece of the earth’s surface – no one else but you and your family can lay claim to it. That means you can look back on the time during which you presided over that land; with modern day tools like Google Earth, you can literally look back on how you’ve improved since moving in. Beyond that, there’s the less tangible feeling that you’ve completed the dorm room-to-apartment-to-home trajectory laid out from the start of your student years. That’s no small accomplishment, and your home is a daily reminder of your capability to progress.
Don’t forget – your home is (again, most likely) not its own little island. By becoming a homeowner, you gain membership to your local community of services, local businesses, and school systems. In some situations, you might even literally gain membership to a homeowner’s association; for all of the flack they get, these groups do have the benefits of shared maintenance costs as well as structured rules toward shared home value increases. You also get to be a member of your individual neighborhood, perhaps the best perk of all. Being a good neighbor is a mutual goal that should provide you with incentive and opportunity toward personal growth, friendships, and a real sense of welcome whenever you return home.