I recently met up with a client on her one year housiversary and remembered what an emotional experience home buying was for her. At one point in her life she was homeless. I believed home ownership for her would be like a warm blanket on a cold day (shelter from the cold). I was curious to see how she felt a year later and loved her response.
As a first time home buyer later in life, she says "Home ownership means security. It is the place I feel safe and comfortable. It is wonderful to have the freedom to paint, decorate and design our home the way that makes a statement of who we are as a couple." Her husband works long hours and owning his home feels as though he has something to show for all the hard work. "Paying rent or someone else's mortgage is discouraging. Above all else, home to us is where we share happiness, love and build our marriage, along with sharing time with friends and family."
When I started thinking about this myself, I began to reflect on all the different homes I have lived in and it’s been over 20 houses so far. I only became a homeowner when I met my husband. The first home we purchased together was not our dream home. We spent half of what we were approved for and we went from a row house to a small bi-level with an unfinished basement but we wanted a garage and a yard, so it ticked the boxes! The funny thing was it wasn't either of our first choice but when my husband and I talked through all of our options it was the most practical, the cheapest and we actually had enough furniture for it. Which seems silly but empty rooms means I would need to go shopping for furniture and décor, so that was all the convincing my husband needed to get writing an offer. We knew there was room to put in some sweat equity (who am I kidding...my husband could) and eventually we would make money on it and that we did! Your first home does not have to be your forever home. Perhaps it's a stepping stone.
Beyond an investment, a home to me is a place to keep my belongings, share memories and break bread. I don't feel like I get overly attached to homes and find around 3-5 years I start itching to move again. I have already moved with a 4 month old, which is no fun. Ultimately, though, there really isn’t anything like the feeling of having something of your own and I completely take pride in that ownership along with my friend and client. Where you are now does not dictate where you could be one day.
Of course there are good reasons to rent but if you decide you want to buy...lay down some roots, or make an investment? I would love to meet and hear all about your why, so I can help you get there. I know how important a home can be both emotionally and as an investment.
Diandra Johnson | 403.660.8608 | firstname.lastname@example.org