One idea that is continually spoken as fact is that home ownership is always a sound investment. Renters are perceived as throwing their money away, while home owners are building equity!
Home ownership is the expected thing, the thing many aspire too. It's what you're supposed to do.
Often, I'm not sure if home ownership is all it's cracked up to be. Never was, but I bought this little house anyway. I wouldn't say I regret it, exactly, but I think you really have to make sure you know what you're getting into before you buy. Heck, before you go to an open house and fall in love with a property even.
About that throwing away money on rent...let's just look at the numbers shall we?
First, if I take the full 30 years to pay off my mortgage, I'll end up paying more than double the purchase price, and that's WITH a heavy 20% down payment. It would take more than two years of my entire current salary to pay the interest alone.
My mortgage may equal what I paid in rent before I bought this house (which is only because I bought a tiny house), but consider that I'm paying double that with interest and then add an extra 40% for property taxes.
I haven't even gotten to maintenance yet. If you own a home then eventually something is going to break or need replaced. And sooner or later than something is going to be expensive.
The day I signed the purchase papers and got the keys to my house I came over and found a leaking faucet, a roof leak in the kitchen and a leak in the furnace room. none of these things were there a few days prior. Luckily, with some help from my stepdad, none of them were very expensive, but still you get my point. In the seven years I've owned min hus I've paid for chimney repairs (twice), replaced the AC/furnace, repaired the roof, replaced the hot water heater, bought two dehumidifiers for the basement, and spent hundreds of dollars on paint, painting supplies, tools, sandpaper, and miscellaneous repair expenses. If I hadn't had lots of kind help in making those repairs (thanks boyfriend!!, stepdad!) it would have cost three times as much. And I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting.
Have I mentioned the lawn and garden equipment I never had to own as a renter? Or all the projects that still
need to be done?
Why is paying rent "throwing money away," but paying interest, taxes and maintenance aren't?
Don't get me wrong, if you want to own your home for other reasons then great. If you want something to call your own, decorate as you like it, by all means. Maybe you enjoy DIY and maintenance, and in that case, boy will you love owning a home! Buy an old one for extra fun. Just don't buy a home because you think it's an investment or something adults do.