Does Your Home Own You?

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saving for a houseIn response to Why I May Never Buy a House by Brandon Tryon, I stated, “If you have a mortgage, you don’t own your home, it owns you.” I would now like to go further and say that if you own a house at all, even mortgage-free, your house still owns you.

Am I against home ownership? Heavens no! In fact, I am a diehard homeowner and will probably never be otherwise. I bought my first “home” at age 20, a 28-foot travel trailer. Three years and a couple of kids later, I sold it for the down payment on a singlewide mobile with an expando living room. When the fourth child was two, I traded that mobile home for half the down payment on a real house.

Seventeen years later when the kids were all grown and gone, I sold that home and paid off our five-unit rental property. So now I own not just one home, I own several. Which brings me back to my original question: Do you own your home or does it own you?

Home ownership goes both ways. In exchange for the independence and security of owning your home, you give up some freedom and take on a sizable responsibility. While I can’t imagine not being a homeowner myself, it’s not for everyone.

Owning a house requires footing the bill for maintenance and repairs, often unexpected and regardless of whether or not you can afford them, as opposed to simply picking up the phone and handing the problem to someone else. You also have to cover annual expenses, such as taxes and insurance, on top of any mortgage and/or home equity loan payments that you may have. And if you decide to move, well, you have to figure out what to do with the house you “own”.

Owning a home can be a great way to save money and build wealth – it sure worked out well for me! Owning a home can also be a financial disaster. Either way, if you do own a home, be aware that it also owns you.

 

2 thoughts on “Does Your Home Own You?”

  1. I agree – emotions for me – why else would I have bust a gut for 22 months paying off £10k? I did it because if they didn’t, well they were coming from our “Home” that is what it is for us, our “Home” not a house.

    And over here the reality could be moving every six months or so at a Landlords whim- meaning a change of job, school and playschool if we couldn’t find something in our area.

    Too darn risky – instead I will hammer down the mortgage to make sure I am paying as little interest on my “Home” as humanely possible.

  2. I figured out early on that owning a home was my only option beings I used to license my dogs as a pack rather than individually. Add a flock of chickens, a couple of pigs, a cat or two and a bunch of kids to the mix and nobody wants to rent to you! (And who can blame them?)

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