There are many benefits of owning a home over renting and some of the biggest ones include building equity and investing in your future, as well as making your house a home, putting down roots and enjoying a sense of community. We’ve rounded up some of the key benefits to owning your own place, whether it’s a townhome, a suite in a condominium or a single family home, investing in a home is a smart move that will provide ever-lasting value to you and your family.
Here are Six key benefits to owning a home over renting:
1) Building Equity
In Canada, and more specifically in the GTA, buying a home and investing in real estate is one of the safest investments you can make. The real estate market in Toronto and the surrounding area is extremely robust and choosing the right location, price point and home will help you build equity quickly.
By paying down your own mortgage, instead of renting and paying someone else, you are investing in your own security. As you make payments, you build equity and that offers you financial freedom in that you can borrow against it to renovate, pay for a child’s education or even start your own business.
2) Personalizing Your Space
When you rent a space, you are usually allowed to make cosmetic improvements. A fresh coat of paint, window coverings and furniture, but you don’t normally invest in large renovations or structural changes to improve the functionality and liveability of the home unless you own it. When you own your home, you invest to make it better for your day-to-day and you also keep it in good repair should you want to sell it one day.
One of the biggest benefits to buying a new construction home is your ability to personalize and customize your space from floor to ceiling. After you sign a purchase and sale agreement with a home builder, you meet with their design team to select finishes. These can range from flooring to cabinetry, to paint colours, countertops and bathroom accessories. You put the finishing touches on every room in the house before it is completed and you move in.
3) Return on Your Investment
A recent study, conducted by Royal LePage, found that for those who are able to secure a sufficient down payment, it is more financially beneficial to buy a home in Canada than to rent over the long term. The scenarios assume the owner is able to provide a 20 per cent down payment, which can be aspirational for some but also acquired through a strict savings plan. Home ownership has been profitable for Canadians and many people factor the value of their home into their retirement planning.
In 91 per cent of cases studied, the net cost of ownership (the total ownership cost minus the saving that occurs through principal repayment) is lower than the cost of renting. In the report, this factor is referred to as the ‘ownership advantage.’ As of the second quarter of this year, on average the net home ownership cost was $769 per month less than the cost of renting an equivalent dwelling.
Perhaps more interesting, the calculations found that even with a 10 per cent decline in home prices, approximately half of the homeowners studied would still see a positive rate of return on investment, while the other half would break even or see a modest loss as an investment.
4) A Community to Call Home
When you move into a home, you are also moving into a new neighbourhood. You get to know your neighbours, the schools, the shopkeepers and coffee baristas, and you start to put down roots as your community becomes your home.
As a renter, there is a sense of community in some places, but often the transient nature of rental properties can make it difficult to feel rooted. When you own a home, especially a newly-constructed home in a brand new community, you immediately feel a sense of ownership and pride. Having a community to call home is one of the key benefits of owning a home.
5) Flexible Finances
With a fixed-rate mortgage, you can predict fairly exactly how much you’ll need to pay each month. It’s important to note that with homeownership, there are other costs to consider such as property tax, insurance and other owner-related costs. However, as you build equity, you earn the flexibility to use that money to improve the property or even purchase another one.
Additionally, depending on the type of home you buy, you also have the opportunity to rent part of your property and generate some extra income. This provides more financial flexibility and can accelerate paying down a mortgage or help you invest in more properties to further build equity.
We know this is a list of five key benefits to owning a home, but we had to add a 6th :
6) Home Maintenance
You may be wondering why that’s a benefit. When you rent, yes, the landlord is in charge of maintaining the home and fixing and repairing anything that breaks. However, it is done on their time and with their money. When it’s your home, you can schedule the contractor, the repair timeline and invest your money.
You can have a leaky roof, broken showerhead or an appliance replaced when you want it done and you can choose the replacement materials that you want. Having a financial expert in your corner will help you have contingency plans in place for home maintenance that may catch you off guard. Also, if you purchase a new construction home with a warranty, you have one, two or seven years of coverage for repairs that will make sure your home is as good as new.
There are pros and cons to both homeownership and renting, however, the benefits to owning your own home are greater in the long-term. From building equity and financial freedom, to customizing your home from floor to ceiling, the ability to create your dream home in a neighbourhood where you can put down roots is an investment in your future and your family.