Buying vs. Renting
Everyone knows the process to homeownership is now easier than it has ever been in the past decade. Or do they? At least once a week, I find myself having casual conversations with my peers, family members or strangers about the benefits of homeownership.
Highlighting the benefits of having your own space, paying less than today’s outrageous rent prices, building equity, and potential for tax breaks is the easy part. Explaining that the limiting beliefs we camouflage as reasons for not being a homeowner, is the part that requires us to sit down over drinks, while I politely prove all your reasons to be invalid. Here are some of the most common reasons I hear: “my credit is bad”, “I need to save for a down payment”, “I don’t earn enough money”, “my job may relocate me”, etc.
We’ve been conditioned by our environment to believe that such beliefs are valid reasons to rent for years on end. I have a friend that has lived in the same apartment building for the past 15 years. No, that wasn’t a typo. 15 years! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that is sad. As a minority class, we need to start thinking and actively planning not just for our future, but for the future of our descendants. In addition to making education and career a top priority, we should start making the idea of “buying back the block” a priority.
Remember when Jay-Z’s 4:44 album dropped, and you were posting quotes and memes referencing ‘The Story of O.J.’ track? Well, if we’re all as “woke” as we like to think we are, we would have gathered that in one of the few messages embedded in that track was to start supporting our own kind, owning our own businesses, buying properties, and making smart investments. I can assure you, becoming a homeowner is a smart investment.
Now, let’s address those limiting beliefs that hold us back. We tend to use our reasons and limiting beliefs as a crutch. A crutch to help us continue down the path of ignorance. The good news is that there is a version of financial physical therapy that will allow you to let go of whatever crutch you own. Bad credit is an example of that. Shying away from one’s credit score or history will not magically resolve the issue of bad credit. Bad credit happens to the best of us, and luckily it is not permanent. Depending on one’s motivation level, bad credit can be resolved in as little as 60 - 90 days. No money for a down payment? No problem! Thanks to down payment assistance programs, the need to save 5% - 20% of your home purchase price is no longer required. Don’t earn enough money? Research income based home buyer programs for the state you reside in.
Lastly, keep in mind that your love for rental apartments doesn’t have to come to end. As a homeowner, you can choose to be a landlord. Rent your home out and use that revenue to cover your rental apartment expenses, or invest in a secondary property.
With interest rates being at a historic low, it makes no sense why we aren’t all out here “buying back the block.”
Born in Washington, DC, Jacky practices real estate and is a new home counselor in the Washington metropolitan area. She enjoys traveling, catching up on current events, volunteering, and searching for a cup of cappuccino worthy of an Instagram post. You can follow her adventures or contact her below.