The Perks of Homeownership

homeI’ve written a few post lately about things that I’m not too fond of when it comes to being a homeowner.  Writing about the realities of home renovations and surprise repairs can be a little pessimistic though I like sharing my experiences so that others can do better and gain some knowledge from what I have gone through.  But today I want to share the things that I love about having my own home. 🙂

More Space

Ah, this one is really the main reason we bought our home in the first place.  We had been renting a one bedroom apartment and we were frankly running out of space.  There was nowhere to escape for alone time.  We were either in the living room or the bedroom.  We also wanted a second bathroom.  I was sure I didn’t want a huge home.  I’ve always been a fan of smaller homes because they require less cleaning time and lower heating/cooling costs. Another item on our list was having a finished basement where we could setup a lounging area or home theater as we enjoy watching movies.  Our home is a ranch style with 800 sq. ft in the first floor and 800 sq. ft in the finished basement with a bathroom in each floor. There’s actually a kitchen in the basement but we don’t use it.  It’s like having two one bedroom apartments for the price of one.  We each get our own space.  My husband gets to escape to the man cave and home theater he always wanted.  I get the first floor and everyone is happy.

Our own laundry room

One of the things I really hated about apartment living was having to share the laundry facilities.  We would never be able to do laundry on the weekends because everyone was doing laundry then.  I always did it on weeknights.  Then we had to deal with people not remembering to get their clothes out of the machines in time.  So, their they were hogging up the machines.  Ugh, It was so annoying!  I always thought it was rude to take people’s clothes out of the washer or dryer.  My husband on the other hand did not hesitate and he would take it right out and dump it on top of the machine or if they left a basket he would put it in there.  I guess it’s fair to do that especially when we were all sharing facilities and honestly nobody has time for that nonsense.  Now I do laundry whenever I want. I don’t have to be aggravated by anyone forgetting to pick up their laundry and hogging up my machines and my time.

Peace and Quiet

We were lucky to live on the top floor in our old apartment so we never really had much noise from upstairs but we would sometimes hear our neighbor’s music downstairs or outside in the parking lot.  Now, I enjoy music and I usually have my Pandora playing in the background but I don’t like disturbing others or to be disturbed myself.  When you share walls that is difficult to avoid.  One time in my old apartment we were woken up by loud hammering at 8:00 am on a Saturday morning.  It was my new neighbor installing curtains.  Ugh, how rude! Really lady, you couldn’t do that later in the day?  Well, she later apologized and told us she was sorry that it was the only time her friend was available to help her.  She didn’t cause much disturbance after that but it was enough.

Parking

We now have our own garages and don’t have to worry about digging out the cars after a big snow storm.  In my old apartment building parking could be difficult sometimes if you got home too late at night especially on weekends.  I remember living in another apartment where we had street parking and that was a nightmare.  I vowed never to put up with that again.

Freedom to Renovate

I enjoyed renovating our home to our taste.  One of the things I didn’t like about are old apartment was the carpets. They always seem dirty to me.  I feel like you can never really get them as clean and you can get hardwood or tile floors.  Plus they create a lot of dust in my opinion. In our home we installed hardwood floors and tile.  We knocked down walls and added new ones.  We painted as we wished.

Building Home Equity

Let’s talk about the financial perks.  After purchasing this home we ended up having $93k in equity. That was really great.  What helped us here was that we put a 20% down payment and we bought at the bottom of the market. To make things easier we also bought a home we could afford on one income and we had additional funds saved to make the renovations we wanted, though they were not enough but it was helpful.  Since we have made so many upgrades to this home, we probably still have that same amount of equity or close to it.  We don’t plan on selling any time soon.  That equity will continue to grow as we pay down our mortgage and hopefully be much higher by the time we are ready to sell.

Tax Deductions

We didn’t have many tax deductions when we where renting.  Now we can take advantage of tax benefits such as deductions on our mortgage interest and property taxes.  If you have a home equity loan you can deduct the interest paid on that too.

What are some of the perks you love about homeownership?

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Comments

The Perks of Homeownership — 30 Comments

  1. I know you (and I) have discussed the negatives but this post was a good reminder that there are many positives to home ownership that we sometimes forget. In particular I like our garage parking, freedom to renovate, and the additional space. Garage parking is probably pretty much #1 as we have a connected garage and we live in Minnesota so we get to avoid the ritual wiping-off of your car each morning.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…5 Tips for Maintaining a Home on a BudgetMy Profile

    • Yes, that’s why I wanted to write this article. It’s a good reminder as to why we decided to buy in the first place. Ah, having our own driveway and garage to park is really great. No more worrying about parking. Plus I never have to scrape ice off my car window!

  2. These are great reminders of why it’s nice to be a homeowner. Especially having your own laundry machines! One of our last days at the apartment I was in our laundry room chatting with someone who lived a few doors down. She was washing all her bedding and then sealing them in plastic to kill bed bugs. Gross! made me wonder if those bugs could get passed around through the laundry and whatnot.
    Liz recently posted…Are Museum Memberships Worth the Cost?My Profile

  3. My wife was just saying that she wished we could buy a house. Seems impossible in NYC. We would love more space, especially with a baby now and plans to expand the family. Peace and Quiet! Yes! My neighbors, a couple) in the next apartment unit smoke pot/cigarettes and argue. The noise AND smell seeps into our apartment. Parking: Paid parking! Laundry: Have to lug it downstairs only to see that the washers are all full!
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…What’s an Extra Million Dollars or Two?My Profile

    • I feel your pain. I hated the smoke traveling up to our apartment from our neighbor downstairs smoking in the balcony. We would have to close the sliding doors if he was outside. Those are all great reasons to move. Have you considered Jersey? There are many New Yorkers living here, my husband included! 😉

    • The space was something we wanted more of but not too much. I didn’t want a mini mansion or the costs associated with maintaining a house that big. I think we found a nice balance with our house.

  4. You make home ownership sound very appealing! We aren’t ready to buy a home yet, but we are looking at renting a house vs an apartment. The biggest thing is the noise level and laundry. I’d like to be free of hearing other people argue when we are trying to fall asleep.
    E.M. recently posted…My Ideal ApartmentMy Profile

    • It’s not for everyone but there definitely are many perks to it despite the costs associated with buying and maintaining a home. Renting a home would be a nice way to avoid all the pitfalls of apartment living especially if you are not ready to buy.

    • I was just thinking this weekend of additional changes I want to make in a few years. It’s nice to have that freedom.

    • You have done some great work in your home Holly. I like painting too. I’m pretty good at it.

  5. You have to be careful when you consider the perks of owning a home. Having been a homeowner for years, sometimes people get lost in just the idea of ownership and don’t consider the costs. If you plan on staying around for a while then having a home does make more sense. Its all about how free you want to be
    Debt and the Girl recently posted…Victims of Circumstance or Something More?My Profile

    • True, I have written a few articles about the costs of homeownership and the fact that there is nothing wrong with renting. You cannot take purchasing a home lightly especially if you are not financially ready. All of these perks are nice but NOT if you are struggling to pay the mortgage.

    • Ah, you have spoken very wise words. “able to afford one” this is key. I rented for many years too.

    • Oh yes, I forgot about the creepy weird person. We had a couple of those too. Ha!

  6. Hey Raquel, we too were in a one bedroom apartment before buying a house. My wife and I would have gone crazy if we had to stay there another year. The extra space is a big bonus of home ownership. The bigger bonus is that our mortgage is actually less than our rent was!
    Thomas @ i need money ASAP! recently posted…Alternatives To Payday LoansMy Profile