Most folks consider themselves homeowners if they're buying a home. A minority don't think they own their home until the mortgage is completely paid off. Well, as someone with nearly four decades of homeownership experience, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the truth is, you NEVER own your home. In reality, at least in part, your home owns you.
As I explained in Does Your Home Own You? published recently on Penny Thots, homeownership is a two way street. When you own your home, you have a wonderful freedom that you'd never get as a renter. However, you are also responsible for every home-related expense that comes along. In addition, you can't just walk away. If your family size increases or decreases, if you want or need to relocate, if _____ (you fill in the blank), you have to figure out what to do with your home.
"No problem!" you say. "I'll sell it or rent it out!" Been there, done that and yes, those are both options. But there are a lot of things that can go wrong in either scenario. (Ask me how I know.)
So what's the point of this downer post, anyway? Am I against homeownership? Do I just want to discourage the American dream? Absolutely not! Just be forewarned that not all your days as a homeowner will be sunny, so be sure that you're prepared for the commitment and don’t get in over your head.