Why Am I So Obsessed With Home Ownership?

A home is just another expense after all

For a couple of years, I was anti-home ownership forever. I figured, “Why should I buy a home that may or may not increase in value when I could rent for less, and put the extra income I was saving towards investments”. I mean, wouldn’t I be better off?

I’d be avoiding the stress of the potential repairs, increase in mortgage rates, real estate crashes, and well, the list goes on and on. Sure, I face similar ups and downs with the stock market, but by the time I need that money a rebound is going to hit. Right?

Being a homeowner is basically a full-time job. There are always things to be updated, cleaned, and fixed. I know this because I’m a renter. But as a renter, none of these issues are mine. They fall on my lovely landlord (bless her heart).

So why all of a sudden did I have a change of heart? Was it our leaky fridge, lack of office space, or the fact that our dinner table sits on white carpet?

I mean, WHO PUTS WHITE CARPET IN AN EATING AREA? How can I trust myself with red wine?

Answer: I can’t.

Although those reasons make perfect sense to me, they aren’t the real reasons. The real reason is that I’m growing up. And as I grow up, my family starts to get bigger.

In the past two years, myself, my sister, and my brother all got married, I became an aunt, and I started to control my finances instead of letting them control me.

I. Grew. Up.

And I was like, “You know what? I can afford a home. And it would be nice”.

It would be nice to come home to:

  • An office

  • A guest bedroom for my friends and family coming from out of town

  • A backyard for my niece to play in

  • A backyard for my future adorable puppies to play in

  • A large enough space to entertain friends and family

  • My own everything. Me. Mine. Oh, and my husbands. I guess.

At first I questioned myself. Do I really want a home? Or was this just ingrained into my mind? Was I brainwashed as a young child to imagine this as the “Canadian Dream”?

You see (and you know), we were all told growing up that owning a home one day would be inevitable. That owning a home was just another box we were supposed to check off in the game of life.

Can’t I have all of these things renting, anyway? Sure. I just might have to leave one day. With not much notice, and not many options.

Flexibility is important to me, but I’ve started to become more grounded in where I am, who I’m with, and what I want. Which are the three cornerstones of home ownership. *coined by myself*

It's hard for me to even admit aloud that I'm considering this (like, at all). But then I remember where I live.

Calgary.

And in this city if you do not own a home, start a family, and praise the suburbs like it's "the greatest thing to ever happen to me", you're weird. I mean, this herding mentality is actually starting to take it's toll on me.

Needless to say. We’re now saving for a home. As of today, I have 7% of a down payment saved based on the market price we’re looking at.

In an ideal world (AKA where I should live), a 20% down payment would be the goal, and in my real world, I would never put less than 10% down. So, having anywhere from 10-20% down saved, plus emergency savings, extra funds for new furniture, and beyond is the goal.

Timeline: by end of 2017

(But I won’t be kicking myself if it’s afterward)

We're not looking for a "starter home", but we're not looking for our "forever home" either. We're buying a home based on what will fit our lifestyle over the next 10 years. That's it. It doesn't need to be anything else. A home is just another expense after all.

I’ve learned from friends and family who have gone through the home ownership process that having patience is the first rule. And I need to work on that. So let’s just say, it should be a good learning experience.

Video: Rent vs. Own: What should you do?

What is your experience with home ownership? How did you know you were ready? Let me know in the comments!