The emotion behind owning a home

We visited my husband’s friends over weekend.  I had heard a lot about the guy as my husband plays in a band with him so it was one of those situations where you feel like you already know the person despite having never met. He and his wife have a son who’s a little older than our boy. We had a lovely time watching the babies play, eating delicious food and playing board games.

They bought their home approximately two years ago in an area neither of them had heard of approximately one hour’s drive from London. The area seems to have had an influx of new build properties in various states of construction as we drove through. They each commute half an hour to their jobs.  When I asked why they had chosen that particular area, the deciding factor had been the size and quality of the house they could afford.  Indeed, as we sat in their open plan kitchen-dining room and looked out into their large backyard, I could hardly argue.

We are still deciding where we want to live but sometimes I wonder whether we would be better off continuing to rent.  My favourite blogs are asking the same questions and I wanted to share some of the more thought-provoking posts I have read on the topic.

On Monevator, which is one of my favourite UK personal finance blogs, they wrote two articles on either side of the coin:

Reasons to buy a house instead of renting

Reasons to rent a house instead of buying

Some of the reasons to continue renting were:

  • The ongoing cost of repairs, insurance and furnishing your own property
  • The cost of a mortgage and the associated interest
  • Buying a house ties you down to an area which may improve or deteriorate as time passes
  • House prices could crash in the future.

On the other hand, reasons for buying included

  • There will be an eventual end to the mortgage payments
  • Having complete freedom to do what you like with a property and not worrying about landlords
  • Mortgage interest rates are historically low at the moment
  • The house price will potentially increase in the future

Across the pond in Canada, another one of my favourite blogs, Money After Graduation, set Twitter alight with a tweet about home ownership which inspired her own blog post on the Rent vs. Buy debate.  After running the numbers, the final conclusion was that the numbers work out roughly the same however buying one’s own property has it’s own significant emotional benefits.  I particularly liked this quote from the article.

Homes are emotional investments even more than they are financial ones. For most people, buying a home symbolizes adulthood as much as it does a retirement plan.

Ultimately, I think it is a personal decision.  Although we still consider renting a larger home or perhaps trying out a new area, we very much have our heart set on owning our own home.

Did you have your heart set on buying and then change your mind?