Why Home Ownership May Not Be For You

While in L.A. with my daughter this weekend, we were privileged to stay with one of her former college roommates…well, we didn’t actually stay with her because she’s working in Ireland for a couple of weeks, but we did stay in her fabulous apartment!  The street she lives on is lined with apartment buildings of various shapes and sizes…and happy apartment dwellers. It got me thinking about home ownership and the unrealistic expectation of many Folsom, Granite Bay and El Dorado Hills residents, that everyone should own a home…Not everyone should own a home!

Take for example, some clients of mine who have made the decision to sell their home in Folsom so that they can be free to travel the country to visit their four children who are currently performing on Broadway, acting in New York City, studying fashion design, and pursuing a musical passion. Are you really going to tell me that you think homeownership is more important than the memories they will make with their family? I think not, but we seldom think in those terms. “We just want to own a home!”

Or, as another example, clients of mine who were recently relocated to Philadelphia but desperately hope to return to Granite Bay within the next few years. They’ve made the decision NOT to sell their Granite Bay home, but to rent it…and that decision is negatively affecting their pocketbooks every month. They’re also not in a position to purchase a home in Philadelphia unless they sell their home in Granite Bay…so they’re renting! Are you really going to tell me that you think homeownership in a city where you don’t want to raise your family is more important than making some sacrifices temporarily? Again, I think not, but “we just want to own a home!”

Or the family who is sinking further into debt every month that they continue to make the payments on their recently adjusted mortgage? They’ve made the decision to pull their children out of the private school in El Dorado Hills where they were attending and thriving, remove them from the Folsom sports teams they were enjoying, Mom has taken a job working nights and weekends to put food on the table, and Dad is being treated for anxiety…while they “wait out the storm.”  Are you really going to tell me that you think homeownership is worth some of those sacrifices? I think not, but “we just want to own a home!”

I agree that homeownership is a wonderful thing for some, but it is a privilege and not a right. It is a choice and not a given. Sometimes, it comes with a high cost…sometimes it’s worth the cost, and sometimes it is not. This market is providing some wonderful opportunities for first-time homebuyers as home prices are low, inventory is high and interest rates are historically low. The market is also providing unprecedented opportunities for move-up buyers and/or investors. BUT it is not the right choice for everyone. If you’re asking yourself whether this is the right time for you to buy (or sell), give me a call. Let’s talk about your options…there are so many!