There are few things in life that are more exciting, more anticipated, and more desired than that of home ownership. The act of finding that perfect home that has the perfect floor plan, or is perfectly posh, or is the perfect family home is one of the most rewarding experiences that a person can achieve. But above and beyond the sheer achievement of buying a home, there are some personal perspectives that come with home ownership that most people do not foresee.
Let’s be honest, buying a home is not an easy feat. If it’s your first home, you need to tackle financing, inspections, real estate language, escrow, settlement, and that’s all before you have even picked out a couch. But for those that make it through the arduous process, the victory can be overwhelmingly satisfying. With home ownership comes a sense of pride and accomplishment. It stems from the age-old notion that the ultimate sign of success was the acquisition of land. We are bred to want to attain ownership. It is not enough to “borrow” a property – we need to own it, control it, and maintain it. It’s for these reasons that home ownership changes your perspective of yourself. Once the ink dries and the mortgage company has you on the hook every month, you realize that you have given yourself more worth. Not only have you built your financial portfolio with a lucrative and relatively stable investment asset, but you have also obtained a piece of the pie – the dream.
Yes, home ownership means success but it also changes your perspective on how you are seen. Aside from the financial responsibilities, now there is an actual physical property that is yours to maintain. Lawns don’t mow themselves, a leaky roof doesn’t suddenly heal, and yes it does matter what your neighbors think. Long gone are the days of renting when you knew that you would someday be a distant memory to the adjoining unit and its inhabitants. You have an image to uphold and neighbors to impress. As a homeowner, you have pride in your property and you wouldn’t want the rest of the neighborhood to think otherwise. The term “Keeping up with the Jones’” wasn’t coined from renters – it was from fellow homeowners trying to maintain their piece of the pie! Maybe it didn’t used to be a blip in your radar what the neighbors thought before you became a homeowner, but after you commit to years of financial handcuffs and hundreds of thousands of dollars, you will.
Speaking of financial handcuffs, your perspective on money will begin to evolve. It will suddenly become clear that $60 here and $75 there to have dinner with friends adds up to a lot more than you used to realize. Maybe you are one of the lucky ones that happens to have fallen into a mortgage that is less than your rent was, but that doesn’t matter when you want to put new floors in that dining room you now own. Not to mention, the transparency of a financial commitment that could outlast many of your friendships in terms of years tends to force you to acknowledge how you manage your money. It’s amazing when you really look at it, how much is spent maintaining a home. Between appliances, utilities, cosmetics, and structure the average cost could easily run into the thousands every year and that’s before you pay a dime to the bank.
Perspective is a funny thing much like home ownership is. We all strive to obtain our own little piece of the world; yet don’t fully grasp the change in perspective and what it does to our personality. For many, this perspective helps to redefine ourselves. It gives us the ammunition to create self worth that is beyond what we could have ever imagined. It gives us confidence in our achievements and self-importance in our success. This perspective builds character and helps create meaning. Home ownership is a solitary step in building your personal empire for growth and self-achievement.