You Do Not Need to Buy a House
Updated: Jan 9
You don’t need a house. You need a place to live. You need food to eat (preferably healthy food). You need income. Preferably gainful employment or self-employment that meets all of your financial needs and some of your wants.
Some would have you believe that owning a home is a sign of financial stability, or that it means that you have achieved some level of success. And in many ways, owning a home is an achievement and your home is likely your most valuable asset. But I want you to consider that there are other financial goals that are more important than owning a home.
I know - it’s a shocker. We’ve been taught that home ownership is the way to build wealth and pass wealth onto the next generations. But, as I’ve said before, there are levels to this, and home ownership is not level one. It’s not even level five.
Owning a home is a responsibility. It doesn’t come with the freedom of renting - you can’t leave whenever you want, all of the repairs are yours to complete and pay for. So, if you’ve decided to own a home, then you’ve also decided that you’re financially stable enough to pay for repairs, taxes, landscaping, insurance, homeowner’s association fees, etc. You’ve gotten your emergency fund together, your debt is manageable (or you don’t have any) and you’re able to live comfortably and now, you’re ready for another challenge. That’s the perfect scenario for homeownership.
Now, here’s the other scenario. You’re paying your bills, but there’s nothing left over. You don’t have an emergency fund and you’re not able to save for one. You have nothing saved for retirement and you’re not able to pay for vacations - but you want a house. Somewhere, somehow, you can probably qualify for a loan and someway, somehow, you can probably buy a home. But you will struggle. One small financial setback (think water heater leak) and your budget will be messed up for months. You won’t be able to furnish it immediately, because you’re making just enough to actually own it. Is this your dream house? Is this the scenario you imagined? Are you ready for a house, or are you just ready for the idea of it?
As always, I’m telling y’all what I know, not what I heard. I’ve done it both ways and let me tell you, owning a home when you’re broke is not a party. It can be done, and it can work out, but we’re grown - who wants to struggle like that? (Water heater leaks can cost thousands of dollars in damage - ask me how I know). At this point, we know there are better ways to handle our money. You could get your finances in order, set yourself up for homeownership and then take the plunge. Don’t let folks telling you that you “need to buy” or that you’re “throwing money away” put you in a position to struggle unnecessarily. Don’t let those people run your pockets. Buy a home, when you are ready. Until then, find joy in what you have, where you live and what you’re doing with your money.