If you’re just starting a family, you may feel like the next obvious step is purchasing a house. There are definitely benefits to home ownership for a young family. But there are also alternatives to buying a home.
Pros and Cons For Small Children
If you already have small children, owning your own home can be an advantage. Your children would have a backyard to play in. You may have a basement that the children can use as a playroom. In addition, owning your home means that your children will have stability. You’d likely stay in your home for many years. Your children could go to the same school for all that time. They could build solid friendships with classmates and neighborhood children.
If you don’t own your own home, your children may not have some of those advantages. They may have to play in a public playground that might be located several blocks away. Space will be limited for toys. Your children would either have to play in their room or risk being a nuisance in the living room and kitchen. You would have to uproot them from their friends and school when it’s time to move. This could impact their future relationships as well as their overall sense of security.
Alternatives to Buying a Home
While many Americans dream of that large home with the white-picket fence, there are other alternatives to consider, such as condos and apartments. Renting an apartment also gives you time to build up your credit so you can qualify for a mortgage when the time comes. Or perhaps, even buying a fixer-upper to tackle later, as there are plenty of loans to help out with the home improvements—especially if you are a veteran, as there are refinance options available.
Other alternatives to buying a home include moving back with your parents or in-laws. This may or may not be possible depending on the individual circumstances. Keep in mind that this situation can strain relationships. It would be especially hard if you have small children. It may be more comfortable if the parents have a basement where your young family can stay until you have the resources to either buy your own home or rent a place.
The main thing is not to feel like you absolutely must buy a house. There are alternatives to buying a home. If home ownership is something that you want, it can happen. But if you aren’t sure where you want to live, it makes more sense not to buy a home right away.
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