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9 reasons I'm ready to buy my first home

By Zak Stoiber

March 2020

Despite writing for a website that promotes homeownership, I've never really wanted to own a home (and my Readynest colleagues won't let me hear the end of it). I've always been content as a renter, mostly due to some very fortunate circumstances: I walk 5 minutes to work, rent is affordable, and the building is quiet (well, at least I thought it was; see #5 below). If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

1. I need more space for a pet – and the permission to have one

I'm now one of those cliché Millennials whose desire to buy a home is driven more by a pet than a child. In my current apartment, there's literally nowhere to put a litter box. In fact, our building doesn't allow pets at all: according to my lease, adding a furry member to my household would result in a $500 fine or potential eviction.

2. My friends are tired of sleeping on the couch

As I've gotten older more of my friends have moved away. Conversations about visiting always end in an awkward reminder that I don't have a guest room – but I do have a couch! You can imagine their gratitude. (Early observation about turning 30: my tolerance for alcohol and sleeping on couches both took a huge hit.) Hosting friends and staying in touch would be much easier if I had space to set up a guest bedroom.

3. My lease agreement is robbing me of my favorite tradition (and scent)

After moving into my current apartment, I was devastated to find out that Christmas trees are considered a fire hazard and aren't allowed in the building (not that I have much room for one anyway). I've been burning every balsam fir candle I can to fill the void, but it's just not the same.

4. I'm sick of moving every few years

Part of the appeal of renting is that there's no long-term commitment. Unfortunately, the same goes for your landlord; after that first-year lease there's not much you can do about your rent being raised. And make no mistake – rents are rising. I've moved 3 times in the past 6 years. The thought of simply enjoying summer without having to move becomes more appealing every year, and these aging, 30-year-old knees can only take so much!

5. My apartment doesn't have thick walls after all

I really do like my apartment building, but I liked it even better when I thought it was one of those "they don't build them like they used to" buildings with mythically thick walls. Then some new tenants moved in – tenants who party on Thursday nights and seem to always be watching horror films at maximum volume.

6. Me and my board games have outgrown the space

If you're noticing "more space" as a general theme, so have I. With my dedicated board game shelf under extreme stress and no room for another, I've resorted to stacking games on the floor. I tell myself it looks bohemian, but I know it just looks cluttered. Then there's the kitchen. Trying to make anything more complex than a grilled cheese means sprawling out into the dining area to prep. To top it all off, a shallow sink plus no dishwasher equals instant piled-up dishes.

7. I'm sick of running out of quarters for laundry

I'm lucky enough to have laundry machines in the basement of my building, but at $1.75 a load I go through quarters quicker than my teenage self at a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade cabinet.

8. I've realized that homeownership doesn't mean I have to abandon city living

I love my walkable, urban lifestyle and have had a vague sense that buying a home means moving to the suburbs. Remember, my walking commute was one of the reasons I've held onto renting. Well, it turns out Readynest editor-in-chief Liz also walks to work every day – from her house! Even in my own writing, Liz finds a way to win the argument (Editor's note: Yep). There are lot of homes and condos in or near downtown, which means I can gain the benefits of homeownership without giving up the perks of city living.

9. Now that I'm ready to upgrade, owning a house will probably cost less

Readynest's own rent or buy calculator told me that renting at my current rate ($800/month) would be better for my bottom line over 7 years than buying a $250,000 home with a $10,000 down payment.

But because of the reasons listed above, I've been thinking about moving (again) to a larger apartment that can address some of my concerns. To make a true comparison, I need to compare owning a home to renting an apartment that would meet my new thirtysomething standards.

In my neighborhood, an apartment like that would end up costing around $1,600 a month – double my current rent, but still affordable for me. When I plug that number into the calculator to compare the costs of buying vs renting, buying a $250,000 home with a $10,000 down payment would save me $58,147 over 7 years compared to renting.

The lightbulb finally went off, and now I'm excited about the prospect of finding a home that I can settle into, with plenty of room for my new cat (and litter box, and board games) to boot.

Dennis Ziegler

Want to own

Angie

Informative

Demarco Mcdaniel

My family is growing and we need more space

Shiketa Phillips

Tired of paying some else’s mortgage, when I could be paying my own. Also, need more space.

Jairus Davis

Apartment living is exhausting

Jairus Davis

Apartment living is over rated

Miguel Merino

I am ready for by a home owner

Treec

I’ve rented for years. Had some good landlords and some that were not so good. It makes a difference.

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Zak Stoiber is a digital marketing specialist at MGIC and recently ditched his roommates to live in his own apartment, bringing him one step closer to full-blown adulthood. He enjoys reading books, some of which do not contain pictures, and is looking forward to owning a home one day so he can expand his board game collection – the dedicated shelf is already full.
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