No more than ever before, people in their 20s are looking into owning real estate. As mortgage payments have increasingly been the domain of younger and younger people, questions have arisen over the true benefit of owning a home at a young age and just what type of person should do so. Certainly, owning real estate at a young age is not for everyone and there are some things to keep in mind when considering the possibility.
Of course, one of the key benefits of being a young person is given up when committing to a mortgage, an element of freedom. It is difficult to pick up and move when a mortgage payment is due every month and that can weigh heavily on a decision to plant roots at any age. Add to that an uncertainty in income as a result of being fairly new to the workforce and it can be easy to see why up until recently, the idea of buying a home was foreign to most 20 year-olds.
Increasingly, the benefits of building equity in a home are speaking to young people, making the prospect of real estate ownership more attractive. While building equity is certainly a big benefit to planting roots with a particular piece of real estate, young people need to understand that those benefits are not instant and that a long-term commitment is necessary to reap any rewards.
Because of the propensity of young people to be in flux whether it be in job, location or relationship status, planting those roots can be difficult. For benefits to truly be seen through a build up in equity, payments have to made for a lengthy period of time on a mortgage. As many initial mortgage payments go towards the interest on a loan rather than the actual loan amount, they do little to build equity in a piece of real estate
That piece of information can sometimes be missed by young people that simply want to build equity and aren’t sure how to go about doing it or just what it takes. Giving up freedom is a steep price to be paid and the benefits are not immediate.
An additional wrinkle that some young people are adding is early investment desires and the attractiveness of pulling a rental payment on a leased property. Becoming a landlord is no small decision and the burden of having to deal with individual renters and the upkeep that rental properties demand can be a daunting one.
Interestingly enough, that burden has been increasingly taken on by young people, perhaps suggesting a better dissemination of information about real estate investment opportunities and the gradual death of the stigma that being a landlord is only for the old or rich.
In the end, if you are a young person and have considered the prospect of getting involved in real estate investment or ownership, significant discussion has to take place with yourself over your goals in life and the value of flexibility to accomplish those goals. There are lucky people out there who land the perfect job early in life and for those people, perhaps they can be sure that they intend to stay in a certain area for a very long time. For those people, a mortgage makes sense and building up early equity can certainly pay off later.
For those that have a more muddied version of the future and would love the ability to be able to take that new job opportunity at a moment’s notice, perhaps early home ownership is not the way to go. The struggle between freedom and future fortune can seem like a difficult one, but by evaluating your personal goals, you can decide on whether home ownership is in your future.