3 Myths About Buying a Home

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shutterstock_142228555One of the most difficult things about making a big decision is being able to differentiate truth from fiction. There are so many myths out there about going to college, getting married, having children, etc. that sometimes it’s hard to wade through them and figure out if you should take that big leap you’ve been thinking about or not.

Many people experience this phenomenon when they’re starting to think about buying a home. On the one hand they’ll consider all the benefits of homeownership, but on the other they’ll likely read Internet horror stories about how buying a house is a terrible decision that should be avoided at all costs.

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More often than not, these online admonitions about home buying are nothing more than personal anecdotes from people who may have gotten burned in the 2008 crash, or, worse still, a repetition of common myths about buying a house that keep getting perpetuated.

Not sure how to tell a homeownership myth from a homeownership fact? Be wary of these three common myths that just won’t die:

It’s More Expensive To Own A Home Than To Rent

This one of the most pervasive myths out there about homeownership, and it’s also one of the most detrimental. Many people buy into this hokum and don’t even bother to start looking at home prices in their area! The truth is, the relative expense of purchasing versus renting a home is highly dependent on where you live. It’s very possible that even when insurance and taxes are factored in, buying a home is cheaper in your neighborhood than renting is. Make sure you do some research before you dismiss the idea of purchasing a house.

Home Prices Are Volatile

This is one of those myths that was born out of the recent recession, during which home prices dropped very sharply. While it is true that home prices have shown more volatility in the past ten years than they ever have before, historically speaking they usually rise and fall along the same trajectory as the overall economy. This means that, in general, a home is no more volatile an investment than stocks or other types of equities.

Once You Own A Home, You’re Stuck With It

Again, this myth got its start in the media after the housing crash, when millions of people were “stuck” in their homes because the values had fallen so substantially that they were underwater on their mortgages. While it’s always possible that you could have trouble selling anything you’ve purchased, in typical economic conditions the real estate market is fairly robust. This means that buying and selling homes is not usually a fraught process, so don’t let those who’ve had bad, recent experiences with trying to sell their homes scare you into renting forever.

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We (hopefully) all learned in high school that most rumors aren’t true, so don’t find yourself getting duped by any of the myths about homeownership listed above; be sure to only use the facts to determine if buying a house is right for you!