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Introduction to Housing

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Let's look at the main things to consider when you are thinking about getting a home--whether to rent or to buy.

What you will learn

  • Renting: Pros and Cons
  • Renting: What You Need to Know
  • Owning a Home: Pros and Cons
  • Owning a Home: What You Need to Know

What do you know?

Introduction to Housing

Our own slice of the earth. That’s what having a home means. Most of us instinctively know why we want our own place. We might want to start a family, we might need some breathing room, or we might want to live with like-minded people who understand us. On the other hand, sometimes we have reasons not to get our own place. Some people have family or community obligations for which they need to continue living in their parents’ or a relative’s home. Others want to live in extended family homes with larger networks of relatives. This is true in some cultures more than others.

What are some benefits of living independently?

  • It teaches you about responsibility. For example, this means paying bills, cleaning your home regularly, abiding by the lease if it’s an apartment, respecting your neighbors, and making sure that the place is in good condition when you move out.
  • It teaches you about the need to prioritize. Your rent or mortgage should become a top priority. In order to keep paying on time, you need to prioritize. That means that things that you spent freely on before might need to wait.
  • It teaches you about the need to budget. Your money is stretched more thinly when you have to pay for housing. Being on your own will make it necessary to start budgeting and keeping track of your income and expenses.
  • It helps you think of yourself as your own person. Many people’s sense of identity improves when they have been on their own for some years. The space afforded by your own home can help you become who you need to become.

All of these benefits can be realized by people who choose to live with their immediate or extended families. But many others find that they learn them best when on their own. Let’s look at the main things to consider when you are thinking about getting a home—whether to rent or to buy.