Rental markets are down as city dwellers flee to the suburbs in the face of permanent work from home. Is it time to buy a house?
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Out of dark events — like the widespread and tragic loss of life we’ve endured during the coronavirus pandemic — there has to come some good.
In spring 2020, the real estate industry, like so many others, was impacted by uncertainty and a nationwide shutdown that kept us from doing our jobs. But we collectively faced this with a resilience that left us even more ready to help buyers and sellers make a move. Our methods for listing and showing houses, meeting with clients and signing contracts drastically changed once we were able to conduct business. But like the entrepreneurs we are, we found a way.
There’s also been a noticeable change in our buyers’ and sellers’ wants and needs. Widespread working and schooling from home has meant that many homeowners suddenly feel cramped in their space and need designated areas for both work and school. Others are contemplating permanently working from home and now have the option to work from anywhere.
Real estate leaders have been working overtime to try to predict the future of our industry and determine where we can innovate during and after the pandemic. And while so much uncertainty still exists, there’s one thing we’re all sure of: Owning a home is still a fantastic investment. Here are four reasons why.
1. Security when rental rates skyrocket
As a homeowner, you shouldn’t expect to see the value of your home rise immediately or even over the short term, but it is very likely that your home will appreciate over the long run. This is when patience is a virtue. And of course, that value depends on when and where you purchase your home, something a qualified real estate professional will have in mind when guiding you in your search.
The value is even more evident when you compare the cost of renting versus owning a home over many years. Add to that the tax advantages that traditionally come with owning real estate and there’s no question that owning a home is a smart investment.
2. Working from home might be permanent
Our world has drastically changed this year and so, too, the view from our offices. Companies are examining options to keep their workforce remote and minimize their physical footprint while making their organizations more attractive to employees who’ve been asking for this flexibility. That makes a comfortable home with space to work and live even more critical and adds another significant value to owning your own house.
3. The sudden appeal of suburbia
Along those same lines, employees may no longer factor in a long commute when finding a place to live. Many urban markets have witnessed a clear migration to the suburbs as city dwellers start to see the appeal of suburbs and more affordable housing.
This certainly doesn’t mean that the masses will abandon popular downtown neighborhoods, but it could mean an expansion of suburban communities. This could in turn put a higher priority on mass transit projects and new developments supporting those suburban neighborhoods, all of which adds to the appeal of owning a home.
4. Investment and emotion
Not only is it a solid investment in your future and a place to spread out, but having a house can also pay you back. Should you purchase additional properties in the future, your house can be a rental property, adding significantly to your financial portfolio.
All of these points consider the financial impact of buying a house, but rarely do we talk about the pure emotion of owning a home. My parents emigrated from Poland and worked incredibly hard to buy a house and secure a comfortable future for our family. I’m always grateful to know that young Americans still see tremendous value in buying a house and associate the same sense of pride and feelings of financial achievement in doing so. That’s why real estate professionals will continue to work hard every day to open doors for buyers and sellers all over the world.