December 1, 2023


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It’s a “roof over your head”

It’s a “roof over your head”

Courtesy Douglas Boneparth

When it comes to buying a home, think of it as a place to live – not an investment.

A home is simply “a roof over your head” and a place to create memories, said Douglas Boneparth, certified financial planner and co-author of “The Millennial Money Fix,” in an interview with CNBC’s Frank Holland during the CNBC Make It: Your Money virtual event on Oct. 17.

Even with homes typically selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars, Bonberth advises buyers not to think about them the same way they might think about a 401(k) or a stock index fund.

Instead, it is a “home base” that provides stability, especially for young families. A home can also have sentimental value, but otherwise “it’s very difficult to calculate the return on your investment,” he said.

“If you sell the house many years in the future and make some money, that’s great,” Boneparth said. However, it is very difficult to track “every little repair and addition I made to this house” over “20 or even 30 years” of ownership.

Boneparth excludes rental properties, because they can generate revenue for their owners.

It is also worth noting that for many people, owning a home has become very expensive.

“Buying a home has never been more difficult for the average American,” Boneparth said. “And it doesn’t look like that’s really going to change anytime soon.”

Homes are now selling for an average of $416,100, According to the latest US Census Bureau data. Considering that The average down payment on a home in the United States is more than $25,000The initial costs of home ownership are too high for many buyers.

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In addition to the down payment, there are a number of ongoing costs specific to homeownership as well, including mortgage payments, interest, property taxes, utilities, homeowners association fees, and ongoing repairs.

All of these expenses may make home ownership out of the question. “You really have to be a very diligent saver” to “make that down payment and live comfortably in this house every month,” Boneparth said.

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