Ozaukee & Washington County Real Estate: Is It Worth It to Own a Home???

Find out more about Ozaukee and Washington County real estate, including the cities of Grafton, Belgium, Cedarburg, West Bend, Jackson and Germantown.

Is It Worth It to Own a Home???

I closed on a house yesterday -- one of my listings. This had turned into one of those "bitter-sweet transactions," with emotions running high.

My sellers had put years and lots of blood, sweat and tears into this house. As they described it, pretty much the entire interior had been gutted and redone over 10+ years. I'm pretty sure they intended it to be a "forever" home, but a job opportunity on the West Coast took them away from this pride and joy of theirs.

With challenging market conditions, the house sat for nearly a year before we got an offer, and probably needless to say, the sellers didn't get what they had hoped to get. Ouch.

The inspection found some relatively minor issues, which the buyer asked the seller to repair, and which the seller agreed to repair. But the cost ended up being quite a bit more than anticipated. Ouch.

As closing neared, the conversations with Mrs. Seller became more emotional. There seemed to be a pure sadness at the reality of having to say good-bye to this house that was hers and some resentment mixed in at the buyer's requests and the cost of repairs.

After we closed, I had separate phone conversations with each seller. I cringed at the sound of defeat in their voices -- how can someone put so much time, energy and money into something and walk away with virtually nothing? Is it worth it? Is owning a home a good investment? Would they ever buy again?

I've seen enough of short sales and foreclosures over the past few years to know the heartache many, many families have had to endure. But I've also seen more circumstances in which sellers have walked away with a great return.

Yes, we are in a tough market -- still. But real estate is still viewed as the best investment.  

I would also have to agree with other articles and blogs that I've read that say owning a home is about more than just a financial investment. It's an emotional one, as well. Those walls are yours. That land is yours. Renovate as you wish. Design your landscaping as you wish. There is pride in seeing your blood, sweat and tears in this structure -- this place you call "home."

So to my seller and anyone else asking if it's worth it to own a house, I would have to say, yes. Yes, it is worth every bit of financial and emotional investment you make.  


Peggy Wester
Phone: 262-370-1757
Email: pwester@realtyexecutives.com
Website: peggywester.com
Blog: peggysblog.com

Peggy Wester - Realty Executives Integrity

Comment balloon 5 commentsPeggy Wester • July 20 2011 11:48AM


I believe it will always be the right thing to do to own a home.  There will always be some issues but the pride and secure feeling that comes with owning as oposed to renting is immeasurable.



Posted by Team Honeycutt (Allen Tate) almost 8 years ago

Time is the key, and the improvements you choose to make may not add value.

For the long run, I dont think you can beat owning V renting.

You just need to think twice before you improve... Will it add value? Am I over improving for the neighborhood? etc...

Posted by Robert Rauf (HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ)) almost 8 years ago

Betty -- I could not agree with you more, Betty. Very well put.

Robert -- I agree that owning over renting is the best thing. Regarding the improvements in this case, these were done over a 12+ year period, and unfortunately this job opportunity came right when our market was hit. Just disappointing for the sellers.

Posted by Peggy Wester, Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County (Realty Executives Integrity) almost 8 years ago

Peggy, in general I don't like the word investment with primary shelter. It is a good long term investment of course but short term it may be a good one or it may be a terrible one. It all depends on the local market. Its economy. You can over improve a house or buy too many amenities up front. Sellers MOST OFTEN cannot detach the emotion from a house. But in a sale it truly is just a product and a building on the market for sale, not everything in their hearts. Cold and detached is that saying but it is true from a new buyers perspective. It does not make it any easier with the situation you and they went through though.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 8 years ago

Gary -- You're completely right. I think part of the problem, too, is I tend to get emotionally attached to my clients. Oops...  :)

Posted by Peggy Wester, Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County (Realty Executives Integrity) almost 8 years ago