To own or not to own? For lots of Americans, that is the question.
Homeownership can be a tricky subject. Some experts argue it's the expense that never stops taking, while others venture that not owning a home is "the single biggest mistake" young Americans are making. Serial entrepreneur and host of CNBC's "The Profit" Marcus Lemonis comes down in favor of owning, or taking steps towards owning, the place you called home.
Lemonis says that planning to own a home is beneficial even before you're in the position to buy, because it forces individuals to think hard about saving for the future and presents a crystal clear goal. Though he notes that real estate prices in some markets make homeownership out of the question for some who might like to buy, he says there are two key reasons to consider planning to purchase property:
Though many personal finance gurus emphasize homeownership as an opportunity to invest and build equity, Lemonis says much of the value to be gained from the experience lies in the preparation.
"In order to buy a home," Lemonis tells CNBC Make It, "you need to have a down payment, in order to have a down payment you need to budget properly, in order to budget properly you have to buy one pair of shoes and not three pairs of shoes. It teaches you a form of moderation."
That outlook on moderation, Lemonis argues, can be applied to purchases of any size in any phase of life.
"I think that as you do those things whether you're buying a $50,000 item or a $200,000 item, the goal of having a target, saving, being disciplined and getting there — it's a good feeling."
Self-made millionaire Grant Cardone has argued that houses, and the ongoing expenses associated with owning one, are nothing more "traps that prevent people from ever having enough."
But Lemonis, who recalls that he bought his first home for $236,000 with a Countrywide mortgage and a 10 percent down payment, says that the sense of pride and accomplishment that can come from owning a home is valuable in its own right.
"I remember going into my home the first night," he says. "It had no furniture in it, and I didn't care. The sense of pride and accomplishment that I had about saving $23,600 was a big deal."
The financial lessons learned from homeownership, combined with the self-esteem earned through saving a down payment and the sense of security that comes from owning the place where you live, Lemonis argues, is a powerful combination.
"Where we lay our heads down at night," he says, "is important."
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