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No More Landlords

A final (and not inconsequential) benefit of owning your own home is that you don't have to subject yourself to the whims of a landlord. Much is made among real estate investors of the challenges of finding good tenants. When you're a tenant, perhaps you've already discovered that finding a good landlord isn't easy, either.

The fundamental problem with some landlords is that they are slow to fix problems and make improvements. The best (and smartest) landlords realize that being responsive and keeping the building ship-shape help attract and keep good tenants and maximize rents and profits. But to some landlords maximizing profits means being stingy with repairs and improvements.

When you own your home, the good news is that you're generally in control -- you can get your stopped-up toilet fixed or your walls painted whenever and however you like. No more hassling with unresponsive, obnoxious landlords. The bad news is that you're responsible for paying for and ensuring completion of the work. Even if you hire someone else to do it, you still must find competent contractors and oversee their work, neither of which is an easy responsibility.

Another risk of renting is that landlords may decide to sell the building and put you out on the street. You should ask your prospective landlords whether they have plans to sell. Some landlords won't give you a truthful answer, but the question is worth asking, if this issue is a concern to you.