I think it may be easier because they've already been through the process. Otherwise, I see no particular advantage to being a home owner.
Well there might be some selection bias in the sample choice when asking on BP, kinda like asking a Ford dealer who builds the best trucks. Familiarity with the process, vendors and their functions, documents, local laws and REI terms by going through the process would be beneficial. If you learn a little Italian before vacationing there it will change your experience. Or are you referring to generating capital to use in REI beyond your primary residence?
In my opinion when you own it's easier to do than when renting and saving/invest elsewhere. Of course there are people with other resources, high income earners that save a large % of income, someone selling a business or receiving inheritance. Seems to me in general people are working and have a family, sleeping, eating, cleaning, maintaining a pet and a car is all a major % of their time, they don't or can't or won't spend the time needed to be expert/comfortable enough to participate in and be good at stock investing for example. They want to save for a goal, REI in your case, they need to live somewhere while doing this anyway so if they can buy or rent, buying can seem the easier way to go.
Whether you buy or you rent, a mortgage is being paid, correct? Who's name would you rather it be under? Only you know your situation so you have to assess carefully. Nothing is guaranteed, there are risks. Remember all aspects of a fair comparison. For example I see "rent to mortgage comparisons" that don't include pointing out that a 30 yr fixed payment could be higher than comp rent today but what about after 5 years or more of rental inflation? Imagine locking in a 30 yr rate now, what will that comp rent amount be in 2030, double, triple?
Here's a typical strategy, buy a home you know you won't live in forever. Nice area, within 45 minutes commute to a city center. Fix it up. Work hard to get promoted at your job, save/invest more of your income, about enough so that it pinches you. Then sell, buy a duplex and combine any excess proceeds with your other savings to buy a second rental. Rinse and repeat larger in price and/or number of properties/doors each time.
@ Nicole Walley - I agree with @Nathan G. Homeowners see firsthand the benefit of building equity and paying less to live. I bought my first house in 2001 for $86,900. I planned on living in it for five years. By the end of 2005, it was worth $184k. Now, it was a housing bubble and you have to be smart about using the equity to invest, but I moved in 2006 renting out the first house and still own it today. That house was valued around $150k at the low end of market, but is now worth more than $200k. It is a marathon, not a sprint. Buy the first one smart and don't follow the herd. There is a lot of great people on BP sharing and helping show the way. Best of luck!
I bought my first investment with 5% down on an owner occupied three unit, that amount+ closing costs pinched me for a little while to save while still paying rent but it wasn't too bad. So for me lack of prior ownership didn't really make a difference, although I would love to have the flexibility that sitting on an SFH with a lot of equity gives. Would be able to put together BRRRR stuff easier if I could fund with a HELOC.
@Nicole Walley , I started down my own REI path several years ago by purchasing a couple single family rental homes. I definitely feel that having purchased and sold 2-3 primary residence homes prior to this was very helpful for me. Gave me practical experience finding deals (and the tools & techniques involved), working with realtors, lawyers and banks, appraisals, inspections, insurance, property taxes, utilities, closings, HUD statements, etc.
Owning a home gave me more practical experience in basic to moderate home repair, dealing with contractors for more complicated issues, capital improvements, insurance claims, "neighbor relations", and many more important aspects involved with owning property.
But in addition to buying and owning my own home, I'll say what was equally important to giving me confidence to get started was having a few friends who were already doing what I wanted to do. That was HUGE. Gave me the opportunity to see what success looked like, to learn from their successes and failures, to have in-person resources I could go to when questions or issues came up.
So for me, having experience buying/owning a home combined with having local friends who can help are the two invaluable tools for what success I've experienced thus far.
Hope that helps. Best of luck to you!
Yes and no.
There is a new investor loan that is available for 30% down, 620 credit score and you must own a primary residence.
When you use private or hard money, there are no such requirements.