Any commitment carries with it risks, and that may never be more true than in the case of home ownership, which demands a hefty chunk of money, usually years of time and responsibilities that are unique and demanding. What are the risks involved?

Possible depreciation: After you purchase a home, its value could go down, based on factors out of your control such as the economy or the neighborhood or a surplus of properties for sale.

Life changes:
Unexpected life changes involving illness, job transfer, job loss, relationships or financial problems could result in your wanting a new location, but if you own a home, moving can be tricky. If the market is rocky, you might have a hard time selling, leading to complications or even delay with your move.

Added responsibilities: Unlike with renting, where the landlord is usually responsible for leaking faucets or busted pipes or broken appliances, home ownership puts you in charge of everything. Added responsibilities of maintenance, upkeep and bills can be a lot to manage, as well as a financial burden.

Despite all the risks involved, however, home ownership is still the dream of many Americans, and for good reasons such as these:

Investment: While each year is different, the truth is that, over time, median existing-home sale prices have consistently increased an average 6.5% each year from 1972 through 2005 and 88.5% over the last 10 years, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. In that way, owning a home is a little like a savings plan, with the key being time, which will make your money grow, while you reap the benefits of having a place to call home. It allows you to diversify your assets so that they’re not just in money markets or savings accounts, etc.

Freedom: Not only are your dollars are going towards something that’s yours, but home ownership allows you to have total freedom over your property, from paint to remodeling to lighting and more. Plus, while rents can increase every year, your mortgage can be locked at a specific rate, allowing you to maintain the same monthly payment over time.

Incentives: As a homeowner, you can deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes and some other costs involved in your property purchase. Plus, when you sell, you can take up to $250K as gain without owing taxes on it when you sell! All of this on top of the current incentive packages? It makes sense why the pros outweigh the cons and most people are taking a step towards home ownership.