Entrepreneurship is often associated with living on the edge of the next big break or complete financial ruin.
This association is also a fairly large misconception. For many, starting a business is often a side project that slowly builds to scale, while also maintaining traditional employment. This gives such individuals the flexibility to build their company during the evening and weekend hours, while also ensuring a steady paycheck that will help cover the bills.
Let's face it. We all have aspirations. Some of us want to travel the world and see its seven wonders, while some of us seek to build our own companies. I was speaking to my friend Avi Levine at Star Funding who helps finance both startup ventures and mature companies, and we discussed some of the traits that successful entrepreneurs have in common.
Successful entrepreneurs get their financial condition in order prior to putting everything on the line.
So let's say you've been building your career over the past decade, and you know it's time to make a break for it and finally fully commit to your personal venture. You'd likely make sure you have enough money in the bank to help finance your initial business expenses as well as insulate you from potentially not earning much money in the near term. These are no-brainers. So here's where it gets slightly more thought provoking.
Buying a home can be the safest way for an entrepreneur to shield themselves from the financial roller coaster of starting their own business.
Wait, seriously? Most people assume that owning property is something that will keep them from taking risks like starting their own business. This perspective is completely understandable, but give me a moment to debunk this view.
If you currently have a full-time job and think you're going to venture out on your own, you need to remember that your W2 income gives you the ability the get a mortgage much more easily than when you're self-employed. Assuming you have the down payment, whether it be your own or borrowed, as detailed in this BrickUnderground article, now is the perfect time to make this purchase.
If you assume that paying your rent is less of a burden than paying your mortgage, you are highly mistaken. Often times, the thought of paying rent can be much more limiting for an entrepreneur than paying their mortgage. Rent for all intents and purposes, while flexible, may not always be flexible in your favor. What happens if your landlord jacks up the price? What will you do then? Suddenly you need to become a vagabond and find another place. But that's not all! You need to make sure that the new landlord is comfortable with you being self-employed. Might not be so easy.
Additionally, when you're renting, you're not able to build up any equity in the property in which you reside. Instead, you're helping your landlord build up his equity. If you're getting ready to build your own business, owning your property is a sure bet that you're essentially saving money every month. You do this by paying off the principal portion of your debt. So instead of just saying goodbye to your cash, you're saving a large component of it.
Your interest portion of your mortgage is tax deductible, which will help you maximize your tax benefit. Property taxes can also be written off on your annual taxes. Paying rent can't help you do any of these things. Most importantly, you have the potential to realize capital gains on your property, should you want (or need) to sell. Over the past seven years, property prices have continued to dramatically rise across many markets in the United States.
Simply owning your home while you're venturing out on your own can be your save and grace. It can be your savings vehicle as well as your best investment during that crucial period in your life. While you're giving it your all with your time and effort to your business, your property is working for you.
Just remember, just like building your own business, planning to buy your home takes time and consideration. It's also easiest to purchase while you still have consistent cash flow from your job.