When you reach your early 20’s, buying a home can seem like a far-off goal. After all, your early 20’s is the time when you should be enjoying your youth, building your career and making the most of the abundant opportunities before you. But actually, buying a home early can prove to be one of the soundest financial decisions you can make. It’s a hard asset that is protected against inflation and won’t disappear like stocks do. You’ll also be able to immediately start putting money towards building equity rather than seeing it go to a landlord. Buying a home early in life has a lot of benefits, the biggest of which are highlighted below.

1. You’ll be investing in your future

That down payment needed for a home purchase might look scary. But just keep in mind, you’re not throwing it away, you’re investing it in your future. That money you make on the down payment will go immediately into the equity of the home. Equity is how much of the home you own and as you pay down the principal on your mortgage, you’ll start to build more of it. If you make a smart purchase in a developing neighborhood with heavy demand, then you’re sure to see value appreciation. After a few years, you’ll be able to sell the home for more than you paid and put it towards an upgraded home. This will get you off to a great start in life that could see big returns later down the line.

2. You’ll have more freedom

Even if you don’t have to share your current rental apartment with a roommate, you’ll still need permission from your landlord before you can make any changes to the property. After financial investment comes freedom as the top reasons why people seek homeownership. You’ll be free to make whatever changes you want to the home without consulting anyone or getting their approval. Want a new paint scheme for your room? No problem. What to turn a spare bedroom into a gaming room? Start taking measurements. Whatever style, theme, or renovation you want to make you can do it when you’re a homeowner.

3. You can get a longer-term loan

Buying early means you’ll most likely get a longer-term loan then you would later in life. Banks don’t like giving out long-term loans to older people because they’re not sure if they can pay them back in time. As you get older, the more the risk of illness increases which tends to make banks a bit uncomfortable with long-term loans. Scoring a 30-35 years loan means a smaller monthly payment which leaves you with more disposable income at the end of the month. Instead of spending it, better to use it to pay down the principal on your mortgage. That means you can look forward to fully owning the home a lot sooner.

4. You can start building credit

Getting a loan early and paying it off on time each month will do wonders for building your credit. Later on, you might want to take out a car loan or a new credit card. Thanks to the impressive credit history you’re building by paying off your mortgage, you’ll look very impressive to lenders. If you stick to your monthly mortgage payments consistently then your credit score will start to go up. When it comes time to upgrade to a larger home you can be sure of being approved for a larger amount.

5. You’ll learn better spending habits

Spending habits take time to acquire and with homeownership, you’ll acquire them a lot faster. It’s easy for young people to fall into a lifestyle inflation trap where they start spending more than they’re earning. With your monthly mortgage payments to keep up with you’ll quickly learn how to spread your income more wisely. This makes you less likely to accept irresponsible risks or spending habits. As a homeowner, you’ll also learn better responsibility in general. A home has to be cared for and will require some maintenance from time to time. Developing responsible habits now will set you up well for the future, one you certainly won’t regret as you get older.