NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Although renting has become a popular option for everyone from Millennials to retirees, buying a home is still an important financial milestone for many Americans. According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, renters make up about 33% of U.S. households, but the majority — 67% — own their homes.

Although renting has its perks, many homeowners say there’s nothing quite like owning something you can truly call your own. Experts weigh in on five tipping points that often inspire renters to take on a mortgage and sign on the dotted line.

1. You want control of your surroundings and environment

If you find yourself wanting to put in a swimming pool, remodel your bathrooms or make other substantial changes to the property, it’s a sign you should be looking to buy, says Michael Chadwick, certified financial planner and chief executive of Chadwick Financial Advisors in Unionville, Conn.

“There are certain things you can’t do when you’re sharing space. If you want to install a high-efficiency furnace or build an outdoor pizza oven, you can’t do that if you’re a renter,” Chadwick explains.

While a homeowner might be willing to invest $30,000 remodeling their kitchen, they simply won’t do that in a home they rent, he explains.

“You’re not going to put new furnishings in if you can’t take them with you, or if you can’t get out of them what you paid when you move. People want the ability to come home to a place that has their touch.”

Some rental properties restrict tenants from painting walls or hanging frames, towel racks and other items, Chadwick says. Many home buyers just want a chance to design and decorate their space however they please.

2. You’re interested in a specific city or school district

If you want to live in a specific neighborhood, it may be time to put down roots, says James Roche, CEO of

“If you want your children to be in a particular school district or you want your family to live in a specific part of town, then it’s time,” he says. “It may be better for your kids to have that stability. A lot of parents don’t want to think about moving around all the time when they have kids in school.”