This post is part of our #BeBrave series in which we take a look at the experiences of real homeowners who took the leap into homeownership and how it paid off for them.

Renting can be good if you’re just starting out, but it’s also a constant state of transition. Americans pay a lot in rent. There’s a good chance that at the end of your lease, your rent is going to go up, especially if you live in a major metropolitan area. So you move around to get a better deal, but after a while, this becomes tiresome. By the time you get everything set the way you want it, it’s time to move on again.

Compare this to buying a house. When you buy a house, your payment is much more stable. Even if you start with an adjustable rate, you can refinance to a fixed rate before the rate is scheduled to adjust.

Buying a home is a big financial transaction, but if you’re brave and take the leap, you can avoid the chaos of having to move every year or two. Not only that, but you’ll be able to really become a part of the community.

Take Shylise for example. A lifelong renter, she bought a home two years ago, hoping for her now nine-year-old son to be able to grow up and go through school in the same community.

Being part of a community provides the opportunity to spread your knowledge and skills and become a part of something bigger. If you get together with people who have similar passions and combine your skill sets, you can turn these efforts into a real positive for the area around you.

After years of moving from foster home to foster home, Shylise decided she wanted the chance to give young people the enrichment and resources she didn’t have access to growing up.

In March 2010, she turned that desire into action, founding Power in Pink. The Los Angeles-area foundation is dedicated to providing at-risk young women with an interdisciplinary program that combines literature, performing arts, journalism and creative writing in order to enrich their learning experiences and give them leadership and career training.

The stability afforded by buying a house in a stable community enabled Shylise to go after bigger dreams. This is an empowering feeling that you can have, too.

Maybe it’s painting a mural on the outside of a local hospital or helping to remodel the high school football field. The possibilities are really only limited by your imagination and a collective will.

How were you able to get involved in your community? Using #BeBrave, share your stories about when you decided to be brave and take that homeownership step on Facebook and Twitter. You can also comment below.

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