April 03, 2019

There is no one answer to this question that fits every situation. There are many factors to consider, and decisions should be made in consultation with local church leaders, and by seeking the advice of trusted advisors, such as a C2FM financial coach. 

In an itinerant system, pastors have more risks than the average person because they may have to move quickly, sell in a down market or break a lease. These situations can cause added expense, and that expense can be compounded if the move is to a lower-paid appointment, or if the move causes an employed spouse to lose employment and income. 

Tips on Buying, Selling & Renting
The risks of home ownership are offset by the possibility of adding value to your financial situation as your equity grows and/or the value appreciates. If you decide home ownership is for you, here are some ways to lower the financial risks:

Special Resources for Pastors
The dream of home ownership is often part of a long-term financial plan, either during one’s working years or in retirement. UM pastors have a wonderful mechanism for saving toward such a goal through Wespath’s UMPIP program. 

A disciplined practice of saving money every month into this sort of low-cost, tax-free investment program can build the equity to make the dream a reality. Through Wespath all UM pastors have free access to an EY investment counselor who can help set up the right savings plan to accomplish your goals. Learn more about this free service at www.wespath.org. 

The Clergy and Church Financial Ministry provides grants to qualifying pastors for relocation assistance. The application for direct aid can be found on the Missouri United Methodist Foundation website at https://mumf.org/c2fm/c2fm-directaid. You may also contact the C2FM director, Chris Bouchard, at (573) 268-4440, or by email at cbouchard@mumf.org.