An owner-occupier is a person who lives in a house that he or she owns. Owner-occupancy is therefore also called home ownership. The home of the owner-occupier can range from condominums, apartments, to housing cooperatives. The immovable property, which includes the home and the land it sits upon, is known as the real estate.
Some homes are constructed by the owners with the intent to occupy. Many are inherited. A large number are purchased, either as new homes from a real-estate developer, or as an existing home from a previous landlord or owner-occupier.
Houses are usually the most expensive single purchase an individual or family makes, and often costs at least several times the annual household income. Given the high cost, most individuals do not have enough savings on hand to pay the entire amount outright. In developed countries, mortgage loans are available from financial institutions in return for interest. If the home owner fails to meet the agreed repayment schedule, a foreclosure (In some countries known as a repossesion) may result.
In several government-run home sale programs, such as those run by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, owner-occupants are given preferential consideration on bids offered; some programs such as "Officer Next Door" are limited to certain professions who are required to be owner-occupants.