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When it comes to owning vs renting a home, the never-ending debate between homeowners and renters never seems to have any clear winner. The former talk about the pride of owning your own place, while the latter focus on the flexibility of not being tied down to one location.
As with most hot topics, both parties may very well have their arguments, but, I can pretty much tell you that buying a home is like most things in life…
You really have to make the change in order to truly appreciate its benefits.
With that in mind, here’s a list of things that simply make life better when you’re a homeowner:
1. You wake up in the morning and you know it’s yours
It may sound cheesy, but homeownership has been a staple of the American Dream for as long as that concept has been around, and with good reason.
There’s just something about waking up inside a place that is definitely, irrevocably yours.
Feel like installing a trampoline in the living room? You got it.
Want to dress up your walls in purple fur? Sure, why not.
When you own the place you can pretty much do anything you can imagine.
2. You don’t have to worry about increasing monthly payments
No matter how nice your landlord is, chances are that sooner or later he’ll want to maximize the return on his property.
This means that as a renter you’re just going to have to deal with occasional price hikes if you want to stay in the same place for longer periods of time. These tend to cancel out whatever savings you may accrue as a result of not paying for maintenance or repair works.
Using a mortgage to buy a home, on the other hand, often comes with the added benefit of having a fixed monthly payment that won’t change regardless of property values. This translates to less headaches and more financial predictability down the line.
3. You get plenty of tax breaks
Buying a house can require some money out of pocket up front, but it all tends to payoff pretty soon even if the value of your property stays the same.
Now, I’m not a tax person so verify this information with your preferred tax consultant, but my guy says there are numerous tax advantages to owning a home. For one, you can deduct your mortgage interest from your tax obligations. You’ll also be able to claim your origination fees the first year you buy a home. They usually hover around 1% of the total price, which can lead to considerable savings. Last but not least, the property taxes you pay for your primary residence are fully deductible for income tax purposes.
These are all measures promoted by the government to incentivize renters to take that that final leap of faith towards becoming homeowners.
4. It’s better than a savings account
When you rent a house or apartment, you’re basically paying another person for the courtesy of allowing you to borrow their space.
The process of owning a home changes that. When you pay monthly installments on your house, you’re paying yourself to live in your home by putting more and more money into your equity and saving it for a later date.
Moreover, while there’s no absolute guarantee that housing values will always keep rising, research shows that housing tends to beat inflation by a couple of percentage points per year over the long term. This means that your house could continue to appreciate in value at a rate higher than the national inflation, making you slightly wealthier year after year.
5. You get to take advantage of an economy in flux
The economic downturn of 2007 – 2010 took a hit on homeownership, but now that the economy is recovering, the numbers are on the rise again. What’s remarkable is that interest rates and mortgage fees haven’t gone up with them.
That’s because, despite a steadily improving economy, the Federal Reserve has yet to take steps towards implementing higher rates. This means that right now you can still get the best of both worlds: the homebuyer advantages brought on by the economic crisis, along with the benefit of a higher purchasing power due to growth in the private sector.
This kind of situation won’t last forever, and it’s likely that 2015 may be the last hurrah for some time.
Be smart now and you’ll thank yourself later. (Get Pre-Approved for an Arizona Home Loan)
6. Flexibility is still on the table, if you want it
This is a big one, since many people use the “F” word (that’s “F” for “flexibility”, folks) to explain why they prefer renting to buying. Personally, it’s what also kept me from seriously considering homeownership for a very long time. But thinking about it in terms of flexibility is a fallacy. If anything, owning your home offers you more flexibility.
That’s because, whenever you do decide to move on, you could have the benefit of a starting out with considerable initial capital from selling the house. You can also put your home up for rent even before you’ve finished paying off the mortgage, and have renters pay you each month while you go on to the next place. The possibilities are endless.
Overall, homeownership shouldn’t be seen as an untouchable pipe dream reserved only for the few and fortunate. There are very real solutions available for normal people like you and I and anybody who truly wants to have a place they can call their own. With the right mindset and a dedicated professional at your side, you’ll be able secure a little slice of heaven and see that life is better as a homeowner.
Do you want to know how much home you could qualify for? Visit http://TheJustinHainesTeam.com for a 100% free, no obligation mortgage pre-approval. This will give you the confidence to work with a Realtor and begin your search for the perfect home.