While everyone has their own individual reasons for buying a home, there are some concrete incentives that make home-ownership attractive to most people. You’ve probably heard both good and bad stories about home-ownership from friends, family, and co-workers–but the fact remains that a large part of the typical “American Dream” includes owning your home.
Here are just some advantages to home-ownership which you may or may not already be aware of:
Low Home Prices – Since the “boom” of the early 2000’s home prices have come down significantly. In fact, National Median Home Prices are lower than their historical averages over the past 50 years. So by “buying low” you will help set yourself up for more potential positive equity in the future.
Low Mortgage Interest Rates – While low home prices are great, those savings could easily be eaten up by high interest rates. However, mortgage interest rates are at their lowest point in the U.S. ever. This literally saves you money each month by paying less interest, which means you can afford a bigger and better house for the same monthly payment. Most buyers are able to purchase a property for the same amount (or just slightly higher) than they are currently paying in rent–all because interest rates are at historic lows. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to lock in an amazing mortgage interest rate.
Pride of Ownership – this is the number one reason most people decide to own rather than rent housing. It’s somewhat of a vague term, but what pride of ownership really means is that you have the freedom to change your environment and feel secure or more stable in your surroundings. It’s natural for most people to rent earlier in their lives, and eventually after gaining steady employment or starting a family to buy their first home in order to gain a feeling of stability. Being able to change the paint colors to fit your personality , installing new cabinets, or even turning up your music at night are just some of the reasons most people prefer to own their house rather than rent.
Tax Benefits – there are a number of tax advantages for home-owners, but among the most important are the Property Tax Deduction and the Mortgage Interest Deduction. Did you know that property taxes paid for your home are fully deductible for income tax purposes? Same thing with mortgage interest paid on your home loan. You can deduct those payments from your tax return, which is not a small amount in most cases since interest is a majority of your monthly mortgage payments at the beginning of your re-payment schedule.
Appreciation – although it may not seem like much of an incentive over the past few years, housing has appreciated in value historically at a faster rate than inflation. So owning a home can actually protect you against inflation. This is unlike other large purchases (such as cars, boats, motorcycles, etc.) which actually depreciate over time and lose their value. So if you have the choice between buying an expensive car or buying a modest first home, you’re money is probably better spent on the house even if it’s not as flashy as the car.
Equity Loans – over time, you’ll pay down your mortgage principal amount and hopefully gain some value through appreciation which may allow you to borrow money against the value of your home. This is typically called a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC for short) which is a loan that you can use for home improvements, repairs, or just about anything else. HELOCs can help when you have big renovation projects to do–such as a kitchen remodel–but lack the cash to pay for them out of pocket. By obtaining a loan at a lower interest rate than credit cards or unsecured bank loans, you are able to complete these updates and pay back the amount over time.
Want to learn more? Register for our next Home Buyer Class and get educated!