Home Sweet Home! That’s what we all want, right? Yes, and to complicate matters, there are so many choices to make to find the just-right place for you. Let’s start from the beginning. If we want to make the right choice, we need to first look at whether to rent or to own. This gets down to the basics, and in this article, we’ll make 7 arguments for owning rather than renting. By the end, you can decide if you agree with it for your own situation. Let’s count the ways.
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It’s your home, and you can decide what you will do with it. You can paint the house the color you like and choose the front entry door you prefer. You can design closets, hang shelves and organize your storage. You can display your favorite pictures even though you’re putting holes in the walls, and you can even change the carpet when you like or switch over to laminate, wood or tile flooring without asking for approval from the landlord.
All this and without having to change things back to the way they were as you might when you live in a rental property.
When you have problems in the house, you can get them fixed on your own time schedule rather than waiting for the landlord to come over or send a service person to manage the repairs. If your kitchen needs updating, go for it. If you want a granite countertop, you can do it! And, what usually happens when you need new appliances? Yes, you usually have to wait longer than you like, only to find that they installed an appliance of lesser quality than you would like.
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When you own, you can repair, replace and upgrade your appliances as desired. You can choose the brand and features you like. If it’s time for a new refrigerator, and you want one with French doors, exterior water and ice supply, and a lower freezer compartment, you can order it, and have it delivered.
Updating the bathroom? No problem. You can replace the showerhead or faucet, install tiles to suit your décor or do a major upgrade. Need more space? You can extend or remove a wall (if it’s structurally feasible) to create open space or more convenient space. Certainly, all this means you need room in the budget (and perhaps a trusted contractor or handyman service), but at least it’s possible.
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2. Privacy and Socializing
When you own your home, you gain the advantage of privacy from landlord interruptions and inspections. You can set your own rules about the number of guests and length of stay you prefer. You can decide on parking arrangements, and you can enjoy your pets without additional fees or restrictions.
Naturally, respect should be a priority in any setting, and you will still take neighbors into consideration concerning noise level and appearance of the property. However, as an owner, if you have more space and no shared walls, you’ll have greater leeway than in an apartment.
You’ll likely have indoor and outdoor space for entertaining, with or without inviting the neighbors. Whether you favor privacy, socializing or a combination, your options will be more plentiful when you own than when you rent.
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3. Building Equity
With homeownership, building equity essentially happens with each mortgage payment. Eventually, your property will have a value much greater than what you owe on it. This will mean money in your account when you sell or value on your financial statement over time. If needed, you can use your equity as a personal loan for extra cash for emergencies such as hospital bills, unemployment, etc.
Depending on your lender and your credit score, you can borrow with a maximum loan-to-value ratio of 80%. Which means you can borrow up to 80% loan of your house value when you have minimum 20% equity in your house mortgage.
It’s a sure bet that most people would much prefer seeing their home equity increase rather than paying rent each month so someone else can see their equity grow. You need to pay for housing anyway, so why not make that payment work for you? You are either paying your own mortgage or you’re paying someone else’s. Which feels better?
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4. Investing in your Future
The price of a home most likely increases over time. That’s extra money you can use later, and there’s the added element of a current interest rate that is still low compared to the high interest rates of the past. You can take advantage of that.
Reach out to a trusted agent or lender to help you calculate how much you can save. A 0.5% difference in interest rate over a 15- or 30-year loan, will reward you with significant savings over the term of your loan. Saving for your future is always a good thing.
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5. Paying Less
Your mortgage payment is a fixed cost each month, like rent. However, it is quite feasible that you could have a lower mortgage payment than the monthly rental fee. Also, when you own a home, your cost will be less over time as you pay down your interest and principal. Each month, you will invest a little more into the property itself while paying a little less on the interest.
When the housing market increases, typically rent goes up as well. Renters are not happy to get a notice of increased rent, but it is something to be expected as costs rise. With your mortgage payment, you will actually see an increase in value over time.
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6. Tax Benefits
Homeownership can provide a yearly tax deduction for interest and property tax paid. This benefit will generally outweigh any renter’s property tax refund that may be available. If you are paying private mortgage insurance (when making a down payment of less than 20%), you may be entitled to a deduction there too. You can also take a tax deduction if you work from home and have a designated space for conducting that work.
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7. Homeownership Warm Fuzzies
There is pride in owning your home that makes you smile when you drive up to it, knowing that it is your home, that you work for it and take good care of it. It can be your gathering place or your relaxing refuge offering the peace and solitude that re-energizes you.
You also have options when you own, like renting out a room or a basement to help you pay the mortgage (or save even more). You can work from home if you have your own business or if your employer is in favor of working remotely. You can enjoy your home while you’re there, and you can sell whenever you choose.
If it’s time for you to seriously consider whether to rent or own, you can see that there are benefits from homeownership. If they are appealing to you, reach out to an experienced realtor and mortgage broker to discuss your unique situation and possibilities on the horizon for you. We hope you have enjoyed this article and gained some insights. If so, please share it with a friend who might benefit as well. Thank you!
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