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The Case for Buying a Home vs Paying Rent

The advice regarding not renting and buying has been around most likely since the first space was offered for lease. The primary argument for this approach is simply, why throw money at rent which produces no equity when buying a home not only provides equity, but it helps you to establish a great line of credit and also provides an asset that can be used as collateral for other investments. With the housing market situated the way it is now, and home prices having dipped more than they have in recent decades, many with the means are starting to acquiring homes.

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Homes of all shapes and sizes are now available at rock bottom prices in an effort to stimulate the market, Banks and lenders are also anxious to recoup some of what they have lost in the past few years following the collapse of the overly inflated property market, and many people over-extending themselves with homes that were too large for them to afford in the long-term and also because many bought hybrid-loans that they simply did not understand. If you purchase a property that is priced within your budget, is located within a neighborhood that is still viable and retaining its values during these tough economic times, then you should have no problem with a home purchase to get out from the endless cycle of throwing money at your landlord so he can be the one to benefit, build his credit and asset base.

A brief scan of the current headlines or a flip of the channel will surely show that mortgages are not as easy to find as they were in the past, but for those who have been able to retain their credit, still have a good job, and have been able to save up for the down payment on a new home getting a loan is definitely possible.

Some current benefits of owning vs. renting

  1. One distinct advantage of owning is having financial control. Your mortgage may be more than you were paying in rent every month but if you have the proper terms you will not be faced with rent increases that will only contribute to your throwing more money at an asset you do not own or benefit from. Knowing what your monthly payment will be for the next 10, 20 or 30 years can help you budget for the long-term and have more of the things you will need in$288,000 the future.

  2. Although they may be on a slow rise back up, interest rates are still low and some banks are actually offering no money down terms to stimulate lending and the housing market which they are an intrinsic part of. If your credit is not up to par you will most likely not be able to avail yourself of these low rates, but if you have maintained your credit you will be a welcome customer when making application for a loan.

  3. Renting does nothing for your credit and it surely produces no equity or put a valuable asset in your portfolio. Owning a home allows you to pay into your future every month and build towards something tangible that you can call your own someday.
  1. Although you will not pay property taxes (directly) when renting, when you own a home you will. On the surface taxes may first seem to be one more payment you would not want to make, but tax breaks are available for those who own and some types of improvements, especially energy saving improvements and modifications, can be taken advantage of and help you save money on an ongoing basis. Further, other certain expenses associated with owning a home can also offer incentives regarding the government and taxes.

  2. Owning a home, versus renting an apartment will provide a family with more livable space. If you are planning on enlarging your family a home will allow you the space to grow into. If you are self-employed having a home office is also more convenient in a house rather than an apartment in many cases. A home will also have a yard for family activities such as play and sports, dinning and entertaining, or gardening, all of which help enhance your time away from work and make life much more enjoyable.

  3. If you wish to renovate or make improvements you can do this freely without having to consult the landlord or comply with their demands or sense of design. And, like rent payments, money that is spent on improvements is not benefiting someone else; it is increasing the value of your asset.

  4. If you rent an apartment, condo or multi-family dwelling your neighbors can be bothersome to say the least. Trash, noisy pets and unruly children are only some of the nuisances that can plague you if you rent. By purchasing your own home you can avoid most of these kinds of problems and have a much better environment to live in.

  5. Having to vacate after you are settled in can also be a problem associated with renting. If the landlord decides to raise the rent, or stop renting to you altogether, you will have to move and start all over again.  For some this is a cost they may not wish to bear, and it also means uprooting your family, possibly being further from your place of employment or your children having to change schools. All of these scenarios are unpleasant and can be avoided if you own.

  6. If you own a home you are also able to be a bigger part of the community. You and your family can establish life-ling friendships and participate in community activities over a long extended period of time. This can help reinforce your children’s growth as well as provide the family with a valuable network of friends and businesses.

A simple formula to determine if you can afford a home at this time.

Although this may not be the perfect scenario for helping you to decide if you can now afford to buy it can help you determine what price range to explore when looking at homes to buy.

Multiply your current monthly rent by 240. If you can afford a house of your choice for that amount you are on the way to buying you first home and getting out from under the rent.

Example: Current monthly rent = $1,200 X 240 = $288,000.

You should be looking for a home within this price range: $288,000

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