Nearly every American dreams of owning a home. The freedom of being able to remodel, redecorate or expand one’s living space; landscape one’s own yard; or, even to own as many pets as one would like is the epitome of the American dream.
Buying a home can also contribute to long-term life goals. Building wealth via equity and having a stable environment to start a family are just two of them. Tax benefits, such as being able to deduct mortgage interest and real estate taxes, can help save money. While rents can change year to year, based on the landlord’s prerogative, monthly mortgage payments can stay relatively stable with a fixed-interest-rate loan.
"A significant advantage to buying versus renting are mortgage rates,” said Paula Whitsell, broker Realtor at Leal Real Estate Group Inc. of Chula Vista. “Although they have risen in the last six months, they are still historically very low. And, even though property values have gone up in the last couple of years, property prices are still very reasonable. From a tax standpoint, there is still the mortgage interest deduction; and, owning a home is a good long-term savings vehicle, as homes generally appreciate over time.”
A greater degree of freedom can come with homeownership. Depending on the zoning of one’s house, an owner can usually own as many pets as they desire, even more exotic ones that a landlord would likely not allow.
If a homeowner decides to plant a rose or vegetable garden, paint the kitchen or bedroom walls, or add a deck to the back of the house, they have the liberty to do that.
“That aspect of independence is so important,” said Whitsell. “You can really make it your own when you buy a home. It is your own home.”
Buying a home is often a more reliable and convenient option. When a lease is not renewed, it can be a hassle trying to find another place to live as well as the tedious process of moving itself.
A home can offer a stable environment for a growing family to make memories and enjoy life. It can also offer a haven for a friend needing a place to stay or a sick family member needing care. Frequently, renters are not allowed long-term visitors. When one owns their own home, they decide when it’s time for the guest to leave.
As a homeowner, maintenance problems are the owner’s responsibility. However, it is assured that the trouble will be fixed to the owner’s satisfaction; and, in a reasonable timeframe. Depending on the landlord, the time and quality of the repair may vary greatly. What is a reasonable standard to a landlord may be subpar to a renter.
The experts at Leal Real Estate Group Inc. are available to talk about the options available to those interested in becoming a first-time homebuyer.