For most people, buying a home is the embodiment of the American dream. It’s a long-term investment that often represents the foundation of our lives, providing financial and emotional security.
Besides the fact that it’s part of the American Dream, and your parents, friends, family and coworkers have told you that buying a home is a good idea, you may still be uncertain and even uncomfortable with the concept. Let’s face it, having complete certainty about buying in an uncertain economy can be a daunting notion. Even so, there are a number of great reasons to buy a home now.
Mortgage Rates are Incredibly Low… Still
Historically low actually. But who knows how much longer? Rates are at all-time lows. However, with an improving economy comes higher interest rates. Experts predict that interest rates will go from the 3’s to over 4 percent by the end of 2015. Rates are low right now. Why not take advantage of them?
Home Prices are Low
But so is inventory and prices are on their way up. According to Kiplinger.com, “after nearly six years of deflating home prices, the housing market is finally, firmly on the path to recovery.” Real estate went from being over-priced during the housing bubble, to bottoming out over the past couple of years.
With few exceptions, most of the interest you pay is not tax deductible. Mortgage interest remains one of the few exceptions, and is a well-known tax break for homeowners. If and when policymakers make a change causing mortgage interest to become a thing of the past, why not take advantage of it?
Low Down Payment
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a lot of money for down payment. While 20 percent down can help you get a lower interest rate and avoid paying PMI, it’s not a requirement to purchase a home. Aside from down payment assistance programs for first time homebuyers, HUD homes can be purchased for as little as $100 down, not to mention there are conventional loan programs available with just 3% down.
Build your credit
Especially in a struggling economy, good credit is vitally important. A mortgage loan is what’s known as a major trade line and installment account. By paying your mortgage on time on a regular basis, in addition to your balance going down, it will absolutely help build your credit.
It’s an Investment
Unlike renting an apartment or a house, as you make payments on your mortgage (as long as it isn’t an interest only loan) you build equity in your home. As such, owning a home is like a forced savings account. Even with a slow housing market, the uncertainty about property values, and the valleys of a recession, over the years real estate has consistently appreciated.
Buying is Cheaper than Renting
But that’s not likely to be the case much longer. The two factors that make buying a home cheaper than renting are home prices and mortgage rates. Looking forward, with rising home prices and rising interest rates, the gap should narrow because these factors will work together to raise the cost of buying relative to renting.
Pride of Home Ownership
There are many perks that come with owning a home. One of the biggest perks for most is the freedom that comes with ownership. You can paint, renovate, upgrade, remodel, and decorate as much as your heart desires, which further contributes to your investment. It is your home and an extension of you. As such, the ability to customize it to your own taste, along with the feeling of pride from your creation, can be a fulfillment beyond words can explain, only homeowners can truly understand.
Whether you’re buying your first home or you’re a seasoned home buying veteran, staying current on the latest home buying updates can be the difference between a smooth or anxiety-ridden home buying experience.
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