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 Things to Consider
 Signing the Lease
 Rent vs. Buy
 Things to Consider
 Cost of Ownership
 The Buying Process
 Real Estate Agents
 Mortgage Loans
 Types of Loans
 Before You Sign
 The Contract
 On The Move
 Decision Factors
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Like all other personal decisions, home ownership has its advantages and disadvantages. It is vital that you fully evaluate your situation before making any conclusions.

The following are all advantages of home ownership:

  • Tax advantages- The tax shelter that owning a home provides may be its biggest plus. Currently, property taxes and interest on mortgage payments are tax deductible on your federal and most state tax returns. These write-offs can greatly reduce your tax liability and also make the mortgage payments more affordable as compared to rental payments. In fact, the first half of a 30 year mortgage is comprised of mostly property taxes and mortgage interest; therefore, a large majority of your mortgage payments will be tax deductible.
  • Return of Investment/Equity- For the last fifty years, owning a home has been a good investment. Not only do you receive the tax advantages discussed above, but you typically receive appreciating value in your home over the life span of your ownership. Although a home's increase in value is not guaranteed, the current trend in home appreciation has been large enough to fight the rate of inflation. (Simply put, the value of homes has outpaced the rising cost of goods and services; thus, protecting the value of the money you have invested in your home). Also, as a homeowner you are entitled to borrow money against the equity or value over and above your mortgage balance, which finance charges are also tax deductible. For instance, many people use the equity in their home to finance costly home improvements or to buy a car.
  • Owner Satisfaction- There is something to say about ownership. There is indeed a psychological satisfaction acquired from owning a home. With ownership you truly are the king or queen of your own castle, excluding local laws of course. 

The following are all disadvantages that can be associated with home ownership:

  • Cost- The money required to buy a home may put a strain of your savings. A 20% down payment on a property of $100,000, will require you to come up with $20,000.Yet, first time home buyers programs may assist or lower your down payment requirements.

Also, the upkeep of a home can be very expensive. Although the condition of the home you will buy will determine the frequency of repair. Unlike renters, who rely on their property staff for maintenance repair, home owners are responsible for all repairs including but not exclusive to:

  • Heating and Cooling systems
  • Roofing
  • Plumbing
  • Exterior and Interior Walls
  • Driveway
  • Electricity and Appliances

Inflexibility- A house is a major investment; therefore, the money you have tied into it does not easily allow you to pick up and move at your leisure without first selling your house. Depending on the current conditions of the housing market at your anticipated move, you may not be able to sell your house quickly. When interest rates are up, there are a decreased number of consumers looking for homes due to the increased cost of borrowing money. Consequently, plans to relocate can become delayed if you cannot find someone to buy or rent your home in a sufficient timeframe.

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