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Financial benefits of owning a home

Buying a home has long been considered part of the American dream. But when you consider a home as a financial investment, is it a good choice? Below is a review of some big financial benefits of homeownership.

Build equity
Equity is the value of the property you actually own. As example, if your home is valued at $300,000 and you owe $200,000 on it, you have $100,000 in equity.

Unlike rent payments, each time you pay your monthly mortgage you gain a little more equity in your home. As you continue to pay off your loan, more money will go towards the principal every time – bringing you closer to owning more of you home. Eventually, all payments will have been made and the loan satisfied, you will no longer have a mortgage payment at all.

Get tax deductions
If you’re itemizing your tax deductions, there are a few tax breaks you get as a homeowner including writing off interest payments, real estate taxes, and energy-efficient improvements. When you sell your home, you may be able to avoid some of the capital gains tax on the profit you’ve made as long as you meet certain requirements (like having lived in the house as a primary residence for at least two of the previous five years you owned it).

Price appreciation
Houses (and the land they’re built upon) generally increase in value every year. The last quarter of 2020 saw home prices increase in value by an average of 4.29% according to S&P/Case-Shiller. So as you’re paying off your home, it will hopefully be increasing in value on its own. Just be aware that homes aren’t guaranteed to increase in value, and you’ll be able to take advantage of the appreciation only after owning it for many years.

A fixed monthly bill
A huge benefit of homeownership is that you’re better protected from inflation. If you have a fixed-rate mortgage, the amount you pay each month for your home won’t change no matter what happens to the interest rate and the economy. Even adjustable-rate mortgages have an interest rate cap to protect the homeowner. As rent continues to increase, having a steady mortgage payment that won’t increase will offer peace of mind when you’re budgeting.

Get better credit
Having a long history of making payments towards a big debt does wonders for your credit. Since mortgages typically last 15 to 30, if you make your payments on time, you can expect it to positively impact your score. Regular on-time rent payments can also positively impact your credit, but not automatically. Your rent payments must be reported to select credit agencies using a rent-reporting service.

Is a home purchase a good investment for you? You’ll need to crunch the numbers to decide. Take stock of your own financial standing and the average price of a house in your area compared to the price to rent a home. When it comes to purchasing a home, it’s always best to talk with a local home loan expert. They will tell you what loans you’ll qualify for, the minimum down payment, and provide info on the market you’re looking to buy in. Together you can review your financial goals to see whether owning a house would positively or negatively impact your future.

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