Let’s consider some of the financial realities about owning a home.
In an opinion piece in the Fresno Bee newspaper, the writer made the case for why Congress should keep a tax incentive to encourage Americans to be homeowners. Regardless of your opinion on the matter, the author’s points on the financial positives of homeownership were beneficial and worth a read.
“Owning a home is one of the best ways to build long-term wealth, providing both equity accumulation and tax benefits over time. In 2013, the median net worth of homeowner families was $195,400, while the median net worth of renters was $5,400, according to the Federal Reserve.”
“Homeownership strengthens communities, encourages higher civic participation, boosts children’s educational performance, lowers crime rates, and improves health-care outcomes. Moreover, homeowners bring more stability to neighborhoods because they tend to move less often.”
“Homeownership helps provide predictability. Individuals can enjoy steady and consistent housing costs thanks to the tax incentive that allows them to own a home. That’s because a fixed-rate mortgage payment might not change for 15 to 39 years, while rents typically increase 2 to 3 percent a year.”
Even if you have the financial means to put in an all-cash offer, you may not want to do so.
All-cash offers can be more appealing to home-sellers, but you also need to take into consideration the other aspects of paying so much cash upfront.
Will you have enough liquidity left? At least a few thousand dollars left in your pocket is ideal. You may have repairs, upgrades you desire to make, and increased utility and maintenance costs for your new house — not to mention your typical costs and unexpected financial needs (such as medical bills or suddenly losing employment).
What if you easily qualify for a mortgage? Interest rates are still on the low-side, and by obtaining a mortgage to purchase a house, you would be able to keep a large chunk of your finances.
Paying all-cash means you miss out on a tax break. When you have a mortgage, you are able to receive a tax break on the interest paid to the mortgage lender.
Buying a home — it’s a big decision; one that you should prepare for in advance.
“One of the most important things a first-time homebuyer can do is prepare their budget for this big financial event.” (“How to Prepare Your Budget for Buying Your First Home”. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/prepare-budget-buying-first-home-123000854.html)
And there’s a few key ways that you can get your budget in order:
Your FICO score is the yardstick by which most lenders measure your credit worthiness.
The major credit bureaus keep track of loans that you have taken out in the past and how well you managed this debt. A high FICO score indicates that you have been responsible with the credit extended to you and will reflect positively on applications that you submit, while a lower score indicates that you have had credit issues in the past. Continue reading →