Control of your housing

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By Jule’ Dunham

Greetings from the World of Real Estate with Julè. Life is Good! And so, is air conditioning!
Have you gotten a professional to take a look at it and do it’s annual checkup? When did you change you’re A/C filter last? When you change it, you can put the date on the filter as a reminder of the date you changed the filter last. Check the filter every 30 days and change as needed. A new unit is expensive. Why waste that kind of money when all you needed to do was change the filter.
I have mentioned this several weeks in my column because hot weather is here and the repairmen are booked up with such calls. The old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” holds very true in this situation. I really do not want for you to have unnecessary expense or misery of being hot in your home.
Let’s talk about the advantages of buying your home verses advantages of renting. There are several “Advantages of Buying your Home. 1.) Control over housing expenses. By selecting a fixed rate mortgage, you have the assurance that your housing costs will not increase over the life of the loan and, will in fact, be eliminated at the end of the term (subject to refinancing). 2.) You build equity. Some of each monthly payment goes toward the loan’s interest. Other portions may go to homeowner’s insurance and county/city taxes. The remainder pays down the loan principal. Every dollar put toward your loan’s principal represents a dollar of equity – actual ownership of the property. Over time your home may appreciate in value which adds equity to your home as well. 3.) Improvements increase your home’s value. Some home improvements may increase your home’s value. Such as, adding a bathroom or finishing a basement may add value to your home. Not to mention, making it more comfortable and enjoyable for you and your family. Should you not maintain your home during your time of residency there, your property can loose value as well. It is a homeowner’s responsibility to the lender to maintain the home in order to maintain the value. Also, you owe it to yourself to keep your home clean and maintained, so that when it comes time for you to sell it you have protected your investment. 4.) Tax advantages of homeownership. You qualify for major tax benefits when you buy a house. Federal tax deductions: Property taxes and interest paid on your mortgage can be deducted in you itemize your federal income taxes, reducing your income tax liability. Additionally, check with you tax advisor regarding discount points and origination points that may be claimed on the loan. The interest rate on your mortgage typically lowers by 0.25% per point you buy. 5.) Current mortgage rates are quite low right now. Several years ago, interest rates were higher, and it was more expensive to obtain a mortgage. Since these costs have been reduced, it is now easier and less expensive to own a house. 6.) Ownership rights and creative freedom. Your decorating and home improvement choices are just that – yours, provided they do not break building codes or violate homeowners’ association rules. You can paint walls just as you would like, add fixtures, update of finish your basement or bonus room, build a patio or deck and more options for personalizing your home. Changing your home to suit your taste is a freeing aspect of homeownership. 7.) A sense of belonging to the community. Homeowners tend to stay in homes for longer than renters and are more likely to grow roots. They might join a neighborhood association, sponsor block parties or National Nights Out, volunteer at local community center, join a school group, or align with a business improvement district. Renters might not do any of those things, particularly if they know their lease is up in a year and they might move.
There is a special pleasure attached to owning your own home, a sense of freedom and independence. The home you purchase and live in belongs to you and only you (and, your family), and you can do what you want with YOUR home. You need not be concerned by rent increases or the risk of losing your lease. You are free to make improvements and changes. Owning your home gives your children the guarantee of attending the schools in the area on a more permanent basis; you never have to worry about a notice from the landlord to vacate your rented house or apartment for any of a variety of reasons over which you have no control. Children need stability and owning a home is a great way to help them feel that security.
Now, let’s talk about the “Advantages of Renting”. Yes, there are actually advantages of renting verses owning a home. The list for this section is much shorter, however, these advantages should be considered in your buy verses rent decision. 1.) No responsibility for maintenance. This is great for some people. As a renter, you are not responsible for the maintenance or repair costs. If something goes wrong, such as appliance issues, plumbing problems, air conditioner/heater problems, the expense is not on you. Place a call to the office and they can take care of it for you. Also, you have no lawn care responsibilities (if residing in an apartment situation.) 2.) Relocating is easier. When renting, it is much easier to relocate. A sudden move may require you to break your lease, you be able to partially offset the cost by subletting your apartment or talking with your landlord. On the flip side, as a homeowner, it takes time and effort to sell your home. Depending on the timeline you have to relocate, you may be forced to accept a lower price and lose some of your investment. 3.) No real estate market exposure. Home values fluctuate and can decline over time. If you are a renter, that is not your problem. If you are a homeowner trying to sell your home-it is.
Next week – Disadvantages of Owning and Disadvantages of Renting.
Remember: Say Hello. Be Kind. Be Friendly. Embrace Life and all that it really offers. Keep Life Simple. Making good relay relationships is very important to our mental, emotional and physical health.
Should you have a topic you would like addressed, please feel free to contact me.
Thank you for reading my column and have a blessed week.
Here is your local realtor, Julè Dunham, signing off until next week.
Crye-Leike Realtors
Julè Dunham, Affiliate Broker, SRES, RENE. Contact her by phone at 901-828-8471 (cell) or 901-840-1181 (office) or by email to: jule@juledunham.com for an appointment to speak with you, your group or club.
“Let’s Make This Happen Together”
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