The Upside of Homeownership
It’s no secret that owning a home is hard work. If you’re renting and notice a leaky faucet, simply call the landlord and you can (usually) count on it being fixed within a few days. As a homeowner, you’ve got to either fix it yourself, or get out the phone and check books, and hire a repairperson. Additionally, you have to pay property taxes each year (in Texas, it’s about 2% of the home value). BUT, don’t let the increased responsibility deter you from buying your first home; the pros far outweigh the cons! Keep reading to learn five big advantages of owning your own home.
- Building wealth: When you’re renting your home from a landlord, you essentially get nothing in return aside from a roof over your head. The property owner charges you, the renter, enough to pay the costs associated with the home as well as enough to turn a profit. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that, by owning your house you can start to build equity within the home, which can pay off big time when it comes time to sell.
- Security: There is nothing like the feeling of walking through your door, of your home, after a long workday. It is true, the feeling of sinking into a recliner at the end of a long day will feel great whether it is in an apartment or a house. However, when you own a home, there is a distinct feeling of security unavailable while renting. You know you will not face unforeseen rent hikes. There is no landlord that can ask you to leave in three months, or worse yet, one month – something that is even more cherished with children. Perhaps most importantly, you can paint repaint that wall with the trim from the ‘70s, and even install central air!
- Energy credits: Did you know that the federal government offers incentives for people to install newer, more energy efficient power systems? These credits often revolve around technologies like solar and wind energy, which produce electricity used to power your household appliances and lights. In addition to federal tax deductions, many states also offer incentives for installing solar panels and the like. For example, Texas allows residents to make investments in solar and wind energy, without them adding to the adding to the overall taxable value of the home.
- Community: There is undoubtedly a big level of commitment when it comes to buying a home. Houses are expensive, no matter how you slice it. With these expenses comes a certain level of pride. Putting down your roots somewhere is a serious undertaking, and leads to a great care for one’s community. When you buy a home, a connection to your neighbors, neighborhood parks, and general community well being come with it. The ability to make a positive impact on the area where your children will grow up is an amazing feeling.
- Tax benefits: While available tax incentives vary depending upon the kind of mortgage you have, there are a number of general benefits enjoyed by homeowners. First and foremost, the interest that you pay on your property is deductible. When selling your home, capital gains taxes may not apply – unlike selling other assets. A single person can claim up to $250,000 untaxed profit, where as a married couple can claim up to $500,000. Additionally, “points,” or insurance paid while closing can be tax deductible.