The Advantages of Home Ownership
Among the most appealing advantages of home ownership is that you own it, which gives you, instead of a landlord, control of your living space. Other benefits stem from potential tax savings and the build up of equity as your property likely appreciates in price over time. Equity can be used to help put children through college, purchase a second home, or make home improvements. The mortgage interest paid on a home loan is tax deductible up to $750,000 yet there is no longer a deduction for interest on a home equity loan. You can also get a deduction on local property taxes up to a total of $10,000 in combination with either state and local taxes or sales taxes. If you get a fixed-rate home mortgage loan, you also can invest more wisely knowing your monthly mortgage payment, unlike rent, will not change substantially.
Taking the First Step Toward Buying
Make sure you are ready to buy - psychologically and financially. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I have steady income? Is my debt lower than my total income? Do I have enough money to pay for the down payment and closing costs? Am I working hard enough to improve bad credit?
Consider the fact that a house needs constant care and attention. Also ask yourself if your budget will allow for unexpected repairs and upkeep. Once you can honestly answer positively to these questions, you are several steps ahead of the game and that much closer to becoming a homeowner.
Determining What You Can Afford to Buy
The general rule of thumb when calculating what you can afford is that you can buy a home that costs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary. A good real estate agent or lender can determine how much you can afford and estimate the maximum monthly payment based on the loan amount, taxes, insurance, and other expenses. To find out now how your income, debts, and expenses can affect what you can afford, use a mortgage calculator to figure out how much you may be able to borrow to purchase a home.
Contact a local Coldwell Banker Hubbell BriarWood agent with any questions you may have.