It takes courage to make the leap and buy your first home, but once you’ve done it, you’ll wonder why it took you so long in the first place. Renting can be convenient for a while, especially if you’re going to school or just starting out in your career. But home ownership offers many unique benefits you simply can’t enjoy when you’re paying to live on someone else’s property. Still not convinced it’s time for you to jump into the rewarding world of home ownership? Take a look at these top ten reasons to buy your first home that Deer Valley Credit Union members shared.
A common complaint from those who rent is that they have little to no privacy. Frequently, neighbors live immediately below, above or beside your living area. Depending on how thick your walls are, you may be able to hear what goes on in their living space (which means they can hear what’s going on in yours as well!)
If you’re tired of knowing when your neighbor flushes the toilet or hops in the shower, it’s time to think about home ownership. Once you experience the privacy of living in your own home, you’ll never want to go back to renting again. Yes, you’ll still have neighbors, but they won’t be living right behind your bedroom wall anymore.
When you’re renting a home or apartment, you don’t have a lot of freedom to customize your living space. Even something as simple as painting the walls needs to be first approved by your landlord. In most cases, renters are encouraged to keep the walls white so the space will be ready for the next set of renters. There’s very little personalization that can happen when you’re renting a space from someone else.
On the flipside, when you own a home, you have complete freedom to paint it or decorate it however you like. Even if you want bright orange walls, you won’t need someone else’s approval before you make the change (except maybe your spouse or significant other)! Since the house is yours, you can do almost anything you want with it. Just be sure to check any city or HOA regulations before making major changes to the landscaping or exterior of your home.
3. Pride and Ownership
Owning a home gives you an immediate sense of pride and ownership. You’ll find that it’s actually enjoyable to take care of your property and keep it looking nice. Everything you do to improve your home will directly benefit you as the home owner and can increase your property value.
When you rent a home, on the other hand, you don’t usually have an incentive (or permission) to make improvements to the house or property. You can make small, non-permanent changes to the interior when you decorate, but that’s about as far as your freedom goes. If you’ve always longed to take pride in your own property and create beautiful indoor and outdoor living spaces, buying a home may be the perfect decision for you.
4. On-Site Parking
Finding a place to park when you rent is a constant battle, unless you have your own designated parking spot on-site. If you live in a busy apartment building and don’t have a designated parking spot, you could end up walking several blocks from your car to your apartment. While this might be considered a benefit if you’re into fitness, it can be extremely inconvenient after a long day at work or if you’ve just been shopping and have dozens of bags to haul inside.
When you own a house with its own attached garage, you don’t need to worry about finding a good parking spot before the end-of-day rush. You also have the benefit of knowing your vehicle is safer from criminals than it would be if it were parked on a side street somewhere. You’ll also be able to prevent your vehicle from freezing over in the winter or becoming scalding hot in the summer if it’s enclosed in a garage.
5. Space for Friends
Entertaining others becomes much easier when you own rather than rent. You can set up your yard for a summer barbeque or invite friends over for poker night without worrying about disturbing fellow renters. Depending on where you live and your local regulations, you may also have extra parking space available for guests along the sidewalk in front of your house. If you’ve been renting for a while, you’ll fall in love with how easy it is to host parties and events at your own home. Just keep noise ordinances in mind!
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6. Room for Growing Family
It’s easy to see why growing families are drawn toward owning a home. Creating a safe space where your children can play and grow is a worthy goal that can be realized through home ownership. When you own your property, you can make it as kid-friendly as you want. Your vision of a family-friendly home may be a large playground in the backyard or a slide that extends from your deck to a sand pit in your yard. The possibilities are endless!
7. Wise Investment
No matter what size of home you purchase, it will become one of your greatest assets. A home is a wise investment that typically doesn’t lose much value over time. In fact, depending on the housing market, where you live, and how well you take care of your property, your home could rise in value over time. If you want to have financial stability when you’re older, one of the smartest things you can do is purchase a home while you’re young. You can even build equity in your home that can be used to make improvements later.
8. Tax Benefits
There are appealing tax benefits you can take advantage of once you’re a homeowner. Although you shouldn’t purchase a home solely for tax benefits, you should be aware of the deductions for which you qualify as a homeowner.
If you itemize, you can write off interest on your home debt up to a certain amount. Under the new tax law, you could deduct the interest on up to $750,000 of your new mortgage if you file jointly and are married. If you file separately, you can write off up to $375,000 of mortgage debt. The cap used to be larger for individual filers (up to $500,000). If you purchased your home prior to the end of 2017, you may still be eligible for the larger cap. It’s a good idea to talk with your tax preparer about the deductions you can claim as a new homeowner.
In addition to this tax benefit, you can also receive tax-free profits on the sale of your home if you have only lived in it two years out of the last five years. If filing jointly (married), you can receive up to $500,000 in tax-free profit from the sale of your home. If you’re filing individually, you can receive up to $250,000 in tax-free profit.
9. Grow Your Own Food
Unless you have a very lenient landlord, being able to tend your own garden is unlikely while you’re renting. Creating and harvesting your own garden is not only personally fulfilling, but it can also help you save money on groceries in the spring and summer months. When you purchase a home, you’ll have the ability to set aside space for your own garden. You can also plant as many trees, bushes and flowers as you want. Creating an outdoor oasis is one of the most fun and fulfilling aspects of owning a home.
10. Personal Space
Whether you work, go to school, or stay home with children, having a space of your own is essential to your well-being. Coming home to a peaceful property you can call your own and being surrounded by those you love is very therapeutic, especially in today’s frantic, fast-paced world. While renting can give you some semblance of privacy, the space never truly feels like your own because it technically belongs to someone else.
Experience the Benefits for Yourself
Want to know why buying a home is a priority for 75% of Americans? To experience the benefits of home ownership for yourself, start preparing today. Review your budget, figure out how much house you can afford, and save up for your down payment. You may also want to find a good agent who will help you find the type of house you’re looking for without exceeding your budget.
If your credit score is low, take some steps to bump it up before you purchase your home so you can take advantage of low interest rates. There are several ways to quickly improve your score, including paying down high balances on credit cards, avoiding any late payments and raising credit limits. To find out how you can take advantage of low rates on 30-year, 20-year, or 15-year fixed mortgages, contact Deer Valley Credit Union today.
This article is intended to be a general resource only and is not intended to be nor does it constitute legal advice. Any recommendations are based on opinion only.
Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change and may vary based on creditworthiness, qualifications, and collateral conditions. All loans subject to approval.