Owning a home is the American dream for many, giving people the satisfaction and pride of having a place to call their own. But that’s not the only reason to consider giving up your rented space. In addition to gaining more living space, homeowners enjoy the benefits of independence and a sense of achievement.
No question about it, homeownership is a big investment, but in the long run, it’s an investment that pays for itself many times over. Here’s how:
- Homeownership often costs less per month. In some places, rent is still affordable, but in many places, it’s higher than a comparable mortgage, especially when you consider that mortgage interest and property taxes are tax deductible. There’s also less cost variability over time, as long as you take out a fixed-rate mortgage.
- Homeownership offers more value for your money. While a rental property is an expense, a home you own is an investment. Homeownership allows you to build up equity over time, so even though up-front costs may seem higher, buying a home is a better value in the long run.
- Homeownership adds stability to your living situation. As a renter, you’re subject not only to rising rents, but also to building sales and changes in renters’ rights laws. When you own, your home belongs to you until you decide you’re ready to move.
- Homeownership allows you to benefit from mortgage interest. When you own your home, you can deduct mortgage interest from your income tax. That benefit goes to your landlord if you rent.
- Homeownership allows you to deduct real estate taxes. Just like mortgage interest, real estate taxes are deductible if you own your home, while that benefit goes to your landlord if you rent. Local tax benefits are also available in many areas.
- Homeownership gives you a better credit history.A major indicator of financial responsibility and stability, homeownership gives you the chance to build a strong credit history. Depending on your rental situation, your landlord may not report your on-time rent payments at all, meaning it won’t help you build good credit.
- Homeownership helps you build a retirement nest egg. If you’re married and filing jointly, you can enjoy tax-free profits up to $500,000 from the sale of a primary residence that you have occupied for two of the last five years. If you’re single or married and filing separately, you can enjoy tax-free profits up to $250,000.