Mortgage rates are low. Low rates are like rainbows; they’re pretty marvelous, but when they’re gone, they’re gone. Just a few short years ago, 30-year fixed rates were above 6.00%. If you don’t speak mortgage, this means that by buying now, you’ll likely save thousands of dollars in interest, because rates can have a huge impact on your mortgage payment. Don’t wait for low rates to go the way of the dinosaur; when they’re gone, they probably won’t be coming back for a long, long time (if ever).
Protection against inflation. Landlords have a tendency to increase rent every year or two to accommodate for inflation. This won’t happen if you own your home. Having a fixed-rate mortgage means that you’ll make the same payment for the life of your loan, so you won’t ever pay more unless you want to. And that’s a pretty good feeling.
Home prices won’t be this low forever. Prices have been sitting pretty low for a while now, but this isn’t going to last: home prices are officially on the rise. 2013 could be your final chance to snag a cut-rate price before it becomes ancient history.
Save on next year’s taxes. As a homeowner, you’ll be able to deduct everything from real estate taxes, to private mortgage insurance, to loan points paid on a purchase. In other words, homeownership and tax savings go together like pumpkin pie and Cool Whip. Check out this Zing blog post for more on the tax benefits of homeownership.
A sense of stability. Owning your home feels a lot more permanent than renting. Your kids won’t have to worry about changing schools, making new friends, or having to start anew in a strange city every few years. If you have kids, buying a home is one of the best decisions you can make for their mental well-being.
Build equity. You should think of your mortgage like a “forced savings” program. Yes, you’re writing your mortgage company a check each month, but that money, save the interest you’re paying, is still yours in the form of equity. In essence, the difference between renting and owning a home is that homeownership lets you build up your own monetary value, instead of your landlord’s.
Host a party at your place. Trying to entertain in a cramped apartment can be a bit of a drag. There’s not a lot of space, and there are neighbors all around you who get annoyed by the slightest noises. As a homeowner, you’ll have more space, more privacy, and a lot more elbow room between you and the guy next door.
Gain a sense of pride. You can’t help but feel a real sense of accomplishment when you’re handed the keys to your very first home. Your house is the physical manifestation of your years of hard work and financial responsibility. And nothing says “success story” like owning your very own piece of the American dream.
Express your creativity. Are you sick of living with drab, beige walls? Are you itching to install a chandelier? Are you finally ready to build that in-ground pool you’ve always dreamed about? Landlords don’t generally let you do that type of thing. But if you own your house, the home improvement store is your oyster! You can paint, remodel, destroy or restyle just about anything in your home, whenever you feel like it, and you don’t have to answer to anyone.
Help your credit. Making mortgage payments on time will boost your credit score and show that you’re capable of taking on big financial responsibilities. And your credit score impacts so much more than your mortgage rate: It can affect the interest rate you get on car loans, credits cards, and any other kind of loan that you’ll conceivably take out in your lifetime. Good credit can be a powerful tool.
Don’t think about mortgage rates again for a long, long time. Lock in a fixed-rate now and you’ll only have to worry about rates as often as you refinance your home or move. So unless you do one of these things between now and the time your home is paid off, high mortgage rates will be a problem of the past.
Gain a stronger sense of community. As a homeowner, you’ll be surrounded by fellow homeowners who are probably a lot like you. You’ll be centered in a strong community of like-minded people, which can be a valuable asset for you and your family.
The Mayans were wrong. Congratulations, you survived December 21, 2012! If the impending destruction of planet Earth was holding you back from your dreams of buying a home, it’s time to cast your worries aside and take advantage of today’s market conditions.
Is 2013 your year? If you’re ready to become a homeowner, call Quicken Loans for a preapproval today. When you're finally ready to move visit Penske Truck Rental.com or call 1-800-GO-PENSKE for a high-quality truck!
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post written by Christine Bilger who writes for the Quicken Loans Zing! Blog. Reused with permission.