Below is a great post, coming from a completely unbiased source about today's housing market. It seems consumers today are very hesitant to pull the trigger on searching for a new or first home, which is understandable with today's economy, but what consumers aren't understanding is that it a great market to find a very nice home for a very affordable price, and there are so many options out there for them. Uncertainty about future job stability is of course a great reason to be hesitant, but in my opinion, people with the appropriate resources and stability should really cease the opportunities out there while they are still out there. The rates, prices, and options aren't going to be around forever, and some of the positives of owning over renting are clearly described in John's blog!
I will begin by stating that I’m not a real estate agent and derive no income from real estate sales. The information provided is to help potential home buyers make the most prudent choices regarding the purchase of a home.
As a former home builder, I have built and sold hundreds of homes and have experienced both good and bad markets. Each day I read news about housing and the economy, and while much of that news is negative, I believe the current market to have some of the best opportunities for buyers that I’ve experienced during my entire career. Below I have offered several pertinent facts for buyers to consider.
10 reasons for buying a home in today’s market:
● Great prices. In most areas of the country eager buyers can find incredible prices on homes, with many priced below the cost of construction. With the bursting of the housing “bubble,” an irrational buying frenzy that drove prices well beyond value, homes are once more becoming affordable. Many of the millions who overpaid or who borrowed against equity are now unable to maintain their payments, which has flooded the market with foreclosures and short-sales and driven home prices down near their historical averages.
● Low interest rates. With interest rates at historic lows, those purchasing a home will find their mortgage payments much easier on the budget. And once inflation returns, which will happen at some point, the low interest rates of today could vanish forever.
● Leveraged investment. A fact that most purchasers often overlook, homes—unless purchased for cash—are a leveraged purchase. Most buyers only put a small cash investment towards their purchase, often in the 5-10 percent range; and when the return on the actual investment is calculated, the results can sometimes be dramatic. And while this is not to encourage purchasing for investment potential, the long-term benefit can be a pleasant surprise.
● More choices. Home buyers generally have more choices than those looking for rentals. Buyers are not limited to style, location, or features, but can seek out their exact preferences. Additionally, they will not experience the restrictions faced by renters on making modifications, changing colors, or other alterations that would not be possible in most rental situations.
● Buyers may save on taxes. Those who itemize deductions on their Federal Income Tax can deduct the interest on their home mortgage as well as the property tax paid on their home. A tax advisor can calculate whether or not such a deduction is advantageous, but for many, the benefits can be substantial.
● Pride and stability of ownership. Those who desire to own often do so because of the perceived value and sense of accomplishment that comes from home ownership. According to studies, homes provide an anchor to the community and owners are more likely to participate in local activities, schools, and local politics, enjoying a sense of connection not often found in rental neighborhoods.
● Equity growth/long-term savings program. While experienced investors often purchase homes for their investment potential, consumers should not do so. Consumers should purchase more for shelter and the intrinsic values of ownership that cannot be measured in dollars. See: “Are Homes Still a Great Investment?”
● Unlimited choice of neighborhoods. The choices for renters are generally more limited when selecting a location, but buyers are only limited by price range and housing inventory. With today’s large numbers of homes for sale, buyers have the flexibility of finding a home near the schools, shopping or other amenities they desire.
● Security. Strangers do not have keys to your home, and homes can be purchased in areas of low crime rates, providing a sense of security. With several Web Sites offering information on neighborhood statistics, home buyers can choose the area that best meets the safety and security needs of their family.
● When you hear a door close, it’s yours. I’ll always remember the comment a friend made when moving from his apartment into a new home, “When I hear a door close, I want to know it’s mine.” Privacy, flexibility, and serenity are not concepts normally associated with rental units.
Although today’s lower home prices may be attractive, not everyone should purchase a home. Those whose employment may be tentative or who are subject to being transferred, may find it better to rent until those conditions change. Additionally, those who lack the financial resources to purchase and who have little or no savings may find that the risk outweighs the rewards. They too, should wait for more opportune times. Buying isn’t for everyone; but those who prefer to own and who meet the conditions for ownership may find this the opportunity of a lifetime—and an opportunity that can create a lifetime of rewards.
And while we all like to take advantage of great buying opportunities, purchasing a home requires both an understanding of the current market as well as historical trends that may affect the potential future value. That’s why I recommend that buyers seek the advice of a professional buyer’s agent experienced in their market to assist in the purchase process. Proper guidance is critical; what appears to be a dream purchase can become a nightmare when not properly analyzed.
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