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How to Estimate the Tax Benefit of Owning a Home

Reblogger Holly Weatherwax
Real Estate Agent with Associate Broker, Momentum Realty

If you have decided to bow out of the real estate market and rent for a while, you owe it to yourself to undertand exactly wht the tax benefits of buying could be.

With prices down and interest rates at unbelievable lows, the added tax benefits could really make  difference for you!


Original content by Margaret Woda

The true cost of owning a home in Crofton, MD, may be less than you expect.

Rent payments vs. mortgage payments… what’s the difference?

Tax Savings LessonThe biggest difference is that a lease is simply a license to occupy someone else’s property, and your monthly payments contribute to the property owner’s financial future – not your own.

Over the years, I’ve found that many renters know about the tax benefits of owning in theory, but they have no idea what it could mean to them in real dollars.  That’s why I created this guide for you to estimate your approximate tax savings and the “real cost of owning.”

Begin by gathering the information for Lines 1-5 (image on the right) before you get started. 

If you don’t know the property tax amount, look for it on the MLS printout or ask your agent; if you don’t know your Federal and State income tax rates, ask your tax preparer or estimate it using your most recent tax returns.

Now follow these simple steps: 

 6.  Estimate your annual interest amount by multiplying your loan principal amount (Line 1) x your interest rate (Line 3) = $__________

 7.  Estimate the total of deductible items by adding your annual property tax amount (Line 4) and your annual interest amount (Line 6) = $__________

 8.  Estimate your annual tax savings by multiplying your total of deductible items (Line 7) by your combined income tax rate (Line 5) = $__________

 9.  Estimate your monthly tax savings by simply dividing the annual amount (Line 8) by 12 = $__________

10.  Estimate your “net mortgage payment” by subtracting your estimated monthly tax savings (Line 9) from your monthly mortgage payment (Line 2) = $__________

Now compare your “net mortgage payment” (Line 10) $__________
with your monthly rent payment $__________
to see how the cost of home ownership compares with the cost of renting.

Wait, there’s more!

If you want to carry this a step farther, you can also consider any equity growth that occurs through paying down the loan balance each year.

Homework11.  You need to know the P&I portion of your monthly payment = $__________

12.  Estimate your annual principal reduction by deducting your annual interest payment (Line 6) from your monthly P&I (Line 11) = $__________

13.  Recalculate your “net mortgage payment” by adding your estimated monthly tax savings (Line 9) and your estimated annual principal reduction (Line 12) $__________ and subtracting the total from your monthly mortgage payment (Line 2) = $__________

Now compare this revised “net mortgage payment” with your current rent.

I’m betting the two numbers are closer than you expected! 

If this inspires you to take a look at homes for sale, just click on SEARCH FOR HOMES.

NOTE:  If this were a market in which we could realistically anticipate appreciation in property values, I would suggest another step in comparing rent to mortgage payments – estimating the impact of appreciation on the “real cost of owning.”  Since this is not the case in today's market, I will not address this step now. 


DISCLAIMER:  This is for illustration purposes based on Year 1 of home ownership vs. renting and you should consult your own tax and legal advisors to determine if this formula is accurate for your personal tax situation.  I am not an accountant or an attorney and this should not be interpreted as accounting or legal advice.

Originally posted to Focus On Crofton

Copyright 2006-11.  All rights reserved.

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DISCLAIMER: Information contained in this post is deemed reliable on the date of publication, but it is not guaranteed and it is subject to change without notice.

For information about communities, homes, and real estate in the D.C. - Baltimore - Annapolis triangle, contact:

Margaret WodaMargaret Woda, REALTOR and Associate Broker
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.   (410) 721-1500 Office
Direct:  (301)346-2923 or EMAIL

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 Momentum Realty

A GREAT Real Estate  experience.

If I can help you, your friends or family buy or sell their next home in Northern Virginia, please let me know!

If you need help with a home outside of Northern Virginia, I have an extensive network of referral agents and will make sure you are working with the best!

The contents of this blog may not be copied or reproduced without the permission of Holly Weatherwax.





Faith LaRosse
Springer Realty Group - Limerick, PA
Serving Berks, Chester & Montgomery Counties

Great information, Holly! Thanks for sharing...

Oct 31, 2011 12:37 AM
Jane & Garry Smith
Coldwell Banker Realty - Portland, ME
ABR, GRI, Realtors - Portland, ME - (207) 253-3195
Love it! Fire the Landlord is good advice!
Oct 31, 2011 01:21 AM
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc - Gulf Breeze, FL
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.

Such good advice no doubt, people should read and take actions to ensure they will benefit from home ownership.

Nov 04, 2011 01:07 AM