The average cost of an apartment in Richmond as of February 2018 was $1171 a month, a 6.5% increase from 2017, according to RentJungle. With the average rent in the Richmond area rising, many renters are looking towards owning their own home instead. It can be a daunting idea at first, but there are many advantages of home ownership.
The most obvious perks of owning a home are the monetary benefits. Real estate is an investment in yourself. Each time you pay your mortgage payments, you are earning equity in your home. Equity is the difference between the market value of your home, and the amount still owed on the loan. When you resell the home, the amount of equity you have in the home would determine how much you receive after the mortgage is paid in full.
Having home equity also means that you can get a loan using that equity as collateral. Home equity loans are often used for things like updates to the house, or for emergencies. Interest rates on home equity loans are often lower than they would be on a credit card. Although you certainly shouldn't treat your house as an ATM, it is definitely a benefit to be able to take out a home equity loan if necessary.
Another monetary advantage of home ownership is tax breaks. Homeowners can deduct mortgage interest and property tax payments from their federal income taxes. Additionally, some repairs done to your property can be deducted in the year that you sell that home- so save your receipts!
Stability is another perk of home ownership. Rent is likely to increase with little notice, whereas your mortgage payments will not. In fact, as the interest portion of your monthly mortgage payments decreases, you will actually start to pay less over time.
In a rental situation, you often have restrictions on your living situation. Some property managers do not allow pets, or charge high fees for certain types of animals. Painting walls, hanging decorations, and other personal touches are usually not allowed. If you own your own home, the possibilities for decorating, remodeling and landscaping are virtually endless!
One of the best parts of purchasing a home is the feeling of pride that comes with it. You work hard for your money. Why give it away to a landlord every month and have nothing to show for it when you could be paying yourself instead? A home is probably the biggest purchase you will make, but also the smartest and the one that will pay off the most in the long run. Invest in yourself and your future- stop paying rent and become a homeowner!
Written by Haley Beck, REALTOR with Treehouse Realty VA, a Long & Foster Gold Team