|10 Tips for First-Time Homebuyers
1. Be picky, but don't be unrealistic. There is no perfect home.
5 Reasons You Need a REALTOR®
3. Real estate has its own language. If you don't know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it's important to work with someone who speaks that language.
4. REALTORS® have done it before. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. And even if you've done it before, laws and regulations change. That's why having an expert on your side is critical.
5. REALTORS® provide objectivity. Since a home often symbolizes family,
rest, and security, not just four walls and roof, home
selling or buying is often a very emotional undertaking. And for
most people, a home is the biggest purchase they'll every make. Having
a concerned, but objective, third party helps you keep
focused on both the business and emotional issues most
important to you.
7 Reasons to Own Your Own Home
1. Tax breaks. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay
on your mortgage, property taxes you pay, as well as
some of the costs involved in buying your
2. Gains. Over last five years (1998-2002) national home prices have increased at an average of 5.4 percent annually. And while there's no guarantee of appreciation, a 2001 study by the National Association of REALTORS® found that the typical homeowner has approximately $50,000 of unrealized gain in a home.
3. Equity. Money paid for rent is money that you'll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home.
4. Savings. Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. And when you sell, you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple) as gain without owing any federal income tax.
5. Predictability. Unlike rent, your mortgage payments don't go up over the years so your housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer. However, keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs will rise.
6. Freedom. The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and be able to benefit from your investment for as long as you own the home.
7. Stability. Remaining in one neighborhood for several years gives you
a chance to participate in community activities, lets
you and your family establish lasting friendships, and offers your children
the benefit of educational continuity.
Tax Benefits of Home Ownership
$12,577 = Total deduction
$3,521.56 = Amount you have lowered your federal income tax (at 28 percent
Note that mortgage interest may not be deductible on loans over $1.1
million. In addition, deductions are decreased when total income reaches
a certain level.