- Greater control. True, governments and homeowner’s associations exert a lot of control over what you can do with the home you buy. But it’s nothing compared to the control landlords have on their tenants. Tenants can’t remodel their apartments, or use the common areas except as specified; the landlord can forbid them from having pets, sublessors, or more than a specified number of occupants in an apartment.
- It’s an investment. Every dollar you put into the home you buy gets you “equity” — that is, an increase in your net worth. As long as you can sell your home for more than you paid for it, you or your heirs will get that money back eventually. And while it’s a forced investment, the effective amount you have to pay for housing decreases as time goes by. You’ll still be paying $2,500/month for your two-bedroom condo in twenty years, while equivalent rents will probably be much higher by then.
- Legal and tax advantages. There’s no two ways about it: Property taxes are a big expense that renters don’t have. But balancing them out is a passel of income tax deductions only available to homeowners. In addition, a certain amount of your home’s equity is protected against judgements, so you probably won’t find yourself broke if you lose a lawsuit.
- Security and pride. People who own their home tend to take better care of it, because they know it’ll be theirs for a long time. Even with San Francisco’s strong tenant-protection laws, renters can be kicked out of their apartment at any time, even if they didn’t do anything wrong. And the local market dictates whether you’ll find a suitable place, or how much you’ll pay. When you own, only political uprising or natural disaster can force you out.
- Leverage. As you build equity, you also build your ability to borrow on the value of your home through a “home equity” loan. When you meet someone who owns several buildings, it’s often the case that they don’t “own” any of them outright, but rather have been able to use partially owned properties as security in the purchase of other properties. That’s how empires are built.
You are on the road to buying your home!
Buying your home is probably the biggest financial decision you will make. Many steps go into buying a home and we are here to make those steps feel as effortless as possible. The first step to home ownership begins with you. Are you ready to become a home owner?