The Benefits of Owning Your Own Home

The life long dream of many couples is the thoughts of owning their own home. Pride of ownership, the ability to landscape and decorate as they choose, and the very real advantage of building equity is very good reasons to buy your own home. As in anything, owning your own home has advantages as well as disadvantages. This article discusses the pros and cons of home ownership.

Probably the biggest advantage of owning your own home is financial. When you pay interest on the mortgage, the interest paid is tax deductible in most cases. Paying points, either origination or discount, is also tax deductible. The principle you pay on a mortgage is similar to putting money in the bank. All these consideration add up to the value of home ownership.

Another advantage is having the ability to decorate and landscape as you please. Many rental units do not give you the option of redecorating as you please, and if allowed to do so by the landlord, oft times you are required to repaint the walls in white when your lease is ended or if you move. You can't go into an apartment and make major structural changes, such as adding a laundry room or larger bath. In your own home, you can do as you wish. To many older, established couples, this is a great advantage.

When considering buying your own home, you need to answer some pertinent questions:

* How much can I afford to pay in terms of monthly mortgage?
* Will paying utilities such as gas, phone and electric fit within my budget?
* How much will closing costs be, considering fees, points paid, etc?
* Do I have enough money for a down payment, and other expenses, such as new furniture?

If you determine that you can safely handle these extra expenses, the battle is half done. Careful planning and crunching numbers should give you an idea of whether or not you can afford to own your own home. It is then advisable to shop around for the best possible loan. Use the advantage of referrals from friends and families. Go online and research loans. Speak to the realtor who is handling your purchase for their best recommendation. Always shop around and get the best possible deals. It would be advisable to research the minimum of four different lending institutions before you make your final decision. There are many online calculators to help you in determining both the best deal, and how you stack up in the financial category.

Home ownership can be the strongest anchor in your life. Coming home after a hard day's work to your own place brings a peace of mind that is not there if you rent. There is no landlord knocking at your door with a complaint - real or imagined. You are in more control over your environment, and making a statement with your choice of decorating and landscaping can bring real peace of mind. No longer will you need to seek out your landlord if you are unhappy with the color of the walls in your family room - you simply change it.

Your children, if you have them, will enjoy the benefit of stability. Their surroundings are not uprooted every year or two if you move around while renting, and they won't have to worry about changing schools and making new friends. You can better plan for the future if you own your own home, because that aspect of living is taken care of, and has fit into your budget.

In reality, not everyone is suited for home ownership. The thoughts of maintenance, dealing with large lawns and landscaping that needs mowing and pruning, and the thoughts of spending the winter in cold climates is not appealing to many. There are couple who live in RV's, and follow the weather, always having the type of climate they wish. If things are not to their satisfaction, they can just move on. There are also older couples who winter in states such as Arizona and Florida. Many "snow birds" do not want the hassle of a home sitting empty, fearful of breaking and entering, or damage from wind or flood if they are not present in the home. These people find renting suits their needs. A watchful landlord can protect their apartment, and can easily access them if there is trouble.

Owning a home is a big decision for any couple. Once you are into your dream home, you have to plan on staying for a certain number of years to realize any profit from selling. Don't make the mistake of buying a home that you might end up hating. Do your own due diligence, follow these simple guidelines, and make the right decision for you and your family.