Janis Peterson, GRI, ABR, CSP Realtor®
Philadelphia Main Line Homes and Real Estate
Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester Counties
Relocation Specialist
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Subject: Owning A Home Has Its Benefits

Can I afford a home? Will I qualify for financing? Where should I live? Consumer doubts about the purchase of a first home are sometimes considerable. However there are at least eight reasons you should add "Purchase My First Home" to your list of New Year's resolutions. Consider these benefits of homeownership. .

  1. Pride of Ownership
    Owning your own home adds to your own sense of self-esteem and personal pride. The satisfaction that comes from feeling connected to the land you occupy and the home in which you live is ages-old.

  2. Security of Tenancy
    With homeownership comes stability. When renting, you never know when you may have to move because of new ownership, rent increases or other changes. As a homeowner, you decide when and if you want to move.

  3. Privacy
    While there are usually some limits on the access landlords have to property, almost all landlords can access your property for necessary inspections and maintenance. For many renters, this lack of privacy is a significant discomfort. Homeowners on the other hand generally have much stronger property rights and experience an increase in perceived and actual privacy.

  4. Decorating
    Homeowners are free to decorate, remodel and accessorize a home any way they want. Not only do you have the right to make improvements, but the value of those improvements becomes yours as well. Having your living space and exteriors just the way you want them can significantly increase your satisfaction with your living environment.

  5. Financial Predictability
    When you buy a home with a fixed-rate mortgage, you have more predictability over future housing costs. Because your interest rate never changes, the amount of your payment never changes. Financial planning and credit are more easily managed with a fixed-rate mortgage compared to renting.

  6. Building Equity
    When you own your own home, you pay rent to yourself instead of a landlord. Most homeowners pay for their purchase by obtaining a mortgage. As you pay off that mortgage, your equity builds and you gain an increasingly larger share in a valuable asset. Over time, that asset can work for you in many ways, such as home equity lines of credit. And of course, a home is a wonderful asset to pass along in an estate.

  7. Investment Appreciation
    There are certainly no guarantees of property value appreciation. In the long-term, however, real estate valuations almost always increase. This means that when you decide to sell your home, its value may be significantly higher than when you purchased it. The difference in value is called appreciation. You can reinvest that appreciation in other real estate or you may wish to downsize and keep the value of that appreciation for retirement or other purposes.

  8. Tax Benefits
    In the United States, the cost of home mortgage interest and property taxes are usually tax-deductible. Depending on your circumstances, thousands of dollars in taxes can be saved each year. These tax savings are not limited to federal taxes either. Many states and localities either base their tax system on the federal system or offer similar incentives to homeownership. Some additional benefits are designed specifically for first-time homebuyers.

If you still have doubts, contact a real estate professional in your community. He or she can answer questions you may have about homeownership and explain the buying process to you. Make "Purchasing A Home" one New Year's Resolution you keep.

"Real Service in Real Estate." For a personal consultation on buying or selling real estate, Janis Peterson, GRI, ABR, CSP Realtor® can be reached at (610) 642-3744, e-mail: jp4re@pahomes.com. Prudential Fox & Roach RealtorsŪ is an independently owned and operated member of The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.

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