Buying Advice 101

Rent  vs. Own
Open  House
(What other realtors won't tell you)

Home Buying Checklist
Home  Inspection
Poor  Credit

Rent vs. Own


BUYING A HOME IS AN EMOTIONAL ISSUE, and not one that should be taken lightly. Whether it is better to own than rent is  dependent on a number of factors.

You've been renting for a while. You've enjoyed it. You have the  freedom to move without the worry of selling a home first. You don't make repairs or pay property taxes. But something's
missing -- a sense of security, or perhaps a gut feeling that your monthly payments are going into a bottomless pit.

You  think it might be time to take a step in another direction.
You're ready to buy a home, but have some questions about the benefits of home ownership.

Tax  Advantages
The US government allows tax incentives that make it possible for many homeowners to exceed the standard yearly deduction.

  • Deduct  the yearly interest on your primary home. This amount equals  a big chunk of your total payments for the first several  years.
  • Deduct the total amount of your yearly property tax bill.

You  might wish to refinance to consolidate other debts. These  loans typically carry a lower interest rate than the debts they replace, plus, the interest on the home equity loan is tax deductible.

Stable  Costs
Monthly payments can change if property taxes and insurance go up, but increases usually happen gradually. Rental fees can sometimes be more unpredictable.

No one can make any guarantees, but over time most real estate  increases in value. If you are careful about your selection and you treat the home kindly it will likely be worth more  in five years than it was the day you bought it.

Your initial investment may be as little as 3% (or less) of the home's sales price, but you are the one who benefits from appreciation of the property. Not the bank, not the landlord.

Even though interest makes up a good portion of your monthly payment, the amount paid toward the principal increases each  month. Paying down the principal increases your equity in the home: the portion of the home's value that is truly yours should you decide to sell. 

Appreciation and equity work together, helping you use your initial investment to move into a higher priced home.

The house is yours. Paint it and decorate it in any way you  wish. Put nails in the walls to hang pictures and artwork. Bring home a pet without asking anyone if it's OK. It belongs to you.

There is no greater satisfaction than owning your own home.

Home Buying Checklist


  • Determine your wants and needs in a home.
  • Pre-qualify for a mortgage (This enables you to present a pre-qualification  letter with your offer once you and your HOME AND HEARTH  REALTOR find your new home.
    It also lets you know the  exact amount of home you can afford).
  • Begin  the home search (you and your Realtor will discuss how best  to pursue your home search depending on your particular needs).
  • Once  you find a home you like. Make an offer.
  • Your HOME AND HEARTH REALTOR will negotiate the offer  to purchase and counsel you about any counter offer.
  • The offer becomes a contract after all parties agree to price and terms.
  • Continue working with lender on final approval. Have a home and WDI (wood destroying insects) inspection.
  • Schedule a walk through of home prior to closing with your Realtor.
  • Your HOME AND HEARTH REALTOR will consult with you to schedule a closing time and date.
  • We will provide representation  at closing to protect your interests. We will be with you at the closing table to share in the excitement of completing the purchase of your new home!

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