When buying a home, as with most endeavors, the more you know, the easier it will be. Proper planning will help you to focus on what you want out of your real estate purchase. Furthermore, planning will help you anticipate and prepare for requests from brokers, lawyers, lenders and a host of other professionals. This will allow you to complete your transaction with a minimum of hassles.
It is important, first of all, to decide why you want to purchase a home. For instance, home ownership offers several advantages over renting. It can be an investment, comes with significant tax advantages, offers fixed housing expenses, gives you control over your environment and provides several intrinsic benefits such as pride of ownership, security and independence.
Advantages of ownership
More than just a place to live, the real value of home ownership comes from owning a piece of real estate that may increase in value over time. Historically, homes appreciate in value and a profit can be made on the sale of your home. With traditional “principal and interest” loans, each monthly house payment you make goes toward paying off your loan and earns you a greater percentage of, or equity in, your home. Monthly rent payments earn you no equity and cannot later be recovered, as mortgage payments can, when you sell.
This means it is important to examine a house’s potential payoff as well as its curb appeal. How much a home increases in value depends on many different things, like the neighborhood, its age and upkeep and the strength of the housing market. As with other investments, you may also lose money. For example, if you only possess your home for a short time before having to sell, your property may not have appreciated enough to recapture your closing costs, including any down payment you made.
Currently, the federal income tax code offers several advantages for home owners. The biggest typically comes from the deduction for mortgage interest paid. For instance, if you are making a $1,000 monthly mortgage payment of which 80 percent goes toward interest, you can deduct around $9,600 a year. Consult a tax professional for details.
Unlike rent, which can increase annually, most mortgages have fixed or capped monthly principal and interest payments. This can provide the financial security that comes from knowing what your housing expenses will be from year to year. Home ownership also allows you to tailor your environment to match your individual tastes and needs. Of course, this means that--in most cases--you are responsible for all of the repairs and maintenance on the property, while if you rent, your landlord likely maintains the property and takes care of any problems. Some home and condominium owners’ associations maintain shared or common areas of a development.
Selecting a REALTOR
Though no law requires the use of one, a licensed REALTOR will provide a wide range of services and advice to assist you with the home buying process. In addition to finding available properties. See more about the benefits of using a REALTOR.
Equal Opportunity in Housing
Ohio and federal law both prohibit discrimination in the buying, selling, or renting of real estate based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin. Additionally, Ohio law prohibits discrimination based on ancestry or military status. Fair housing law covers discrimination in offering, showing, selling and renting homes, apartments, condominiums, and cooperatives. Anyone who feels that he or she has been discriminated against should contact the Ohio Civil Rights Commission or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).