We might as well admit it. Buying a home is a defining principal of the American Dream. We all want that nice house, in a nice neighborhood. We want the satisfaction of knowing that we can paint a wall whatever color suits. Or heck, knock the wall out, and remodel. We can even change the landscape or erect outbuildings.
When you rent, there isn't any incentive to beautify the place with things like fancy window treatments, or wood floors. You'd just be adding value to somebody else's investment.
But did you know that you're also losing money when you rent?
That's right. Usually when you rent a house from someone else, you're paying their mortgage payment, and they get to reap all of the benefits of that. You're missing out on both the collateral and the appreciation (which is basically a form of inflation that benefits the homeowner.)
You also can't take advantage of the tax deductions that homeowners get. Tax deductions that can amount to thousands of dollars.
Renters also can't freeze their monthly housing costs either. For instance, if you bought a home 15 years ago with a low fixed rate, you'd still be making the same payment, which is substantially lower than current interest rates. (Homebuyers should avoid adjustable rate loans under any circumstances.) By comparison, when you rent, the monthly fee is set by both current market conditions, and the landlord's whim.
So what is preventing you from buying a home? For most people, the biggest obstacle is saving enough money for that down payment. But did you know that with a decent job, and good credit, you can qualify for a mortgage with no money down. In fact, the seller can help you pay a majority of the closing costs.
If buying a home is your version of the American Dream, you should visit your nearest Real Estate office. You might be surprised to find out how nice of a home you can afford for the same price you are paying in rent.