There’s nothing like having a home to call your own. It’s the ultimate symbol of the American Dream—and for generations of homeowners, it has proven to be a wise investment. The potential benefits of home ownership include tax deductions, control over loan payment options and the accumulation of equity as the value of your home increases. Of course, you’re responsible for property maintenance—but you can also upgrade your home as you see fit. If you plan to live in one place for a few years, home ownership really makes a lot of sense.
Here are some considerations to keep in mind when you’re thinking about buying your first home:
- Location: Do you prefer city, suburbs or countryside? Do you want to live in an established neighborhood or a new development? Do you have school-age children? How do you feel about commuting time?
- A lot depends on your lifestyle. Do you want a big yard where you can indulge your love for gardening, or would you prefer a maintenance-free condo? Do you need extra bedrooms for a growing family or out-of-town guests? Do you enjoy renovating and redecorating, or would you rather find a home in “move-in” condition?
- Repairs: Fixer-uppers can be great deals—but if the house needs work, consider whether you’ll earn your investment back. Updates to kitchens, bathrooms, HVAC systems and roofs can all be costly.
- You’ll find a wide range of fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages available, including a number of programs especially for first-time buyers. A professional mortgage consultant can help you sort through all the options.