Jeff Duncan Real Estate
Jeff Duncan
(360) 441-2121(360) 441-2121

Still renting?

Are you still renting? You must have a good reason, but I can’t figure out why you’d continue making someone else’s mortgage payment. With interest rates near historically low levels, and new loan programs with low down payment requirements and down payment assistance, it just makes good sense to make the leap to homeownership. Here’s a breakdown of the best reasons to stop paying your landlord’s mortgage and buy a home:

Equity. In simple terms, equity is the portion of the market value of a home that you own free & clear. It’s this concept that makes home ownership a great investment. You can increase your equity by paying down your mortgage, or when the value of the property increases-two things that are impossible when you’re renting a home.

 

Rent goes up (constantly!). Your rent goes up pretty much every year, right? Surveys show that national rents are up about 3% this year over last. When you own your home, your monthly payment is your monthly payment. That’s why it’s called FIXED. It doesn’t change unless you pay down your mortgage and refinance (see “Equity”, above!).

 

FHA and other loan programs make it easier to qualify. If you don’t have sparkling clean credit, you may be the perfect candidate for an FHA loan. FHA requirements are lower than those for conventional loans, and you may already be where you need to be to qualify. You don’t need a 20 percent down payment anymore either. Try 3.5 percent or even zero, if you qualify for down payment assistance. Talk to a lender!

 

Satisfaction! When you own your home, you can do what you want. Want a new color on the walls? Done. Don’t like the way that bedroom window sticks every time you try to open it? You own it- you can change it. One of the best things we did soon after my wife & I bought our first house was to take a tiling class. Then we broke out the sledge hammers and reciprocating saw and tore out the old fiberglass shower insert. When we were finished installing our new tile shower surround, we were both so satisfied! That feeling lasts a long time too- just be careful. Renovation can be addicting and expensive! Make sure you learn which projects add the most value to your home so you can leverage your investment (stay tuned for next month’s article!).

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