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Buying a home: mistakes, tips, benefits

Glad to have you back with me.

Quick Question: Are you looking to buy a home? Do you own a Home? Do you own a few homes? Do you sell homes? If you answered “yes” to any of these, this Blog post could be a huge help in meeting your goals.

We all know the “American Dream” about homeownership, and the pride that comes along with it. As Jonathan Slappey writes in his story, “Top 5 Reasons to Buy a Home in 2012″, this dream is “a very feasible aspiration for 2012.”

One of the “reasons” that Slappey lists was Appreciation, and in combination with the low current prices and historically low mortgage rates, he writes that you can “almost ensure your home’s appreciation in the future” (He adds that “many foreclosed homes are available for a fraction of the original cost.”).

Before jumping in, potential homebuyers need to plan, and then plan again, and then again.

“Property insurance, taxes, homeowners association dues, maintenance, and higher electric and water bills are some of the costs first-time homebuyers tend to overlook.”, writes Polyana Da Costa in her story titled, “Common mistakes first-time homebuyers make”. Taking one step back, Da Costa writes that “Home buying doesn’t begin with home searching. It begins with a mortgage prequalification”. Ed Conarchy, a mortgage planner at Cherry Creek Mortgage in Gurnee, Il, was quoted in Da Costa’s story, in which he said that, “You get preapproved, and then you find a home”. so that you’ll “financial decision versus an emotional decision”. Sound advice.

Now, about those expenses Da Costa listed above; If a homebuyer spend their entire savings for the down payment, closing, etc, then what happens? Conarchy says that this is “one of the biggest mistakes first-time homebuyers make”. Additionally, in the same story, Da Costa warns that “Any new loans on your credit report can jeopardize the closing”, since lenders pull credit reports prior to the closing to “make sure the borrower’s financial situation has not changed since the loan was approved”.

Getting back on course, some other reasons Slappey listed as positives for buying a home this year were tax-related. “Property Tax Deductions” are a major benefit, as Slappey writes that “real estate property taxes for a vacation home and first home are fully deductible”. Another reason, “Preferential Tax Treatment”, which he says that since Capital Assets are given preferential tax treatment, this would benefit you if you own the home over a year and you “receive more profit than the allowable exclusion after the sale of your home” (the profit will be considered a Capital Asset).

On the topic of Taxes, the average first-time homebuyer may not be aware of the ins and outs, since they might be buy-and-hold for many years, a real estate investor would be more aware of tax incentives. In the story, “Tax incentives and tax deductions for real estate”, Iylce Glink and Samuel Tamkin write that “Real estate is one of the few businesses in which you can accumulate wealth, buy and sell properties repeatedly and never pay any federal income taxes if you follow certain rules”. They add that by using certain depreciation rules, “you can make money from renting properties and create a scenario where you might make a great amount of income yearly but pay no federal income taxes on that income”. This, however, is far outside the scope of this particular Blog post, albeit quite interesting.

“Equity Building”, which Slappey calls a “new trend being used by some homeowners”, basically means that homeowners can/do add money to their monthly payment to pay it down faster. The result is a shorter home loan length, which means owning their home faster, along with some additional benefits.

The final reason Slappey listed as a reason to buy a home this year: Pride. An example he gives is blasting your music as loud as you want! “No matter who you are, homeownership is a purchase, commitment, and journey that’s sure to bring you pride”, says Slappey.

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1 comment. Leave a Reply

  1. This is cool!

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