December 9th, 2010 9:56 PM by Wendy Thomas
When you think of home ownership, many things used to come to mind: building up equity, getting the tax write-offs for mortgage interest, and more. With the recent significant decline in home values throughout the nation, homebuyers seem to be losing faith in the benefits of home ownership. So when the word came that some in Congress wanted to reduce or get rid of the mortgage interest tax deduction, my first thought was that we'd have nothing left to offer buyers! It's hard in a market like this to show buyers how home ownership is more beneficial than renting, and if that huge benefit was gone, can you imagine?
Thankfully, this elimination has been avoided for now. No doubt it will be a fight in the future, but for now, we still have our mortgage interest deduction. This started me thinking, though, what other benefits there are to home ownership.
Of course, one of the largest benefits is appreciation. But this comes into play when you plan to stay in your home long term-- or longer than just a couple of years. In this market, where values are down, if you buy a house now and can stay in it until values begin to rise (at a slower rate this time, I'm sure!), you could build up some serious equity in your home!
Another benefit-- you can typically get a loan on a house that will give you a lower payment than if you tried to rent a similar house. So your monthly payment will go towards something, rather than into a landlord's pocket.
Home ownership develops a sense of a stronger family, community, and an overall feeling of being "settled".
Psychologically, being a home owner can lead to a higher self esteem, as well as a feeling of being more in control of your own life, and stable.
One article from RealtyTimes.com gives the following as the social benefits of home ownership: