The seemingly endless run of bad housing news is discouraging some potential home buyers from considering a purchase. But the truth is that the advantages of homeownership have very little to do with investment gains. The best things about owning a home have a lot more to do with personal comfort and satisfaction. Here are some of them:
· Be your own landlord. The bank can only kick you out if you don’t pay; a landlord can be much less dependable – deciding to sell the property or choosing to live there themselves. · Paying the principal is forced savings. Yes, it’s possible that home prices will fall further. It is also possible that your 401(k) will lose value. But over the long haul, both are likely to enjoy modest gains in value. · Fixed-rate mortgages never rise – and eventually you pay them off. With mortgage rates at record lows, people who buy now are locking in real bargains. · Good schools. Family-sized rentals are harder to come by in areas with excellent public schools. · Spacious properties in pleasant neighborhoods. Sizable homes in attractive communities are almost always owned – not rented. Feel good about owning!
Source: The New York Times, Ron Lieber (08/27/2010)
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