2012 was a pretty great year. Here’s some stuff that went well: The NASA rover “Curiosity” successfully landed on Mars. Americans rocked the London Olympics. Here in Detroit, our favorite baseball team, the Detroit Tigers, made it to the World Series. Oh yeah, and mortgage rates went down, down, down and stayed there.
We can’t always know what the future holds, but we do know one thing: 2013 is going to be another great year to be a homeowner. If you haven’t yet taken the plunge into homeownership, it’s time to reassess your financial strategy, because there’s never been a better time than now to buy a home. Don’t believe me? Here are 13 reasons why you should buy a home in 2013.
Mortgage rates are CRAZY low
Low rates are like rainbows; they’re pretty marvelous, but when they’re gone, they’re gone. Just a few short years ago, 30-year fixed rates were above 6.00%. For December 2012, they averaged 3.35%. If you don’t speak mortgage, this means that by buying now, you’ll likely save thousands of dollars in interest, because rates can have a huge impact on your mortgage payment. Don’t wait for low rates to go the way of the dinosaur; when they’re gone, they probably won’t be coming back for a long, long time (if ever).
Protection against inflation
Landlords have a tendency to increase rent every year or two to accommodate for inflation. This won’t happen if you own your home. Having a fixed-rate mortgage means that you’ll make the same payment for the life of your loan, so you won’t ever pay more unless you want to. And that’s a pretty good feeling.
Home prices won’t be this low forever
Prices have been sitting pretty low for a while now, but this isn’t going to last: home prices are officially on the rise. 2013 could be your final chance to snag a cut-rate price before it becomes ancient history.
Save a lot on next year’s taxes
As a homeowner, you’ll be able to deduct everything from real estate taxes, to private mortgage insurance, to loan points paid on a purchase. In other words, homeownership and tax savings go together like pumpkin pie and Cool Whip. Check out this Zing blog post for more on the tax benefits of homeownership.
A sense of stability
Owning your home feels a lot more permanent than renting. Your kids won’t have to worry about changing schools, making new friends, or having to start anew in a strange city every few years. If you have kids, buying a home is one of the best decisions you can make for their mental well-being.
You should think of your mortgage like a “forced savings” program. Yes, you’re writing your mortgage company a check each month, but that money, save the interest you’re paying, is still yours in the form of equity. In essence, the difference between renting and owning a home is that homeownership lets you build up your own monetary value, instead of your landlord’s.
Host a party at your place
Trying to entertain in a cramped apartment can be a bit of a drag. There’s not a lot of space, and there are neighbors all around you who get annoyed by the slightest noises. As a homeowner, you’ll have more space, more privacy, and a lot more elbow room between you and the guy next door.
Something to be proud of
You can’t help but feel a real sense of accomplishment when you’re handed the keys to your very first home. Your house is the physical manifestation of your years of hard work and financial responsibility. And nothing says “success story” like owning your very own piece of the American dream.
Paint the walls hot pink (if that’s your thing)
Are you sick of living with drab, beige walls? Are you itching to install a chandelier? Are you finally ready to build that in-ground pool you’ve always dreamed about? Landlords don’t generally let you do that type of thing. But if you own your house, the home improvement store is your oyster! You can paint, remodel, destroy or restyle just about anything in your home, whenever you feel like it, and you don’t have to answer to anyone. ANYONE!
Help your credit
Making mortgage payments on time will boost your credit score and show that you’re capable of taking on big financial responsibilities. And your credit score impacts so much more than your mortgage rate: It can affect the interest rate you get on car loans, credits cards, and any other kind of loan that you’ll conceivably take out in your lifetime. Good credit can be a powerful tool.
You won’t have to think about mortgage rates again for a long, long time
Lock in a fixed-rate now and you’ll only have to worry about rates as often as you refinance your home or move. So unless you do one of these things between now and the time your home is paid off, high mortgage rates will be a problem of the past.
A stronger sense of community
As a homeowner, you’ll be surrounded by fellow homeowners who are probably a lot like you. You’ll be centered in a strong community of like-minded people, which can be a valuable asset for you and your family.
The Mayans were wrong
Congratulations, you survived December 21, 2012. If the impending destruction of planet Earth was holding you back from your dreams of buying a home, it’s time to cast your worries aside and take advantage of today’s market conditions.
2013 could be your year. If you’re ready to become a homeowner, call Quicken Loans for a preapproval today!