Homes of Distinction Realty



Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 5/30/2019

With rent prices soaring in many areas of the U.S., renters are starting to consider whether now is the right time to start saving for a down payment on a home.

Depending on where you live and what your timeline is for buying a house, you might be wondering the same thing.

So, in today’s post, we’re going to talk about how to break down your rental costs to determine whether it makes more sense to buy a home rather than continue renting.

Add up your rental costs

There are any number of costs associated with renting depending on your lease agreement. Some renters are required to pay their own heating and utilities, while others have several bonuses thrown into the cost of their rent, such as internet, gym memberships and more.

So, take a minute to write down each of your rental expenses. To get you started, here’s a list of some of the most common costs for renters:

  • Monthly rent

  • Electric bills

  • Heating bills

  • Trash removal

  • Renter’s insurance

  • Parking fees

Now that you know how much you put toward renting each month, it’s time to take a look at what it could cost you to own a home.

Homeowner expenses

The key thing to remember about buying a home is that your costs can vary widely based on the size of your home, where it’s located, and a number of other factors. However, you can often find area averages online.

If you’re considering a starter home (which you should!), then you’ll want to look at houses in your area that are on the lower end of the market.

To get an idea of what your mortgage payments and monthly interest will be, you can use a free tool like Bankrate.

Now, let’s make a list of your homeowner expenses:

  • Mortgage payment

  • Home insurance

  • Trash removal

  • Utilities

  • Heating and AC costs (plan for higher costs than renting due to more space)

  • Electricity

  • Property taxes (divided by 12)

  • Mortgage insurance (if you don’t have a 20% down payment saved)

Cost-benefit analysis of owning a home vs renting

Now that you know the general costs, you’re getting close to knowing whether it would be cheaper or more expensive to buy a home than rent.

However, that isn’t the full picture. When you own a home, you’re responsible for maintenance and upkeep. That means you should budget around $250 per month toward maintenance. Even if you don’t use that amount each month, there’s a good chance you’ll have to make a repair or upgrade, or even hire a professional to come and fix something on your home.

The final piece of the picture involves home equity. When you own a home, most of the money you pay each month to your lender will come back to you in the form of equity. As a renter, your money goes to your landlord and will never be seen or heard from again.

So, if you’ve added up your lists, accounted for maintenance costs, and still have enough left over to live comfortably each month by buying a home, you can most likely bet on buying as being a better option.

If not, it might pay off to rent for another year or two while you save up for a down payment so you can get the lowest interest rate and avoid PMI.




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Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 1/25/2015

To buy or not to buy that is the question. There are reasons for or against homeownership on both sides of the fence. So here are the pros and cons of buying a home. You decide... Pros: 1. It Costs Less- With record low interest rates, and low home prices a mortgage payment on a house can be less than a rental payments. 2. Equity -If you own a home rather than rent you are building equity. If you pay rent you have nothing to show for it. If you own a home you are building equity. Even if housing prices stay flat part of your mortgage payment goes towards the principal balance and eventually you will own the home. Cons: 1. You Could Get a Better Money Return-A home may not be the best return on your money. You may find a better return on capital in the stock market. If you are just looking at it in a strictly financial way there are better investment strategies. Historically, the S&P 500 has returned an average of 13.4% -- 4.8% higher than the 8.6% average return on housing. 2. It is a Big Commitment-You can't just sell your house and move quickly. It is a long term decision. If you job requires frequent moves this can be a significant consideration. Now that you have seen some of the pros and cons the decision is ultimately up to you and what is best in your circumstance. The pros cannot be disputed. Low rates and prices almost make buying a no-brainer if it fits within your financial situation.





Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 11/2/2014

Owning a home is a dream come true for most people. To them, it is living the ideal life, for others, it is the worst decision they will ever make as far as their finances are concerned. The reason for this is that there was no proper in-depth analysis before they made the purchase. Many questions come to mind when it comes to owning a home, questions like, do I really need a home? Will I stay in this home long enough to reap the benefits of owning it? Am I ready for the financial responsibilities associated with owning this home? Owning a home is a major financial investment and should not be done without a proper understanding of all aspects of ownership. Below is a  look at the pros and cons of owning a home, this should help prospective home owners determine if owning a home is in their favor. Pros and Cons of Owning a Home There is the need to consider the financial impact owning a home will have on you. Would being a home owner have a positive effect on your financial position? Let us look at the advantages and disadvantages from a balanced point of view before arriving at a conclusion. The Pros

  • As a home owner, you have greater privacy.
  • There is a great possibility that your home will increase in value.
  • You tend to have a stable cost as compared to renting because most mortgage rates are fixed.
  • Interest and property tax portion of your mortgage is tax deductible.
  • There is pride and a healthy self-esteem associated with owning a home.
The Cons
  • The financial commitment associated with owning a home is long term.
  • All maintenance related expenses associated with your home is your responsibility.
  • When you own a home, you are more likely tied to your community making it more difficult to suddenly relocate.
  • When buying a home, there is a down payment, mortgage payment and closing cost.
  • If you do not make the mortgage payment, your home can be taken by the bank.
  • There is no guarantee that the value of your home will increase.
Pros and Cons of Renting a Home The Pros Depending on your financial standing, renting a home might be a preferred option. Here are a few pros and cons associated with the renting.
  • It may be a cheaper option than buying a home with comparable size. Your rent might also cover the monthly utilities.
  • It affords more flexibility especially when you have a job that requires you to move from place to place.
  • Maintenance expenses are not on you. The landlord is responsible for all maintenance from plumbing to electricity as well as other expenses associated with household repairs.
The Cons
  • You are not entitled to a tax break. When you file for a tax return, you cannot claim deduction for property tax and mortgage.
  • Your rent is not fixed and there is the possibility that it would increase from year to year.
In summary, there are several factors to consider when deciding whether or not to buy a home as ownership is not for everyone. This important decision should be based on your present financial status, the nature of your job and what plans you have for the future.





Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 3/16/2014

Buying a home is a very important decision. Before you rush into a home you should consider all the factors. Making sure you end up with the right home involves figuring out exactly what features you need, want and don't want in a home. Before starting your search, you should make a "wish list" to decide which features are absolutely essential, which nice “extras” are if you happen to find them, and which are completely undesirable. The more specific you can be about what you're looking for from the outset, the more effective your home search will be. Also keep in mind, that in the end, every home purchase is a compromise. Create your own personalized "wish list" and when you're finished filling it out; share it with your real estate agent. Become an educated buyer •The web is one of the best ways to search for homes today. With this website, you can receive daily emails with new and updated listings from the towns and price range of your choice. •Search the entire MLS for all homes, condos, land, multi family, commercial properties, and past sold properties at your convenience. •View full listing sheets showing amenities, taxes, lot sizes, beds, baths, rooms, siding, fireplaces, garages, room sizes and much more. •Get property addresses and see where the properties are located on MapQuest. •Check schools and community profiles of your preferred towns. •Save preferred listings in your own file to view anytime. •Calculate approximate mortgage payments for specific properties. Home Inspection Once you have made an offer on a home, you will need to schedule a home inspection, conducted by an independent authorized inspector. It is extremely important to hire a reputable inspector so that you know exactly what you are buying. Do not hesitate to ask friends, family, and co-workers for advice. If you are satisfied with the results of the inspection, then you can proceed with the sale. If the inspector finds problems with the property, you may want to negotiate with the seller to lower the price, or to pay for certain repairs. Appraisal Your lender may require you to get an appraisal of the house you want to buy, to make sure it is worth the money that you are borrowing. You may select your own appraiser, or you may ask your real estate broker to help you with this task. Homeowner's Insurance Lenders require that you have homeowners insurance, to protect both your interests and theirs. Like everything else, be sure to shop around for insurance that fits your needs. Settlement or Closing Finally Make Sure Before you Buy Finally, you are ready for the closing. Be sure to read everything before you sign! You should have both your real estate broker and an attorney present at the closing to ensure that all is in order.





Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 2/9/2014

Home prices are at rock bottom and mortgage rates at all-time lows so you may be considering going from renter to homeowner. If you are planning on staying put for a while the choice makes sense. There are a few things to take into consideration before you make the leap from renter to owner. First, you will need to determine how much you can afford. Consult with a mortgage professional to help you determine what kind of mortgage you qualify for. Just because you pay $1,000 a month in rent, doesn't mean you can handle a $1,000 monthly mortgage payment. There are more costs to owning a home than just the mortgage payment. As a homeowner you will also be responsible for property tax, home insurance, utilities, and repairs. To prepare for those costs plan on adding about 40 percent to your base cost. So, if your mortgage is $1,000, add about $400 a month for a better estimate of costs. Before you make a rash decision see if you really can afford the cost difference. Once you know the cost difference spend a few months depositing the difference between your rent payment and your cost estimate in the bank. In the previous example you would deposit $400 a month into savings. If you've been able to keep up the deposits and pay your other bills, that's a sign you can afford to buy. Now that you have been saving more you have more money to put toward the down payment of your new home. These are just a few tips to get you started. Once you have a better financial picture it will be time to start shopping. That is when the fun begins.