If you've followed the latest Metro Atlanta home buying trends, no doubt you've heard people say there's no better time to buy a home than now. With mortgage interest rates at very affordable levels, credit availability relatively high and down payment requirements low, it's a tempting combination for many renters thinking of entering the homeownership arena.
For most people, homeownership will be the largest purchase they will probably ever make so it's extremely important to examine the good and the bad of owning a home.
Metro Atlanta Home Buying Analysis
With the housing market crisis of a few short years ago still in the recent memory of many prospective homebuyers, it's only natural that renters are conservative, cautious and even slightly skeptical. Homeowners caught in the swift current of the market's disaster were swept away by having to quickly sell, move or lose their homes to foreclosure. And millions did.
Still, low mortgage rates make monthly house payments very enticing. So much so that in some markets it's less expensive to pay on a mortgage than to pay rent. It’s an attractive feature of the current Metro Atlanta home buying market. Yet, the conundrum continues: renting provides flexibility and a certain degree of freedom while homeownership can provide equity growth through real estate appreciation.
Why You Should Buy
1) Homeownership is at the heart of achieving the proverbial "American Dream."
2) With every monthly payment you own a little more of your home. Contrast this with rental payments for which you own nothing.
3) Historically over time, a homeowner builds wealth faster than a renter with net worths on average much higher than those of renters.
4) Although there are no guarantees and every home and market is different, statistics show that in the long term real estate values will likely rise or appreciate.
5) Homeownership provides tax benefits to those that choose to itemize deductions like mortgage interest and real estate taxes paid. This can make a huge difference in your tax bill, courtesy of participation in the Metro Atlanta home buying market.
Why You Should Rent
1) You can rent a home, condo or apartment with little, if any, investment in the property. Because you don't own the property, you're usually not responsible for repairs, maintenance or real estate taxes. They all belong to the landlord.
2) As the renter, or tenant, if the property loses market value it's of little or no concern to you.
3) Renting provides several lifestyle advantages that homeowners often struggle with. You have greater flexibility when it comes to relocating since you don't have to worry about selling your home.
So, What's Best For You?
The quick answer is it's all about your personal choice — and no one can decide which is best but you. If you like flexibility and think you may be moving to another city or state in a short period of time, then renting for now may be the better idea. But if you like stability and are ready to accumulate the potential home equity that may accompany owning a home, you should consider entering the Metro Atlanta home buying market.
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