by: Diane Vespucci Re/Max Realty

Like part of the American dream, I got married, had a baby and my husband and I bought our first home. Five years later, not part of the dream -we also got divorced and that was my first lesson in equity. Half of that equity was mine.
I took it and bought a $105K home, using FHA. I wasn’t making a lot of money, but it was a step . By year 10, it was only worth about $30K more than when I bought it. I stepped up from a $600 apartment to a $950 house payment, but I paid the difference thinking it was an important step.
Professionally I was heading towards making a bigger salary, so the popular advice was I needed the tax deduction. That first year after I bought the house, I got $4000 back at tax time. A win!
The years went by and I kept that house for 10 years. In that time the price went up very slightly, but given it was on the plus side and I was getting a great tax deduction, I was happy. Imagine how ecstatic I was when a mere 3 years later I sold that house for $325K.
That was some profit. I paid off bills, moved and bought another, more expensive house, which now, even after the crash of 2007, holds a decent amount of equity. It still gives a great tax deduction, it’s a nice place to live and sometimes the value appreciates. Unlike the stock market, when the value of my home goes down, I still get to use it as long as I pay the mortgage. It’s a tax deduction. It’s a safe stash for equity. Most importantly, its a step towards independence and wealth.
Interest rates are taking a breather at the moment. They’ve risen in the past few years, but so far, they are steady, and less than the expected and touted rise. If you don’t own a home, now is the time to find out if you can qualify to buy one.
Why pay rent when for the same money – or even less, you can buy your own home? Rents are controlled by other people. Once you get a mortgage, you hold the reins. I don’t know about you, but I like owning my own home; no one is going to kick me out or sell it from under me.
I can paint the walls, own pets, install shelving and decorate – or not, exactly the way I want.
Call a professional, me or another Realtor, who will help you determine if you qualify now to buy. If not, we know people who can help with issues that may be preventing you from buying. We can even help with the first time home buyer jitters.