Benefits of buying still worth price
Sometimes I read an article written by a knowledgeable person that so perfectly describes the current real estate market that I want to pass it on to my readers. Below is one from the Atlanta Journal writer John Adams. This column addresses the question that has been discussed in recent years “is it better to rent a home, or to buy one?” (photos are our listings)
If you’ve been sitting on the fence waiting for the right time to buy your next home, your gamble has paid off.
Yes, resale home prices in metro Atlanta are up about 20 percent over the last couple years, but we still have not fully recovered from the crash. Compared to renting and compared to buying in other parts of the country, prices remain attractive.
2. Interest rates are amazingly low.
Here’s the key: Your interest costs are typically the largest overall expense of owning a home, and anything you can do to lower that cost will have a big payoff.
Most of us who watch the market fully expected home loan rates to be higher by now. But for whatever reason, this has been the slowest economic recovery since the depression.
Just about the only thing keeping our economy afloat for the past several years has been the Federal Reserve printing low-cost money and pushing it onto the market in the form of longterm debt. That keeps home loan rates low.
That alone makes this a great time to buy a house.
You can lock in a 30-year fixed rate home loan today at just below 3.5 percent. The real bargain is a 15-year fixed rate loan at less than 2.75 percent. Yes, the monthly payments are higher with the 15-year program, but the low rate and fast payback slash your overall interest expense.
3. Tax benefits are remarkable.
As if the first two factors weren’t enough to push you over the edge, the tax benefits of owning versus renting are just as good as ever, and they’ve always been good.
As an example, let’s say you buy an ugly-duckling house in a nice area and move in. On weekends, you paint, clean up, tile, improve and finish out every square inch of the property. Two years later, you sell for a nice fat profit, maybe $50,000 more than you paid. If that happens, every penny of profit is totally tax free. No federal tax, no state tax, no Social Security tax, no nuthin’.
And you can do the same thing every two years for as long as you live.
4. The long-term real estate outlook is strong.
Folks are still getting married and they’re still making babies. As long as that continues, we’ll need more housing.
Last time I checked, there were 324 million people living in this great nation of ours, and most of them prefer to live indoors. That’s not gonna change.
My advice: The time is right to explore your options for home ownership. This combination of factors makes ownership particularly attractive, and locking in a long-term fixed-rate mortgage below 3 percent is an absolute steal. Anyone who buys a house today will probably be very happy with their decision five or 10 years from today.
Atlanta native John Adams is a real estate broker, a property manager, an investor, and a lifelong entrepreneur. He welcomes your questions or comments at
If this advice helps you get off the fence, call Suzie or Jim Hudson to
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