What do Blood Drives and Driveways have in Common?

You know it’s a good thing to donate blood. People need transfusions every day across the country and someday you could be one of them. But some people don’t like giving blood. It gives them the chills just thinking about that needle going in and someone taking their blood- I mean, it’s their blood and they would like to keep it that way. Then there are people who would like to give blood but can’t due to anemia, high blood pressure, a recent tattoo etc… And then there are people like me. I don’t mind giving blood, and if it’s convenient (i.e. they park a donation station at my work) I will gladly eat a hearty breakfast and then… veins up. The best part of donating is the free oreos and juice, return on investment… knowing my blood is saving lives.

So what the heck does this have to do with homeownership?
Well, you know it’s a good thing to own a home. Being a property owner, receiving tax incentives, and having a great investment are all benefits. But some people don’t want to own a home. It’s too much responsibility, or they live in a rent controlled flat, or maybe they have it pretty sweet living with their parents. Meanwhile, others would like to own a home but can’t. Usually this is an affordability issue. Saving up for a down payment is difficult, and making a monthly mortgage can be overwhelming while still paying off student loans, car loans, and trying to make ends meet.

And then there are people like me. Homeowners.

But being a homeowner is not convenient and requires much more than a hearty breakfast to accomplish. For many of us, saving for a down payment and experiencing the first painful swipe of property taxes is enough to lose your breakfast over. Of course, the trials and tribulations experience, of owning a home is different for everyone based on the type of home purchased. Owning a fixer upper, a condo, or a brand new single family home has its own challenges.

But, big or small, resale or new, there are advantages to owning a home. Somewhere amidst the mortgage, the endless yard work maintenance, the furnishing costs (the list goes on…) are the undeniable benefits of homeownership such as:

1. Taxes incentives. Over the life of a mortgage with 20% down, you will pay approximately 150% of the value of the home in interest. For example, per the loan amortization calculator, if you had a loan amount of $600,000 at 5.5% 30 years loan, you would pay approximately $32,000 in interest in the first year.  The tax benefit here is that you don’t pay income tax on that $32,000. And considering that you may be in the top tax bracket paying 35% tax on all income… this can be a significant break.

2. A 30 year investment with big returns. While renting provides no tax incentives, no return on investment, and generally, the cost to rent increases year over year. On the other hand, owning a home provides the tax incentives, and a great return on investment.  In a slow positive market (think 1990’s) a home’s value increased approx. 50% over 10 years. Per the Federal Housing Finance Agency, if you purchased a home in the 4th quarter of 1999 for $600,000 it would be valued at $947, 627 today. And remember, your mortgage (over time) will decrease.

3. BEING YOUR OWN LANDLORD. The house is yours. You want to paint? Paint it black. You want to dig a pool? Dive in!  You want to make your living room into your own personal guitar hero stage? Rock on! You want to cook fish? Make it extra smelly. The point is, THE PLACE IS YOURS.

So as you debate between renting and owning, or struggle to save for a down payment, or cut costs to make your mortgage, remember that, like giving blood, it may be nerve racking, it may be uncomfortable, and heck, it may be a little painful. But the return on investment is otherwise unmatched.

Happy Friday!