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Homeownership – To buy, or not to buy?

There’s no place like home — but does that mean you must purchase one to get the benefits? Buying a home is a major investment, and we’re here to help you weigh the pros and cons of homeownership.

PROS OF BUYING A HOME

There’s a reason buying a home is considered a core component of the American Dream. It’s an impressive accomplishment that allows you to put down roots and transition to an exciting, new phase of life — but that’s not the only advantage.

• You can deduct the interest on your mortgage and your local property taxes on your tax return, which can reduce your taxes and free up cash for investing.

• You build equity as you pay off your mortgage, increasing your share of the property’s value.

• You may be able to get a home equity loan or line of credit using the equity you have built; simply put, your home’s equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on your mortgage. These options generally have lower interest rates than personal loans, and you often can deduct at least a portion of the interest you pay on your taxes.

• If your house increases in value over time, you may make a profit when you decide to sell.

 

CONS OF HOMEOWNERSHIP

Buying a home is not all rosy. Consider the disadvantages as well.

• When you get a mortgage, you’re committing to the payments for a long time. Your financial situation could change, making it hard to afford the payments.

• There’s less flexibility when you buy a home rather than rent. True, you can sell your home, but that means more work on your part. If you’re not confident you’ll be staying in one place for a while, buying a home may not be worth the effort.

• Homeownership is not cheap. Unlike a rental, the repairs in a home you own are entirely up to you. As a rule of thumb, general upkeep will cost 1-4 percent of a home’s total value each year.

 

TIME TO BUY

If you think buying a home is the right choice for you, the next steps may feel overwhelming — but they don’t have to be. Once you’re ready, look into housing prices in your area, make a plan to save up for a down payment and talk to a financial institution about the right mortgage for you.

 

Navigator Credit Union has 12 branches along the Mississippi and Alabama coasts. Learn more at navigatorcu.org, or call 800-344-3281.800-344-3281, option 5.

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