Note: The following post is adapted from The Guidebook for Buyers, a collection of how-tos, checklists, and worksheets to help buyers understand what to expect during the real estate purchasing experience. This helpful resource is available to view and/or download from our EMTAR website here.
It will come as no surprise that all of us at EMTAR are champions and advocates for the power of homeownership. And that’s not just because we are a local REALTOR® Association supporting and representing professional agents and brokers who are also part of Tennessee REALTORS® (our state Association) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
It’s also because many of us have experienced the benefits of owning a home personally over the years, and our members have had the honor and privilege of helping thousands of clients throughout Wilson, Smith, and Dekalb Counties and surrounding areas to achieve the American dream of homeownership. Handing over the keys, seeing the big smile on a buyer’s face, celebrating the blessing of watching a family cross the threshold for the first time—all of these special moments and many more make the life-changing work we do well worth the dedication and effort.
So what are some of the payoffs of buying a home? Well, they include…
1. Tax benefits. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, and some of the costs involved in buying a home.
2. Appreciation. Historically, real estate has had a long-term, stable growth in value. In fact, median single-family existing home sale prices have continued to increase over time, according to NAR data. Along the way, housing crises and economic dips have caused some to question the long-term value of real estate, but even in the decade following the 2007-2009 downturn, which included quite a few very bad years for housing, values rose 7 percent on a cumulative basis.
In addition, the number of U.S. households is expected to rise 10 to 15 percent over the next decade, creating continued high demand for housing. This is especially true in higher-growth areas of the nation, including the South, Tennessee, and our own part of the Volunteer State.
3. Equity. Money paid for rent is money that you’ll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home.
4. Savings. Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. And when you sell, you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple) as gain without owing any federal income tax. Learn more here.
5. Predictability. Unlike rent, your fixed-rate mortgage payments don’t rise over the years so your housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer. However, keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs will likely increase.
6. Freedom. The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and choose the types of upgrades and new amenities that appeal to your lifestyle.
7. Stability. Remaining in one neighborhood for several years allows you and your family time to build long-lasting relationships within the community. It also offers children the benefit of educational and social continuity.
These aren’t the only good reasons to pursue homeownership, of course, but they tick off some of the major boxes for anyone who might be on the fence about whether to embark down a path toward owning their own home.
About EMTAR: Chartered in 1969, our Association’s 1,300+ REALTORS® are a proud part of the 36,000+ members of Tennessee REALTORS® and of the 1.5 million+ members of NAR, all working to serve the public and protect the rights of America’s property owners. EMTAR members are known not only for their unmatched real estate excellence and high ethical standards, but also for being generous, hospitable, others-focused, loyal, hardworking, and eager to help wherever and whenever help is needed.