People want to have a home of their own where they can raise their family, share with their friends and retreat from the world to feel safe and secure. The emotional reasons for owning a home have never changed.
We live in one of the few countries of the world who values homeownership so much that we have supported it in our laws. Since the beginning of personal income tax in 1913, the U.S. has had a mortgage interest deduction and it was later expanded to include second homes also.
In addition to the mortgage interest deduction, we can also deduct the interest on up to another $100,000 over acquisition debt and use the money for any purpose such as to pay off high interest rate credit cards or consolidate loans.
If we make a profit on the sale of our home, a substantial part of it, if not all, is excluded from capital gains tax. For the part that may taxes, it's at a lower rate than our ordinary income rates. There are even certain protections from homeowners against bankruptcy. All in all, our Federal Government encourages taxpayers to be homeowners.
Homeowners have a higher net worth than renters as is exhibited in the 2007 Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances. Between 1998 and 2007, a homeowner had between 31 and 46 times greater net worth than that of a renter. Most of that new worth is due to the equity in their home.
Even taking into consideration that values in real estate have come down considerably in the last few years due to the housing crisis, NAR estimates that homeowners still have 41 times more net worth than renters.
Combine all of the reasons cited along with the low, low mortgage rates that are available today but may be starting to creep up and now is a GREAT time to buy a home...if you can afford it and have good credit. If you don't own a home currently, it is certainly worth exploring your individual situation with an expert. There may never be a better time to buy a home than now...whether it is your first home or you're moving up.
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