By Patrick McCarran
Real Estate Broker
Is the American Dream a thing of the past? Is there still a value to owning a home? My answer is absolutely buy a home and not because I sell them actually I am in real estate because of my belief in the value of owning real estate. America is one of a handful of countries where ANYBODY can own property. There has been a great deal of reports of the sky falling with the change in the tax code effecting the deduction of interest and caps on local and state taxes, what most alarmists aren’t telling you is that only a small percentage of loans in the USA are over $750,000 and even with the increase in the personal deductions the PRIMARY reason to own a home is UNCHANGED.
The WHY you should own is relatively easy. It seems like every day there are news reports of someone displaced by high rents or the building is sold to a new owner and they are forced to move. Rents are at a high and with the strong resistance to building they will continue to rise and be unpredictable, when you own you know what the payments will be and it your home not the landlord to dictate rules. Mortgage interest will most likely remain the largest deduction for the middle class. Mortgage interest rates remain historically low and there is affair amount of inventory from which to choose. Long-term homeownership continues to be one of the best ways for the typical American to build wealth.
So what’s holding you back? Down Payment? Many people are intimidated by the widely publicized 20-percent down-payment requirement. They don’t realize that there are many federal programs and other methods designed to help homebuyers, and even those who have lost their homes to foreclosure.
For example, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have loans available to first-time buyers with as little as 3-percent down payment and the FHA has similar programs that require 3.5 percent down and payment. If you qualify there are a number of programs and grants that can help with the down payment. With a seller credit for closing costs I have gotten buyers into a home for as little as $1500 out of pocket. For veterans, the VA program has no-down-payment loans available for qualifying military members and veterans that can close with almost no out of pocket money.
Why wait? What’s the worst that could happen if you buy a home now? You’ve already seen it, the 2007 mortgage crisis. It will take generations, if ever, before the government lets the banking systems get that far out of hand again. It is far more likely that home prices will steadily climb as they have been. Americans are getting back to work and leading the global economy out of stagnation. So don’t be blinded to the future by your past experiences. The American population will continue to grow and build families of all types, creating more demand for housing. Don’t view your home as a trading vehicle or a one-way-up investment. Instead, look at the home-ownership benefits that are mostly forgotten by today’s potential homebuyers — the chance to build equity (instead of throwing rent down the drain) and the opportunity to customize your own environment.
That’s what has always motivated Americans to own their own home. And it isn’t going to change in the long run. Grab the American Dream now. Start building wealth and stability. Call a REALTOR or a Loan officer you have nothing to loose and everything to gain.
Patrick McCarran is a local Realtor and Broker He can be contact by phone or text at (925) 899-5536, DRE#01325072 firstname.lastname@example.org or www.CallPatrick.com. An independently owned and operated office. Equal Housing Opportunity.