Why Buying is Better Than Renting


Reason 1: Mortgages are cheap

Even though rates have spiked about 1% over the past year or so, at a 4.5% interest rate, 30-year mortgages are still very cheap on a historical basis. This is significant because in many cases, it is actually cheaper on a monthly basis to own a home than rent. In the market I live in, $350,000 gets you a relatively basic three-bedroom home, and I live in a hurricane-prone area, so we have to pay flood and windstorm insurances, which brings the total mortgage payment on a $350,000 house to about $2,400. The same house would easily command $2,700 per month in rent.

Reason 2: Your life, your way

Want to get a new family pet? Go for it! Want to landscape your yard, put in a pool, add on another bedroom, or remodel your kitchen? These are some things that are out of the question in virtually any rental situation and can be as easy as applying for a building permit if you own your own home.

If you’re a dog lover, finding an apartment can be a nightmare. Many of my friends who rent their houses are stuck with kitchens that look like something from a 70s TV show, and their landlords seem to be in no rush to update anything. The freedom to make your home truly your own is one of the best reasons to buy a house.

Reason 3: Credit

This may seem somewhat unimportant, since most people in a position to buy a house already have very good credit. Regardless, a mortgage will certainly report to the credit bureaus, and a rental company will almost certainly not. There are few items on a credit report that demonstrate financial responsibility and general stability in life better than a long history of on-time mortgage payments.

Reason 4: Equity

Having equity that can be tapped into if necessary is a big plus for homeowners. Having equity in your home is not only important to help pay emergency expenses, home improvements, or your kid’s college tuition, but simply having the equity available to you makes it much easier to get a loan for almost anything else. If you have, say, $75,000 in home equity, a bank will feel much better loaning you $20,000 to buy a boat than if you were renting an apartment.

Reason 5: Not an investment, but still much better than renting for your financial health

Even though I’ve said your home is not a good investment, at least in the traditional sense of the word, it is still exponentially better for your long-term financial health than being a lifelong renter.

Let’s say you buy a $200,000 house, and you put $40,000 down. This would make your mortgage payment $810.70 for 30 years at a 4.5% interest rate. At the end of the 30 years, you own the home free and clear, and hopefully it’s appreciated significantly in value.

If you pay the same amount in rent, after 30 years, you’ll have paid a total of $291,852 in housing payments. This is also a glorified scenario, as rental rates usually rise over time, making your actual total even more. At the end of 30 years, you’ll have absolutely nothing to show for all of the money you spent.

So, while owning your home only provides 3%-5% annual returns on a long-term basis, this is still far better than paying out hundreds of thousands of dollars and not building any equity whatsoever. Homeownership is still the way to go!

if you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to w REALTOR who can give you the answers you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

A Vacation Rental Could Make Your Trip Special


A Vacation Rental Could Make Your Trip Special

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a REALTOR who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

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Roland

 

2014 Remodeling Trends


2014 Remodeling Trends

Home remodeling may have taken a backseat during the recession, but not anymore. According to a 2013 Hanley Wood survey, remodeling sales were up 10 percent compared to 2012, and 45 percent of remodelers surveyed expected another 10 percent growth in 2014.

Home remodeling is back in again, and with the desire to improve our homesteads come a bunch of new and exciting trends we’ll start seeing next year.

1. Modern Kitchens

According to data compiled by Hanley Wood and Remodeling Magazine, 61 percent of remodelers surveyed expect to complete kitchen remodels in 2014, more than any other room in the house. And, those remodels are expected to follow a new trend.

Not so long ago, remodeled kitchens had a rustic feel with warm paint colors and cabinetry, and wrought iron hardware and lighting. Now, modern is in, with white or gray cabinetry, simple countertops, glossy finishes and minimalist designs.  Appliances are more likely to be blended into the design or hidden away from view entirely to give the kitchen a sleeker appearance.

2. Brass Accents

Brass made a comeback at home-design and remodeling conventions this year and the trend is expected to pick up in 2014. While brass is nothing new, it has gotten a facelift. Highly polished, bright brass hardware and lighting is gone; rustic, dull and hammered brass is in. The new looks will be incorporated into kitchen and bathroom hardware as well as lighting and door hardware throughout the house.

3. Updated Bathrooms

In the Hanley Wood survey, bathrooms came in second to the kitchen with 58 percent of remodelers planning to do bathroom remodels in 2014. As far as style, vintage bathrooms with wainscoting and claw-foot tubs won’t be as popular as resort-style bathrooms that feature amenities such as large walk-in showers with multiple shower heads, heated floors or towel racks, and jetted bathtubs. For coloring and style, glass tiles will be a popular feature as well as neutral and cool colors like ash gray, light blue and off-white.

4. Vibrant Colors

While the kitchen may be getting the modern single-shade treatment next year, designers have a different idea for other rooms. Bright accent colors such as turquoise, yellow and orange that were popular in 2013 have a new twist; in 2014, they’ll be more of a focal point and even more vibrant with colors such as Green Flash, Lemon Zest, Nectarine and Rouge Red, according to Pantone, the international authority on color. Designers will start featuring vibrant accent walls, main paint colors and flooring throughout bedrooms and main living spaces.

5. Sustainable Materials

Going green is nothing new, but sustainability may get easier in 2014 remodels. According to Craig Webb, editor-in-chief of Remodeling Magazine, “Manufacturers and builders are constantly getting greener and greener in the way they source materials and put up homes.”  As a result, “Energy efficiency is becoming an assumption, not an add-on.” Next year, remodels will include more renewable materials such as bamboo, energy-efficient appliances and additional designs that incorporate the local climate.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a REALTOR who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please don’t hesitate to text or call me at 615 417-8182 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

NOTE: Be sure to Like Me on my Facebook Page at

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Roland-Low

Roland