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Homeownership is a dream for most people, with good reason as it comes with many benefits. Most potential homebuyers consider how such a purchase will affect their finances, and there are many financial as well as non-financial benefits to owning a house. For one, when you own your own home, your assets grow larger than someone who rents. If you are considering buying a home, here are some more benefits you should know about.

Financial Benefits

Homeownership Tax Deductions

When tax time comes every year, homeowners search for tax breaks. Luckily there are plenty of tax deductions that can add up to several thousand dollars. The biggest deduction to itemize is mortgage interest. You can deduct the interest up to a limit depending on when you take out your mortgage. Home equity loans interest is also deductible if you use the funds to substantially improve your home. You can claim home office deductions if you use part of your home exclusively for official purposes. You can get breaks on property taxes, but it's limited. Add up all the tax deductions you qualify for and itemize. You should take full advantage of the tax benefits to save some money every year.

Build Up a Financial Portfolio

An investment or financial portfolio stores all your assets; it's more of a concept than physical space. A solid portfolio can help you achieve long-term financial dreams. You might even repay your mortgage early or consider other investments. You can have some control over your financial future. Whether you realize it or not, purchasing a home will be great for your portfolio. You will have a higher risk tolerance, allowing you to embrace most opportunities that come your way. A house is a major asset whatever way you look at it; it will diversify your portfolio and let you dive deeper into investing. You can start thinking about the financial steps you want to take for the future.

Mortgage Is A ‘Good Debt’

Most creditors see a mortgage as good debt since it’s secured by the value of your home. Your ability to maintain mortgage payments is seen as debt responsibility and financial stability. Debt is seen by most as the greatest threat to financial independence, but mortgage debt is the only one that defies all the rules. Credit score agencies usually add points if you can manage different debts. Your mortgage might help you improve your credit score. It's also one of the few safe loans with low interest because your property is a guarantee that the loaned funds can quickly be recovered if a problem arises. The interest is also tax-deductible, which potentially makes the loan even less expensive.

Home Equity

Your home equity is the difference between what you owe and how much you can sell the house for. The more you pay your mortgage, the more your equity grows. If you have a reliable source of income and know you can repay, a home equity loan may be an option as you can use your home equity as collateral and acquire some funds. You can do plenty of things with such loans to improve your home or invest in other things. Home equity loans are typically called second mortgages, and you can use them for large expenditures.

Non-Financial Benefits

Security and Privacy

The highest level of privacy you can attain is being able to decide who does and does not enter your home. You can use a modern security system to keep your belongings and loved ones safe; you are free to add as many security features as you want to your house. When you are renting, you won't have exclusive rights to the property, which means less privacy and security.

A Place to Raise a Family

Having enough room to play outside becomes a higher priority when you have a family with children. You want your children to have the best upbringing possible and having a home will be part of it. You can hold family gatherings, cookouts, and many other family-exclusive activities because you have the space. Apartments can restrict you from having pets. But when you finally have your own house, you can get the pet you have always dreamed of. A home gives you and your family endless possibilities, especially when you have a private outdoor space. Having a garden might also be possible; you can turn the home into your private paradise. You can also pick a location with the best school district.

Personalization

You are probably tired of making an apartment feel like home when you don’t have any freedom to customize it however you like. Home buying can change that. You have the freedom to create the home you want, starting with the house design, decorations, and paint. Pick the colors and the style you want to make your dream home a reality. Renovate the space when you see fit, hang pictures and art for a more personal feel. Customize the home to make your pets and family members (not to mention your guests) feel comfortable.

Stability and Happiness

Homeownership has a liberating feeling you will never take for granted. If you have been a long-term renter, purchasing a home is indeed a level up. It gives you happiness and a sense of stability. It’s a haven for you and your kids if you have always dreamed of having a family. Maintaining a stable environment like a home is emotionally satisfying. Putting down roots allows you to form friendships that last a lifetime. Your neighbors become part of your community which reinforces the sense of stability.

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt that home buying is a worthwhile investment because of these benefits. If it's your goal to be a homeowner someday, start working towards that. Once you own a property, you can do so many things that aren't possible as a renter. Homeownership comes with a sense of pride and feeling settled in your community can improve your quality of life.

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The process of buying or selling a home can be very complicated, so you need to be ready for what comes next after your offer is accepted.

Home buying can be an exciting and stressful time. The process of searching for homes, making an offer, and closing on a home can take anywhere from three weeks to several months. Furthermore, getting approved for a mortgage, having inspections performed on the house, and completing all other steps can quickly feel overwhelming. Real estate transactions are complex, so it's essential to be prepared for what comes next after your offer is accepted. Once your offer is accepted, the next steps in the home buying process include:

Escrow Opening

After an offer is accepted, the first thing to do is open an escrow account. The buyer and seller sign the necessary paperwork to transfer funds to ensure that inspections, appraisals, and other items outlined in the contract are completed. While the homeowner oftentimes covers the cost of the home inspection, there may be additional fees that come with the buying process. In addition, the buyer's lender will require an appraisal to ensure that the home is worth the purchase price. The buyer should also review the title and homeowner's insurance policy at this time to make sure there are no surprises down the road. This is also a good time to review the title and home insurance policy. Be sure to ask any questions you may have about either document. Furthermore, it is important to know what the escrow company is and what they will be doing on behalf of the buyer and seller.

Mortgage Documents

The lender will need a few things in order to finalize the mortgage; among them are copies of the signed purchase agreement, title report, proof of funds, and your loan application. Be sure to have everything ready to go so that the process can move along smoothly. In addition, it's important to be aware of your credit score and what you can do to improve it if needed. Most lenders require a credit score of at least 620 to qualify for a mortgage. The sooner you can provide these documents to the lender, the sooner they can process everything and avoid any delays. This is particularly important for borrowers who are self-employed or have a less-than-perfect credit history. Moreover, many buyers choose to lock in their interest rate at this time, so the sooner you submit your loan application, the more likely you are to get the rate you want.

Home Inspection and Appraisal

Home inspection and an appraisal are two of the most critical steps in the purchase process. The home inspector will check for any major repairs that need to be made before closing, and the appraiser will ensure that the home is worth the price you agreed to pay. If there are any major repairs that need to be made, this is the time to negotiate who will pay for them. Furthermore, you don't want to buy a home that has been significantly damaged. The appraiser will point out any major repairs or other issues with the house, and it is best if you know about them before going through with the sale. A home loan is based on the value of the property, so a low appraisal could lead to your offer being rejected. This is the most challenging part of the home buying process for many buyers. In some cases, a buyer can come to an agreement with the seller that covers items such as closing costs or repairs.

Transfer of Utilities and Other Home Bills

After your offer is accepted, the next thing to do is to contact all of the utility companies and transfer services. Bills can still be sent to previous owners for a couple of days, but it's important that new homeowners take control of their utilities as soon as possible. This will reduce the chances of a power outage or any damage to appliances and fixtures during the moving process. Furthermore, if the previous owners are staying past closing, they will need to vacate by the time of possession or negotiate an extension with your realtor or lawyer. In some cases, new homeowners may have final bills from the seller's portion of the home, which may need to be negotiated in the contract. Home selling and buying is a complex process that can be overwhelming for first-time buyers. By knowing what to do next, you can ensure a smooth transaction. For more information, please consult with your realtor or lawyer.

Final Home Evaluation and Review

Now is also a good time to ask for a final home evaluation. The inspector will come back and make sure there were no additional problems, and the lender will go over closing costs and how they will be paid. These can include points, real estate commissions, loan origination fees, transfer taxes, recording fees – all things that you should be prepared for. Homebuyers should also take the time to review their closing statement. A final home evaluation ensures that everything is in order before you close on the property, and it's one of the last things you can do before becoming a new homeowner.

Purchasing a home is a huge investment, contact a licensed realtor to walk you through the process and to make sure that everything is done correctly. By following these tips, you can ensure a smooth home buying process. These are just a few of the things you need to do after your offer has been accepted. With a little bit of preparation, you'll be ready to close on your new home and start moving in.

Rose Group, with Keller Williams Realty, is comprised of licensed REALTORS® and a dynamic support staff. We’ve focused on providing trusted, expert representation to real estate buyers and sellers in Silicon Valley since 2004—and now we’re in San Diego!
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