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The Simple & Powerful Truths of Homeownership

By Thomas C. Schultheis
2019 President 
Santa Barbara Association of REALTORS® 

This week I wanted to give my readers who are renters a simple reminder about all the reasons why homeownership is a good idea.

1.     Paying off a mortgage over time:   I think that all renters can agree that it really hurts knowing that you pay a large amount on money in rent every month and that you will never see that money again.   Conversely, with most mortgages, a portion of your monthly payment is applied to reducing the principal balance itself and the other portion is an interest payment. Personally, I love watching my mortgage balance go down every month, knowing that it will eventually be fully paid off and that my living expenses will go way down at that time because I will no longer have a mortgage.

2.     Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction: This year, couples filing jointly may deduct interest on qualified home loans up to $750,000.   This is a great deduction that helps so many homeowners during tax time.    This would be an approximately $20,000 deduction on a $500,000 conventional loan at 4%.  Talk to your accountant to learn more about this!

3.     Property Tax Deduction:  For 2019 you deduct up to $10,000 ($5,000 if married filing separately) for a combination of property taxes and either state and local income taxes or sales taxes.  Again, this offers further financial assistance when you are filing your taxes.Again,  this is another topic to chat with you accountant about!

4.     Stability:  As long as you make a responsible purchase you can feel rest assured that you will never be forced to move unless you want to. This stability helps homeowners plan for the future and better establish themselves in their community.

5.     Appreciation:  While real estate markets are in a constant state of flux, history has shown us that values increase over time.   So in addition to paying off a mortgage over time and utilizing the tax benefits associated with homeownership the value of your home will likely increase over time.  Sadly, renters are not able to reap any of these benefits.

6.     Increasing the value of your home through improvements: It’s as simple as it sounds. If your home is located in an area that can support higher values than what you paid, you should be able to invest time and money into the appeal and condition of your home to increase its value.  Again, a renter does not have this opportunity. These are just some of the reasons that ownership is so appealing.  I’m not mentioning them to make anyone feel bad for renting, or to say that renting is not an appropriate option/choice for some.  Everyone has a unique situation and ownership is not for everyone.  That being said, if any of the above reasons pique your interest, the Santa Barbara Association of REALTORS® recommends that you “Call your REALTOR®” and a local lender to help you determine if ownership is a good path for you.   

Thomas C. Schultheis is a Santa Barbara native and a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. In addition to his work on the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors, Thomas holds a Broker’s license and additional designations. Thomas lives in Santa Barbara with his wife and their two-year old son. He can be reached at 729-2802 or SBRealtorTom@gmail.com.  

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