Your Biggest Investment

Carl Richards sketch

HHomeownership is how many American families begin to accumulate wealth, according to studies by the National Association of REALTORS® and the U.S. Federal Reserve Board.

Buying a home should be approached as a long-term investment, providing a build-up of equity over time and considerable tax advantages. Housing is not a quick-in, quick-out investment. When purchased for the long term, housing is one of the safest investments consumers can make. No paper investment provides this kind of benefit.

The key factor, of course, is purchasing a home you can afford. In almost every neighborhood we have seen the effects of purchasing a home beyond the buyer’s means, and selecting an unsavory mortgage lender/broker. I’m sure that we all know someone personally who has gone through a foreclosure or short sale in the past three years. Being able to “afford” a home mortgage doesn’t just mean that you can make the monthly payment. Do you have an emergency fund to cover living expenses in case you lose employment?  You need to have funds available to pay your mortgage while searching for new employment. What if the furnace unexpectedly breaks down? or a fallen tree causes damage to the roof? These “unexpected” expenses are to be EXPECTED and financially planned for. Homeownership is more expensive than your monthly mortgage payment.

With that being said, if your finances are in place then homeownership is a tremendous investment. Dollar for dollar, the rate of return on an individual’s cash down payment on a house is substantial. Homebuyers typically use their own money to cover only a small portion of the purchase price, but the home appreciation they realize is based on the total value of the property.

Homeowners accumulate significantly more wealth than renters. According to the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances, the median net wealth of a renter household is $4,800, while the median net wealth of a homeowner household is $171,700. Clearly, owning a home is the best way for most families to build a nest egg.

We encourage you to explore homeownership! You can start the journey today by getting your financial house in order. Very soon you could be the proud owner of a comfortable home to live in and confident with your sound investment.

When the time is right for you, a Realtor’s® job is help you make sound decisions about buying and selling property. We know the intricacies and the valuations of the local markets, we know the pitfalls, and we know what must happen for your investment to be protected and profitable. Do not put your largest investment at risk. With knowledgeable and wise counsel, and your thoughtful consideration of your needs, abilities, and dreams, we can form a team to help you build wealth for your future.