Six Reasons Why Renting A Home May Be Better Than Buying

For generations, people have been pursuing the dream of home ownership, but these days more people are considering renting a home than ever before. As homeowners and young families have grown savvier, some have discovered that renting may be the better choice for them. While there are advantages and disadvantages to both home ownership and renting, renting is becoming more popular for a variety of reasons.

1. Not Having to Come Up With a Down Payment

It can be difficult to come up with a significant amount of cash for a down payment on a home, particularly when you’re trying to raise a family. If you rent your home, you’re spared the burden of having to either give up your savings or waiting for years to raise the extra cash. Even with a security deposit, the cost of renting is much less than the cost of closing, particularly when you take into account the additional closing costs for buying a house.

300 B Kindale duplex
This attractive, two bedroom duplex is available in Ellwood City, PA

 

2. No Need to Do Repairs or Costly Improvements

A first time home buyer is often surprised by how often unexpected expenses seem to arise. If you rent your home, you don’t need to worry about paying for a plumber to fix a leak or learning how to do repairs. When your roof leaks, you simply call your landlord rather than try to come up with hundreds or thousands of dollars for repairs.

 3. No Real Estate Taxes

While real estate taxes vary widely depending upon where you live, the size and condition of the house and other factors, you can assume that you will need to pay several thousand dollars on a home you own.

4. Unstable Property Values

Although housing values are now stabilizing, they haven’t yet recovered fully from the housing bubble of 2008-2012, when the value of homes plummeted in a poor market. Many homeowners ended up holding mortgages for homes that are now worth less than what they owe on them. By renting, you avoid an uncertain market that could saddle you with an underwater mortgage or foreclosure proceedings.

5. More Housing Flexibility

Buying a house ties you to one location for quite a while, so if you’re planning on growing your family or there is a chance your job could mean a move to another location, renting may be a better option. Renting also gives you the flexibility to move if your needs change. You can either downsize or upsize your living space and expenses much more easily if you rent.

6. Lower Insurance Coverage Expenses

Anyone who has a mortgage has to have a homeowner’s policy in place that will cover the house and the mortgage. Renters, on the other hand, aren’t required to have insurance. You can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $100 per month for homeowner’s insurance for an average size house. The cost of renters’ insurance is so low, however, that you really should invest the approximately $10-$15 per month that will protect your furniture and belongings.

If you’re ready to rent a home in the Ellwood City, PA area, check out the listings at Look At My Homes, where you’ll find homes to fit every budget.

 

2016: For Homebuyers, It’s a Very Good Year

The New Year always brings new plans, including plans to move to a new address. A fresh start in a new (or new to you) home is always exciting, but it can be particularly exciting when everything falls into place for home buyers, and 2016 promises to be one of those years. Some recent changes in the industry as well as positive financial indicators all mean that if you’re considering buying now, you’ll be able to take advantage of a great market. There are several reasons that this may be the time for you to start shopping for your home:

  1. Mortgage interest rates are still low

Although flexible mortgage rates do flutter up and down, they are as a whole still quite low and will probably remain that way throughout 2016. If you have decent credit, you can find a fixed rate mortgage with interest rates as low as 4-4.5%.  This gives buyers more flexibility on what they can afford to purchase since they will be saving thousands over the life of the loan compared to the higher mortgage interest rates of just a decade ago, when typical rates were 6.5-7% or higher. And there is no comparison to the awful interest rates of the 1980’s, when many homeowners were strapped with interest rates of 15% or more!

  1. The Price of Homes Is No Longer Climbing

Although housing prices plummeted during the housing crisis in 2008, they have been steadily climbing since, and you won’t have to contend with the high interest rates of a subprime loan. The stabilization of housing prices is good news for buyers, who can do more comparison shopping and negotiate more strongly with sellers.

Generic-Sold-Sign

  1. You Don’t Need a Huge Downpayment

The days of needing a downpayment equal to 10-20% of the value of the house are long gone. If you have a decent credit score, many lending institutions will offer you a thirty year mortgage with a downpayment that as low as 3% of your home’s value. One excellent program to look into is the Freddie Mac Home Possible Advantage program. Their website outlines the criteria and answers common questions about this innovative home buying program.

  1. You Can Afford Mortgage Insurance

One of the caveats of buying a home with less than 20% is that the mortgage lender will almost always require mortgage insurance when buying a home to protect the lender if you fail to keep up your end of the mortgage contract. There are several ways to get this insurance, with all providers offering impressively lower rates than just a few years ago. One of the best places to get this is the FHA (Federal Housing Administration), which is currently offering mortgage insurance for less than one percent of a house’s value in many cases.

  1. Homeowners Get a Substantial Federal Tax Break

Unless your mortgage is for more than a million dollars, you can deduct all your monthly interest payments on your Federal income tax return. You will also be able to deduct any points you had to pay to the lender at closing. There are a variety of additional home buyer’s tax breaks such as real estate taxes and other home buying expenses that you can learn more about from the IRS or your local tax preparer.

With so many good reasons to buy a house, it’s a great time to take advantage of the reasonable housing prices in Ellwood City, PA and the surrounding area. Take a moment to visit Look at My Homes and take a look at some beautiful homes well within your budget!

 

Charming Starter Home on Wayne Avenue

612 Wayne

This is a charming starter home with three bedrooms, a full bath and a large front porch for those warm summer evenings! Plenty of basement storage and newer windows and doors make this an ideal home for a young family. Looking for an Ellwood City house with a home office? Convert that unused third bedroom into your office or a guest room! At less than $700 a month plus utilities, this is an affordable gem that will soon be available for viewing. But it’s certain to be snapped up quickly, so check it out today at Look At My Homes to learn more!

Want vs. Need When Home Shopping

Mansion

It’s quite a place, isn’t it? Although this probably isn’t what you actually have in mind for your next home purchase, you may be guilty of a mistake that a lot of home buyers, particularly first-time home buyers, make. You have too many things on your “must have” list, making it seem like you can’t afford a nice home in Ellwood City or anywhere else.

 

Take the “Extras” Off Your List

If you have “must have” list that’s lengthy and has lots of things that you don’t really need, consider going over your list and revising it, keeping in mind that you can add some features over time. Granite countertops? Are they a must or an extra? You can find a plenty of homes with attractive kitchens that may not include granite, but they are stylish and functional. Put the granite on the list of “things to do” somewhere down the line if you find a house that’s the right size, in the right location and in your price range. After all, putting your own, personal stamp on your new house is part of the fun!

Focus on the Big Picture

Start by making a list of “must haves” before you begin looking at homes so that you know what you can’t compromise on, then stick to it. If you need three bedrooms because you have a child and need either a home office for your work or a guest room for your frequently visiting parents, stand firm and let us know that a one-bedroom house just won’t work for you.

Focus on the essentials – how many rooms you need, whether you have to have a garage or a yard, etc. You can compromise on the details because they are usually easy, relatively inexpensive fixes that you can do now or later. At Look At My Homes, we want you to feel confident that the house you purchase or rent from us will be the right home for your family. If you have questions, ask! We’ll answer you honestly and help you find the Ellwood City house that’s right for you, your family and your wallet.

 

 

Introducing the Look At My Homes Blog

Advice for homeowners, home shoppers and home renters in Ellwood City and the surrounding area.

Look At My Homes has been buying, selling and renting homes in the Ellwood City, PA area for years. We take pride in providing beautiful, safe and affordable home opportunities to everyone, whether you want to rent a home in Ellwood City or you’re interested in purchasing. Because we offer so many great properties, we’ve decided that we’d also like to be your full service stop for advice on everything from what to look for when signing a lease to how to take care of your deck or winterize your house.

If you have questions, please add them to our comments section and we’ll strive to answer you as soon as possible.  In the meantime, we hope you’ll enjoy our blog and that you’ll check out Look At My Homes, where you’ll find a complete listing of all our “For Sale” and rental properties. One of them is just waiting to be your next home!