Buying vs Renting

Owning a home is a dream come true for most people. To them, it is living the ideal life, for others, it is the worst decision they will ever make as far as their finances are concerned. The reason for this is that there was no proper in-depth analysis before they made the purchase. Many questions come to mind when it comes to owning a home, questions like, do I really need a home? Will I stay in this home long enough to reap the benefits of owning it? Am I ready for the financial responsibilities associated with owning this home? Owning a home is a major financial investment and should not be done without a proper understanding of all aspects of ownership. Below is a  look at the pros and cons of owning a home, this should help prospective home owners determine if owning a home is in their favor.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Home

There is the need to consider the financial impact owning a home will have on you. Would being a home owner have a positive effect on your financial position? Let us look at the advantages and disadvantages from a balanced point of view before arriving at a conclusion.

The Pros

  • As a home owner, you have greater privacy.
  • There is a great possibility that your home will increase in value.
  • You tend to have a stable cost as compared to renting because most mortgage rates are fixed.
  • Interest and property tax portion of your mortgage is tax deductible.
  • There is pride and a healthy self-esteem associated with owning a home.

The Cons

  • The financial commitment associated with owning a home is long term.
  • All maintenance related expenses associated with your home is your responsibility.
  • When you own a home, you are more likely tied to your community making it more difficult to suddenly relocate.
  • When buying a home, there is a down payment, mortgage payment and closing cost.
  • If you do not make the mortgage payment, your home can be taken by the bank.
  • There is no guarantee that the value of your home will increase.

Pros and Cons of Renting a Home

The Pros

Depending on your financial standing, renting a home might be a preferred option. Here are a few pros and cons associated with the renting.

  • It may be a cheaper option than buying a home with comparable size. Your rent might also cover the monthly utilities.
  • It affords more flexibility especially when you have a job that requires you to move from place to place.
  • Maintenance expenses are not on you. The landlord is responsible for all maintenance from plumbing to electricity as well as other expenses associated with household repairs.

The Cons

  • You are not entitled to a tax break. When you file for a tax return, you cannot claim deduction for property tax and mortgage.
  • Your rent is not fixed and there is the possibility that it would increase from year to year.

In summary, there are several factors to consider when deciding whether or not to buy a home as ownership is not for everyone. This important decision should be based on your present financial status, the nature of your job and what plans you have for the future.

Selling Your Home When You Have Pets

Puppy and kitten and guinea pigDid you know that pets can significantly reduce your home’s value?  Homebuyers are hesitant to buy a home with pets because they are weary of odors and damage. If you are a pet owner here are some tips to ensure you get the highest final sale price for your home:

1. Start outside. The outside of your home is the first impression, it is the first thing a potential buyer sees. Fill and holes in the yard that have been dug by pets. Make sure to walk the yard and pick up any pet waste.

2. Check the woodwork. Pets have a habit of chewing. Go through your home and look for any damage. Check the floor trim, the threshold of your doors, and the corners of doors and cabinets. Also don’t forget to check carpet, window ledges and screens, especially if you have cats. Hardwood floors can also get scratched by pets too. You may need refinish your floors if they have pet scratches.

3. Check the carpet. Carpets are usually best replaced rather than repaired. It is almost impossible to remove pet odor from carpet. If the carpet has been chewed or frayed from scratching it can likely be stretched and re-tacked by a professional.

4. Look for stains. There can be stains on carpet, flooring, drywall, and trim. Make sure to repair or replace any items that are stained before a buyer sees them.

5. Address odors. You may not even notice pet odors in your home but they will be very obvious to buyers. Ask someone else to give you an honest opinion of pet odors in your home.  Make sure to vacuum daily and open windows if you can. It’s not just accidents that cause bad odors. Your pet’s hair, dander and sweat also create odors.

6. Clean your furniture. Even though the buyer is looking at the house, if your furniture is stained or ruined buyers will still devalue your home.

7. Keep the pets away. If possible remove pets from your home when showing it. You could board them, or have a friend keep your pets while you’re showing your home. If that is not possible make sure to buy pet crates to keep them locked up and out of the way.

Home Buying Tips: 5 Ways to De-stress During the Process

Buying a house can be a stressful process, especially when you’ve found your dream home and have put in your bid. While it’s easy to spend all of your spare time worrying endlessly if your bid will be accepted it won’t get you any closer to hearing that “yes”. Here are five things you can do instead of worrying and will help relieve stress instead.

Read a book – Immerse yourself in another world by picking up a book. Spend some time browsing the shelves of your local library or bookstore for something that catches your eye. If you aren’t normally a reader choose a genre similar to your movie tastes or ask a librarian for a recommendation.

Meditate – I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times before. Every time the topic of lowering stress come up you are sure to have meditation suggested as a combative tool. But it’s so widely recommended for good reason! Science has proven that meditation really does lower stress levels. With its popularity comes a plethora of options for you to experiment with. You can try in-person classes, apps, or CDs. There are even many different ways to meditate so find what works for you and keep practicing.

Exercise – Exercise may not be everyone’s favorite past time but it is an excellent way to lower stress. Don’t worry this doesn’t mean you need a gym membership or to spend hours lugging weights around. Walking, dancing and even vigorously cleaning can all count as exercise if they raise your heart rate. You can even think of it as prep for move in day.

Spend time with friends – Gather a group of friends together to catch up over brunch or go out on the town for the night. Either way, you will have a blast spending time with those you care about and lowering your stress levels. Social engagement is an important facet of human life and when you gather a group of friends there is almost a guarantee for some laughter. And yes, laughing really does help you reduce stress!

Get outside – Spending time in nature is a guaranteed way to destress with endless possibilities. You can go for a hike, ride a bike, spend time on a boat, at the beach or in your own backyard. You also have the added benefit of the ability to combine this tip with any of those given above. Lay out a blanket to sit on to read or meditate, gather a group of friends for a game of kickball, or go for a run as a group or by yourself.

Waiting to hear if your bid on your dream home has been accepted can be a stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be. By spending your time engaging in activities that help lower your stress levels you will not only keep yourself from worrying but also do yourself some good too. Whether you choose to snuggle up with a good book or go out on the town with some friends you’ll be glad you gave yourself some downtime before move in day!