Do you hear that?’
::duhhhhhhh dum … duhhhhh dum … duh dum duh dum dum duh dum::
That’s the “Jaws” theme (we think), and it’s getting louder and louder and faster and faster because—guess what?!—TAX DAY is THIS WEDNESDAY.
We’re sure that you fine people have already filed your 2014 returns and aren’t running about like chickens with their heads cut off, so you’ll have time to read these words about all the great tax benefits there are to owning a home.
We’re timely and stuff.
Now, with all the market fluctuations and uncertainty in the housing market over the past several years, there’ve been a lot of questions about whether or not it was a good idea to buy a home. Let us put those to bed right here and now: Not only is buying a home a good idea, it’s one of the best gifts you’ll ever gift yourself.
Assuming you can afford it, there are scads of reasons to buy instead of rent. Let’s break it down, shall we?
RENTS ARE GOING UP, UP, UP!
It’s true. Across the country, rents are well and truly skyrocketing. That’s no less true in Texas (sorry to be the bearers of bad news). The great news is that home prices are still pretty doggone low when compared to where they were before the market started to go south in the late 2000s. Mortgage interest rates are still crazy low, too, so get out there and get while the getting’s good, y’all.
Did you know that when you own your home, you can deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage? It’s true. That’s a nice little deduction (especially at the beginning of your mortgage). You can ALSO deduct property taxes, some of your closing costs, and even the costs related to energy-efficient improvements you make to your home. And if you have a home equity line of credit, you can deduct the interest you pay on that, too. Guess what? If you rent, you don’t get to do these things (but your landlords do).
CAPITAL GAINS? WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ CAPITAL GAINS.
Here’s a tasty little nugget you might be unaware of: if you have lived in your house for two years or more, you’re entitled of a capital gains exclusion when you sell your house. You heard us right: you can keep profits of up to $250,000 if you’re single or $500,000 if you’re married—tax-free. BONUS.
These are all pretty great things, wouldn’t you say? And there’s more!
On top of all these benefits, home ownership gives you a, sort of, forced savings plan. See, each month when you make your mortgage payment, you get a little bit more equity in your home. The more equity in you have, the more money you’ll make when you sell it. Owning a home allows you to build wealth over time.
Owning a home also puts you in control. Want to paint your dining room fuschia? Go for it. Want to go all Clark Griswold and put a bazillion holiday lights on your house? Knock yourself out (your neighbors might not like that, but that’s a different matter altogether). The point is that when the house belongs to you, you can, pretty much, do what you want to it.
Owning a home is great for a ton of reasons. Financially, it’s smart. Super-smart. But maybe the best part is that it just feels good, like you’ve accomplished something. Owning a home might not be the so-called “American dream,” but if it’s YOUR dream, Urban Provision is here to help you make it come true.
It’s time to think about home ownership again. Come Tax Day next year, your return—and your entire life—could be looking a whole lot rosier.