Sunday, July 5, 2009

Renting Or Buying Your First Home - What to Consider

Buying and renting a home each has its own benefits and drawbacks. We will discuss the issues surrounding both home ownership and renting to aid you in deciding which path to follow.

Many potential homeowners simply don't take the first step towards home ownership because of the responsibilities associated with buying and owning a home. When you buy a home, you'll be responsible for more than your mortgage payment each month; home ownership involves paying maintenance costs, applying for homeowner's insurance, and paying taxes and fees. If you're interested in buying a Minnesota condo, the process may be even more complicated. However,you can overcome this initial barrier that may be leaving you feeling overwhelmed - by understanding some basic principles of home buying.

The first thing you need to do is to list all payments attached to your prospective home. You can usually ask your realtor for information regarding average fees, maintenance costs and taxes. Place all information on a digital spreadsheet so you can compare costs for different homes quickly. Arranging all information you gathered in this way will also give you a precise calculation of a home's total purchase price and the monthly costs you have to pay.

Ilyce Glink, author of the book '100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask' clarifies that buying a home also means you're investing in your local community because you have to pay local community taxes, and other services that you won't have to pay for if you are renting in the same locale.

Next, you'll need to do some extensive research about tax benefits. Home ownership usually does give you several tax advantages over renting, but this will vary significantly depending on your current income and the total amount of real estate property tax you will be paying each year.

If you can work out your tax benefits to include all of your deductions and current income level, you'll have a fairly accurate idea of what the total tax benefit of owning a home will be for your particular situation. It may be a good idea to work with an accountant or financial advisor for assistance in this area.

Owning a home must be seen vis-a-vis your long-term plan. You need to determine how long you intend to stay on one location. If you embrace a mobile lifestyle then you are better suited to rent a home instead of buying one. Renting allows anyone to move from one location to another easily. You can rent a home on a per year or even per month basis and be free to move as you please.

If you're not feeling settled in a particular city or neighborhood, buying a home may be causing a lot of anxiety. Make some solid decisions about where you want to settle and where you're willing to relocate to in the long-term so you can make the best decision about your new home.

Author and Realtor Alexandria P. Anderson helps clients to find and purchase Minneapolis Townhomes as well as Townhouses in Minneapolis in Minnesota.