Author Topic: The Benefits of Home Ownership?  (Read 5272 times)

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Offline cramx3

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #35 on: April 08, 2015, 06:14:32 AM »
I purchased my house almost two years ago with my then fiance.  I was also scared about the commitment of a mortgage,  but I've never been happier with my living arrangements.  If you can afford rent and get a mortgage at around the same monthly rate then it's kind of a no brainer assuming you think you can live there for at least a few years.  When my fiance and I broke up, I was put into some serious crossroads about the house.  My x wanted to sell it, but I loved living there but was just concerned about paying the mortgage myself.  I ended up refinancing (to get my x off the mortgage and property deed) and its the best decision I could have made.  Now every month I gain more (albeit it very slightly) more equity into my home which I can use in the future to either take out loans or purchase a better house down the road.

Also, the biggest benefit is having something that is your own.  No one can stop me from doing what I want to my house or while I am in my house.  I can blast music, make a mess, have a party, redecorate, whatever.

You are married so this doesnt apply, but being a single 30 year old who owns a house has lead my to getting a lot more ladies.

Offline Chino

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #36 on: April 08, 2015, 06:17:52 AM »
I will admit that a lot of my hesitation toward home owning may stem from a lack of education on personal finance issues. I know how to balance my own budget, but I'm certainly not very knowledgeable on what I should pay for things, how I should go about getting loan, what kind of loan I should get, what I should put down, etc. I guess I should get educated. Easier said than done, though. Part of what's so scary to me is the risk of it all. As a first time home buyer who's also on his first real job, I don't want to make a mistake and I don't want to get ripped off, and I definitely don't want to get in over my head. Unfortunately those are all things which realtors don't seem to care much about. Oh well.

I knew nothing going in. I called a mortgage broker on a whim who was very helpful. I didn't end up using her because the bank got me a .5% less interest rate, but she still helped get the ball rolling. I got a hold of a realtor we knew and she basically took care of everything (any realtor would. They want that comish). All the stuff I was afraid of not knowing how to do she just ended up doing/guiding me on. Sure I had to call banks and lawyers and stuff, but she helped me through the entire process and made it super easy.

Offline cramx3

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #37 on: April 08, 2015, 06:25:45 AM »
My mother is a real estate agent and while she is not the most knowledgeable in terms of mortgages and numbers, she knew people who were and being that they were all people who worked with my mom, I knew they would give me trustworthy information.  And definitely shop around for mortgages cause every broker has different tricks up their sleeve and I've had some who flat out told me they couldnt get me a mortgage while others could.  I went in knowing nothing and learned a lot in the process.  I don't think anything is that complicated that one can't learn and figure things out as they go. 

Offline Stadler

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #38 on: April 08, 2015, 07:32:02 AM »
I will admit that a lot of my hesitation toward home owning may stem from a lack of education on personal finance issues. I know how to balance my own budget, but I'm certainly not very knowledgeable on what I should pay for things, how I should go about getting loan, what kind of loan I should get, what I should put down, etc. I guess I should get educated. Easier said than done, though. Part of what's so scary to me is the risk of it all. As a first time home buyer who's also on his first real job, I don't want to make a mistake and I don't want to get ripped off, and I definitely don't want to get in over my head. Unfortunately those are all things which realtors don't seem to care much about. Oh well. I guess I'll figure it out. Slow and steady wins the race, I suppose, and it won't kill me to rent while I try and figure out what's best for me.

Honestly, and I'll take the flack from this, but you sound like you have your mind made up and are finding reasons to justify it.  I have owned five houses in my life - including one in the Philly area, where you are talking about - and I don't share one of your experiences.  Realtors are like any other profession:  there are good ones and there are shysters.  just so happens that near cities (like Philly) there are are more shysters per square mile than in a small town.   

It's already been said, but don't use "small print estimates".  Get REAL numbers.    Also, no one here has factored in closing costs (which could be bad if they come out of your pocket, but which many sellers will pay or contribute to) but also the tax benefit (which is good come tax time; you get to write off all the interest you paid on your investment). 

Also, while I can't argue with the "legwork" aspect of homeownership, if you renters think you are not paying for the snow removal service or the appliances/maintenance, you're not paying attention.   Rental properties are INVESTMENT properties.  The landlords want to make money.  And they factor in the cost of appliance replacement and maintenance and put it in your rent.   Sure, in a condo or apartment complex, it gets spread out among all the properties, but it is likely in a situation like that, it is spread out if you own as well (through common fees or homeowner association fees).   The only difference is in cash flow, but even then, you tend to lose, because you are paying for a replacement appliance that, if you move out before it breaks, you don't even get to use!   

There is always the exception to the rule, and I understand that (so no need to point it out) but as a general proposition, there is no financial way that - apples to apples - renting beats ownership of residential real property.

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #39 on: April 08, 2015, 07:34:12 AM »
I was tired myself of paying rent.  It was like giving money away.  I wanted my own place to crank my music and movies and not worry about pissing off the neighbors.  At least now the money I'm paying for my house is going to an investment.  There is a sort of pride to owning our house.  I have the escrow rolled into our mortgage and we pay $1510.00 a month.  Without the escrow it's in the low $1100.00.
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Offline cramx3

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #40 on: April 08, 2015, 07:41:24 AM »
The only way renting is better is if you dont plan on staying for a decent amount of time.  The closing costs of purchasing and selling will eat up profits on your investment if you dont stay long enough to earn enough equity or for the property to go up in value.  I think for most people its the commitment to staying in one place that leads to people renting instead of owning. 

Offline bout to crash

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #41 on: April 08, 2015, 09:27:31 AM »
Agreed with the above post and a lot of the other stuff here. I just bought a condo about a month ago so I'm by no means an expert, but here in Denver it just made sooo much more sense. The market is insane and rents are skyrocketing. I was paying $1045 for a one-bedroom/parking (only because I talked them into a year lease vs. a 6-month last summer), and the guy who moved into my old place is now paying $1140 just for rent. My mortgage payment and HOA are going to be just about the same as what I was paying before, except the new place is almost twice as big. It's not in the hip neighborhood I was in before, but it's only about six miles away. I'm not a hugely committal person so it was a big decision, but really, if I decide I hate this place and need to move in a couple years, I can rent it out and then maybe buy a place in my old hood or whatever. There are lots of options, but right now I don't want to go anywhere... and I never fucking want to move again because moving sucks  :lol

Like Chino said, I did not know a lot about this process going in but my realtor pretty much did everything and walked me through it. I would also recommend talking to a lender to see what the numbers might be like- you're not committing to anything, but the one I worked with was super helpful and made it seem wayyy less scary for me. Property taxes in CO are way lower than in NJ, but still worth looking into. Like eric said, rents are pretty much just going to keep going up while a fixed rate mortgage stays the same. There were other things I wanted to post/agree with but I'm in a rush to get to work so I'll have to come back to this later. Oh, and I have a brother in South Jersey who is very knowledgeable and flips houses if you need a connection  ;)
« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 10:28:47 AM by bout to crash »
Oh Jackie, always jumping to the most homoerotic possibility.

Offline Chino

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #42 on: April 08, 2015, 09:37:49 AM »
Property taxes in CO are way lower in NJ, but still worth looking into.

Not including the taxes on my car, I pay $4800 per year in property taxes. My city is the third highest in the state.

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #43 on: April 08, 2015, 10:28:11 AM »
Holy crap! Granted my place is a lot smaller than yours, but I think my taxes are like $600?
(PS- I meant to say "way lower than in NJ" in case that wasn't clear- I will fix it)

I know my mom (in North Jersey) pays a ton. A cousin in that area actually had to sell her beautiful inherited house because the property taxes were so high (I think she said over $30,000 a year)  :|
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Offline kingshmegland

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #44 on: April 08, 2015, 10:36:53 AM »
I own a 3 bedroom, one bathroom ranch style house and my taxes are $4000.00.  I have friends with huge houses that pay $11,000 in property taxes.  I don't know how they do it.
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Offline cramx3

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #45 on: April 08, 2015, 10:44:08 AM »
I have a ~1000 sqaure foot two bedroom (technicaly its 3 bedroom but the 3rd would never be used as a bedroom, its an office for me) 1.5 bath house in NJ and my taxes... $6500 so yea its expensive in NJ.

Offline gmillerdrake

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #46 on: April 08, 2015, 12:05:03 PM »
3125 s.f. (2) Story Home, $3800 per year in taxes. If you were to put my house in any of the surrounding counties it'd certainly double the taxes.

There is a lot of good advice about home ownership in this thread. The key points for me is that I'm creating equity for myself instead of a landlord. It's "mine". What we did differently with our recent build of a home and that loan as opposed to when we bought our first home is that we actually educated ourselves on what the heck we were doing   :lol  Meaning, how much $$ to put down, when to lock in rates....should we pay our PMI off in one lump sum (which we did)....just did a lot more research and at least understood the verbatim that industry uses. What ended up being a great thing was that I had (3) different entities vying for our loan. Up until the day I locked in none of them knew who was going to get the business. It was literally a phone call from one guy who offered me a rate...phoned the other two and said 'can you beat it'. I ended up ticking two people off but in the end I didn't really care, I was all about saving as much $$ as possible.


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Offline Chino

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #47 on: April 08, 2015, 12:25:10 PM »
That final call was so akward for me. The really nice mortgage broker that had helped me for over a month couldn't do any better than 3.75%. I told her what the bank was offering (3.25%) me and she said she couldn't even go as low as 3.5% I felt really bad telling her I was going elsewhere. I'm sure that happens literally every day in that profession, but still.

Offline gmillerdrake

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #48 on: April 08, 2015, 12:55:34 PM »
That final call was so akward for me. The really nice mortgage broker that had helped me for over a month couldn't do any better than 3.75%. I told her what the bank was offering (3.25%) me and she said she couldn't even go as low as 3.5% I felt really bad telling her I was going elsewhere. I'm sure that happens literally every day in that profession, but still.

Dude....that's near identical to what I had to do. But it was vice versa. The bank, where this man had walked my wife and I through every step over several months....taught us all the lingo and what all that industry jargin' "really" meant....he couldn't come down the half percent I was gaining with a Mortgage Broker. That call to him was brutal because I liked him a lot. But in the end the amount of money I was saving over the course of the loan I couldn't ignore and be irresponsible like that.
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Offline cramx3

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #49 on: April 08, 2015, 12:58:33 PM »
Sucks but thats business and nothing personal. Got to do whats best for you and even 0.01% differences can make a large difference over the course of a 30 year loan.

Offline Skeever

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #50 on: April 08, 2015, 04:54:04 PM »
I have a ~1000 sqaure foot two bedroom (technicaly its 3 bedroom but the 3rd would never be used as a bedroom, its an office for me) 1.5 bath house in NJ and my taxes... $6500 so yea its expensive in NJ.
Yeah, no offense to those who've been really helpful in this thread, but it's obviously some people here aren't really believing how ridiculous NJ taxes can be. In my ballpark, seeing a house 130-150k where you'll need 4-6k annually in taxes is not uncommon at all. People have accused me of making up numbers because I've posted some quick examples that weren't quite right, but I've had real numbers run from the bank several times over the last year, and taxes are always very high. Most of the time the tax is almost doubling the mortgage. In fact, I've never seen a property in NJ where taxes came out to less than 3k annually (those properties are out in the sticks).

My experience thus far has been pretty mixed. Ideally, of course home ownership is better when everything works out. You buy a house, you pay it off, and when it's time to sell it at worst you break even. This on paper is the reason I've been looking at houses on and off for a year or more now. The reality I'm finding is, the houses a young couple can afford aren't in areas I'd want to live, and certainly not areas where I see neighborhoods improving. The other people my age that I know who are buying have gotten in over their heads.

That's why I'm so interesting in reading as many opinions as possible. I know on paper that this should work. What I'm finding is, it does not seem to be working for me at all. I've just been frustrated. I can't find a reasonable place to live and it sucks.

Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #51 on: April 08, 2015, 05:10:56 PM »


The facts are that the property taxes in Camden county NJ is about 2.5% of the property value.  If the county appraises the home value at 130k, then the property taxes will be 2.5% of that.  That will be $3250.  It really is that simple.
That is about double the national average...yes very high...but nowhere near doubling the mortgage P&I.

Instead of anecdotal evidence, call the county and get real numbers to base your decision on..
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Offline Skeever

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #52 on: April 08, 2015, 05:21:50 PM »


The facts are that the property taxes in Camden county NJ is about 2.5% of the property value.  If the county appraises the home value at 130k, then the property taxes will be 2.5% of that.  That will be $3250.  It really is that simple.
That is about double the national average...yes very high...but nowhere near doubling the mortgage P&I.

Instead of anecdotal evidence, call the county and get real numbers to base your decision on..

Nobody I know in Camden County NJ plays that little in taxes. You're just going to have to give me this one, because I'm the one who's been here looking at places regularly and having numbers run.

Take a look Eric: http://www.state.nj.us/dca/divisions/dlgs/resources/property_tax.html

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« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 05:32:19 PM by eric42434224 »
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Offline Skeever

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #54 on: April 08, 2015, 05:30:32 PM »
http://www.tax-rates.org/new_jersey/camden_county_property_tax

Mine which is actually from the state breaks it down by hood. Not sure what's pulling the average down but I likely haven't looked into those areas due to distance. 10 miles in Camden County is a congested and hellish 10 miles.

Maybe I just need to find a new job in an area where it's cheaper to live ::shrugs::

Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #55 on: April 08, 2015, 05:32:58 PM »
Agreed.  Those rates suck.  You should be getting daily handy's for those rates.
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Offline Skeever

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #56 on: April 08, 2015, 05:45:08 PM »
Yeah I should have renamed this thread something like "The Benefits of Home Ownership (Is Living in New Jersey Ever Worth It?)"

Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #57 on: April 08, 2015, 05:50:19 PM »
Yeah I should have renamed this thread something like "The Benefits of Home Ownership (Is Living in New Jersey Ever Worth It?)"

As I said, it can depend on the area and that particular market.  Your area, coupled with your needs and resources, might not be the best scenario for home ownership.
Just do your due diligence and make the decision...and re-evaluate periodically.
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Offline bout to crash

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #58 on: April 08, 2015, 08:05:45 PM »
Yeah I should have renamed this thread something like "The Benefits of Home Ownership (Is Living in New Jersey Ever Worth It?)"

 :lol... I had to ask myself that question when I was done getting my MSW here in CO and had the option to come back to NJ (where most of my family/friends are). I decided that no, it was not worth it for me. I still love Jersey in many ways and I miss things/people there, but I am SO glad I moved to a different part of the country. Denver is more laid back and friendly, cheaper, weather is better, etc. etc. Really the only things I miss are the city, the beach, the pizza and the bagels.

Sort of off-topic from the OP, but have you ever thought about leaving the area? What's keeping you there? I ask because a lot of my friends back in NJ do a lot of complaining about how much this-and-that sucks, but they would never consider moving. It's interesting.
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Offline Calvin6s

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #59 on: April 08, 2015, 08:45:04 PM »
1.  Rent control.  If you pay $1200/month now, you will more or less pay $1200/month 25 years from now.  The only thing that changes that is the TI in PITI (Principal Interest Taxes Insurance).
2.  I own a home, but rent my office/warehouse space.  I hate renting because every improvement decision begins with "well, how long am I actually going to stay here?  Will they let me?  It isn't as if I get an increased sale value for this improvement"

There are tons of benefits, but those might be the top two I can think of off the top of my head.
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Offline Calvin6s

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #60 on: April 08, 2015, 08:50:14 PM »
There really is only one positive with renting.  Mobility.
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Offline Podaar

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #61 on: April 09, 2015, 03:45:06 AM »
Yes, home ownership has always been of financial benefit for me as well. I do remember wondering how I was going to ever make those payments for all those years!  :omg:

The silly thing will be paid off in just a few years now! Time passes, and while it did, my payments stayed steady while my income grew.

One aspect that hasn't been discussed, my favorite benefit from home ownership is fixing the fucker up. I just love home improvement...the planning, execution and the sense of accomplishment.

The idea.

The plan

The execution



The reality

Offline Skeever

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #62 on: April 09, 2015, 05:27:11 AM »
Sort of off-topic from the OP, but have you ever thought about leaving the area? What's keeping you there? I ask because a lot of my friends back in NJ do a lot of complaining about how much this-and-that sucks, but they would never consider moving. It's interesting.

Family is a big part. One of us has a very sick parent, so we're going through all of that chaos and couldn't move now. But even if that weren't the case, I'd have to think long and hard about moving. I do like the cultural aspect of living in Jersey (if you can't find something to do in Philly, NYC is only a train ride away).

Offline Chino

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #63 on: April 09, 2015, 05:56:56 AM »
That's one of the huge perks of living in CT. There are six states I can get to in about two hours.

Offline cramx3

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #64 on: April 09, 2015, 06:00:00 AM »
Really the only things I miss are the city, the beach, the pizza and the bagels.

Yes! All good reasons to love NJ.  For me, my family and friends are here so that plays a large role in me sticking around in NJ and yea the taxes are insane, but I live 50 minutes from NYC and 90 minutes from Philly, the beach is a mile away, any store is within 10 miles.  I feel like I am in a great spot for what I like so to me, the taxes are something I will pay to be where I want to be. 

The facts are that the property taxes in Camden county NJ is about 2.5% of the property value.

I am in Monmouth county and doing the math of my taxes 6500 over the cost of my house 250k then thats 2.6% for me.

And to add another benefit of homeownership, just to give an idea of property value.  I bought my house at 250 and thats also what the bank valued the house at as well, but I refinanced last fall and the new value was given at 265k and I have not even done any improvements to the home besides cosmetic improvements.  The value went up due to people buying similar properties in the area at higher prices therefore raising my value without me having to do a whole lot which then let me borrow more money from the bank.  All great things for a home owner!

Offline kingshmegland

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #65 on: April 09, 2015, 06:15:05 AM »
There really is only one positive with renting.  Mobility.

What's so great about that?  I hated every damn move!
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Offline Chino

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #66 on: April 09, 2015, 06:41:36 AM »
There really is only one positive with renting.  Mobility.

What's so great about that?  I hated every damn move!

 :lol I was going to say... moving your stuff is like a journey into the darkest part of your soul. I absolutely hate it. Every single bit of it.

Offline Stadler

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #67 on: April 09, 2015, 06:50:17 AM »
There really is only one positive with renting.  Mobility.

What's so great about that?  I hated every damn move!

And even that is an over-rated benefit, because most leases require you to pay out the remainder of the lease (or lose the security deposit), whereas with a house, as Jackie astutely pointed out, you can always rent it out and make money that way.  I work for a large conglomerate who brings good things to life, and so I could be required to move at any time for my job, and I STILL would choose owning over renting every single time. 

Skeever, unless you have some other limitation (can't drive, won't drive) it seems to me there are a lot more options than you are looking at.  If you want to identify a house or two that you are looking at and PM me, I will walk you through as best I can what you are looking at, and show you some alternatives.  Not trying to convince you of anything (it's your call based on your comfort level) but as I and others have said, at LEAST have the right numbers in front of you when you are making the decision. 

Offline Calvin6s

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #68 on: April 09, 2015, 03:57:55 PM »
There really is only one positive with renting.  Mobility.

What's so great about that?  I hated every damn move!

Job opportunities.  I moved to Las Vegas in the 90s and cut me teeth on my profession.  It would have been more difficult if I had a house.  Renting the house is something you can do, but sometimes you get a great renter, sometimes you get the renter from hell.  And now you are driving back on your weekends to pacify them, costing you your sanity and possibly losing focus at your great new job.

But once again:  Home ownership pros = Lots v. Renting pros = one
Just trying to be impartial
I wish death upon Mitch McConnell and Pat Robertson in comment sections all the time. I'll admit that I'd be thrilled if either one of them died of a stroke tonight.

Offline JayOctavarium

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #69 on: April 09, 2015, 11:45:11 PM »
This has got to be the most interesting thread I've read on DTF in a while.


I have very limited knowledge on the subject but one thing that makes buying worthwhile is the $$$.

A year or so ago Panda and I started looking in to the idea of buying a place together. Nothing extravagant... like a condo in the sub $200k range (under $130 would have been preferred.) We met with a broker and ran the numbers and we could have gotten something small (900-1000 square ft), which is exactly like what we are in now (we actually were considering buying the condo are in but the owner doesn't plan on selling yet) and we could have, with everything including HOA payments, been paying like $1100 a month. Right now we pay $1350 a month in rent.

We obviously didn't wind up doing it but it was an eye opener.
I just don't understand what they were trying to achieve with any part of the song, either individually or as a whole. You know what? It's the Platypus of Dream Theater songs. That bill doesn't go with that tail, or that strange little furry body, or those webbed feet, and oh god why does it have venomous spurs!? And then you find out it lays eggs too. The difference is that the Platypus is somehow functional despite being a crazy mishmash or leftover animal pieces

-BlobVanDam on "Scarred"