Renting is playing it safe, but is it playing it smart?

by HomeSalesSally on August 2, 2011

Renting is playing it safe, but is it playing it smart?Everyone knows that renting has some advantages over owning your own home.  Most homeowners will agree that the benefits are pretty limited.  To me, renting just seems like an inability to commit.  Owning your home can provide both financial and emotional security.

The financial security is pretty easy to understand.  In the current market, it is quite likely that you can own a home that is bigger and nicer than the current rental you have for less money.  Not only is the cost to own less (in many cases) than the actual rent you are paying, but there are also tax benefits to owning your home that reduce the total cost even further.

Concerned that you don’t have enough money for a down payment?  Most landlords require first and last month’s rent, plus a security deposit.  Would it surprise you to know that it may not cost any more to get into a home as its owner?

The emotional security is a little more difficult to define.  The quote on the left is from the KCM Blog and sums it up pretty well.  I agree with the author’s sentiments.  Americans will be better served by living their dreams instead of playing it safe.

If you are interested in exploring the dream of home ownership, please call me at 661.375.REAL (7325) or email me today.  Let’s talk about what will help you achieve your dream.

As always, thanks for reading.  If you found some value here, please share, forward, etc.

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Neighbors too close?  It might be time to leave rent behind.  Call Sally Lawrence 661.375.REAL

Why Buy? More Distance from Neighbors…

by HomeSalesSally on April 14, 2011

There are lots of arguments both in favor and against buying your own home. Take a look at this quick video for an example of being a little further away from your neighbors might be a benefit.

If you think it might be time to leave rent behind and look into buying your own home give me a call at 661.375.REAL (7325) to discuss it.  Shoot me an email or text, whatever works for you.

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Thanks for visiting!

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Six Tax Benefits for Tehachapi Homeowners

by HomeSalesSally on February 4, 2011

Most folks know that there are tax benefits to owning a home in Tehachapi or Kern County as compared to renting.  You might be surprised at how much those might be worth.  Please remember that you should always consult your tax professional when making major financial decisions.  That said, check the list to see where you can save money on taxes by owning a home.

  • Mortgage Interest Deduction Probably the most well-known tax deduction related to homeownership.  You can deduct the interest paid on up to a $1 million mortgage for your principal or second home.  This deduction is most substantial in the early years of a mortgage loan since most of the payment at that time is for interest.  As time goes by, you are paying less interest each month and more toward the principal.
  • Property Tax Deduction The amount you pay in state and local property taxes can be deducted on your federal income tax return.  If you are renter thinking to yourself, “Yeah, but I don’t have to pay those taxes either,” think again.  You are paying those taxes, you just don’t see it itemized on your rent bill.  You can be sure your landlord has figured out how to get all of his costs covered.
  • Deductible homebuying expenses You can also deduct various closing costs ordinarily involved in a home purchase.  These  include loan origination fees (points), prorated interest on a new loan, and prorated property taxes paid at settlement.
  • Home equity loan deduction Homeowners can borrow up to $100,000 against the equity in their home and deduct the interest as an itemized deduction.   You can use the money for any purpose, such as paying off high-interest credit card debt.  In contrast, the interest on credit card debt is not deductible for individuals.
  • $250,000/$500,000 home-sale exclusion The greatest tax benefit of owning a home  might come when you sell it at a profit. Homeowners who lived in their home for two of the five years prior to its sale need pay no income tax on a substantial amount of their profit — $250,000 for single homeowners and $500,000 for married homeowners who file jointly.  This exclusion can be used once every 24 months.
  • 14 days of free rental income Another little known tax benefit of owning a home is that the owner can rent it out for up to 14 days during the year and pay no tax at all on the rental income.  In contrast, a renter who sublets his or her rental must pay income tax on all the rental income he or she earns.  Thinking about a European vacation for a couple weeks?  Rent your house and use the money to help pay for the trip.

What about the tax benefits of renting?  Well, there really aren’t any.  The only home-related deduction for renters may be for the self-employed or certain employees that use a part of their home regularly and exclusively to conduct business.  Oh yeah, you can take that deduction as a homeowner too.

Thanks for reading!  If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends and feel free to share your thoughts below.

Sally Lawrence

Have questions?  Ready to leave rent behind?  You can reach Sally via phone or text at 661-375-7325 (375.REAL) or email Sally@HomeSalesSally.com

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Top 5 Hidden Costs for Tehachapi Renters

February 1, 2011

It’s not unusual for folks to think that it is cheaper to rent than it is to buy.  Admittedly, it may be true in some cases.  What is also true is that many renters overlook hidden costs of renting.  Those hidden costs can be enough to tip the scales toward homeownership all by themselves.  Were [...]

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What’s one of the biggest mistakes Tehachapi renters make?

November 28, 2010

You found the perfect home to rent in Tehachapi, you signed the lease and moved in. Everything’s great, right? So what is the one thing you forgot? How about tenant’s insurance? The landlord needs to have an insurance policy to protect damage or loss of the building you are renting. But you need to have [...]

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What’s the key to your new Tehachapi home?

September 29, 2010

Have you thought that you will always be stuck in a rental?  Lots of folks feel that way, primarily because they don’t understand that there may be choices.  Keep reading to find out how to own the keys to your own home. Have you always dreamed of owning your own home?  The option of home [...]

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