The security of owning the roof over your head, the feeling of contentment, satisfaction, fulfillment, it is the wish of most, if not all, Americans, it is what they call the classic American dream, it is called Homeownership.

Owning a home is the biggest and best investment a person can ever make and so he has to manage that investment to the best of his ability. It requires extraordinary commitment not only of funds, but time and attention as well.

There are disadvantages that come with owning a home like maintenance, financial matters, risk of losing equity and the risk of foreclosure.But above all these, there are also a lot of benefits that comes with owning your own home.

-It is the best investment.The value of your home appreciates which means that if you decide to sell it, its price will be much higher than your purchase price. Homes appreciate about 5% every year.

-It is a form of forced savings because you'll have to allot a certain amount of money for monthly payments or risk losing your home. You also need to set aside money for future repairs or improvements.
-It can help you plan for the future with regards to your finances because mortgage rates are fixed unlike yearly increase in rent.

-It gives a sense of permanence where your family can live and grow.Emotional security goes with this.

-It gives you and your family security and piece of mind knowing that you have a home to call your own.

-It develops lifelong friendships.

-it develops the sense of roots of your family especially the children.Your family becomes a part of a community
-It increases self-esteem knowing that you possess something of value.

-It eliminates landlord hassles.You will have no more worries with regard to lease not being renewed and increase in rent.

-It gives you the freedom to redecorate, remodel, make improvements, have pets, change the color or the décor of your home to your own taste and as you desire.

-It gives privacy. Not unlike renters wherein landlords can have access to the place.

-It gives more space - like larger rooms, laundry area, storage area.

-It develops a sense of community.Homeowners become attached to neighbors, become interested and involved in events and work towards the betterment of the community to protect and preserve property.

-you save on taxes.All of the interest and property taxes you pay in a given year can be deducted from your gross income to reduce your taxable income.

-you can borrow against your equity because the value of your home increases against what you owe on it.

-you may have a better credit rating.Mortgage payments paid on time contributes to an outstanding credit history.


HOME BUYING BLUNDERS - How do you avoid them?

Looking for a home to buy is a very exciting experience.Your emotion balanced with logic is the wisest thing to do. Educating yourself about this long and stressful process of home buying will result in the biggest investment that you will be making in your life.Wrong decisions may lead to an irreversible and costly mistake.

So, what should you avoid so as not to make this mistake?

-AVOID USING YOUR HEART OVER YOUR HEAD. You might fall in love with a home instantly forgetting that you are making a huge financial investment and that someday you might want to sell it, only to find out, when it is too late that your home is tough to resell.

-AVOID VIEWING HOMES ALONE. Bring your spouse, your children or a friend with you.You might miss out on some imperfections because of your excitement.Their point of view will surely be of great help.

-AVOID LOOKING AT HOMES YOU CANNOT AFFORD. Buying a home does not only mean a down payment and fixed monthly mortagages.There will also be expenses for repairs, maintenance, new appliances and furniture, property taxes, insurance.A clear understanding of your finances prevents wasted time.

-AVOID VIEWING HOMES WITH NO CHECKLIST ON HAND. You should have a list of everything you need and what you would like to have according to your priorities.

-AVOID PURCHASING A HOME IN AN UNFAMILIAR NEIGHBORHOOD. Spend some time in the area, ask questions regarding criminal activities, accessibility to schools, supermarkets, or churches.It is not only a home you are purchasing but the location as well.

-AVOID PURCHASING A HOME ON YOUR FIRST VISIT. Do not rush.Visit the home that you like twice, thrice or even more than that.Make sure that this is the home that you really want to settle in.Have a professional home inspection done to eliminate future headaches like the exterior components which includes roofing, gutters, downspouts and the interior systems which includes electrical, plumbing, flooring.

-AVOID LETTING THE SELLER OR THE AGENT KNOW THAT YOU ARE IN LOVE WITH THE HOME. Because in doing so, they could ask for a higher price.

-AVOID GETTING TOO PERSONAL WITH THE SELLER. Be friendly, but treat the transaction as professionally as possible.Remarks about changes and future repairs might not be taken well by the seller.

-AVOID MAKING MAJOR PURCHASES. A new car, jewelries, expensive appliances can wait until after you have purchased and settled in your new home.Because if you do so before the home purchase it will increase your "debt-to-income ratio" and it will affect the amount of loan you qualify for, be difficult to get your loan approved because a huge debt may hamper your ability to pay mortgage, or worst, your loan may be denied.

-AVOID CHANGING JOBS unless you are going to earn more or if the line of work is within the same field.Constant job changes may be an issue in qualifying for a loan.A stable job history is a plus.If you really want a new job, wait until after the home is yours.

-AVOID SWITCHING BANKS. Problems in the verification process may occur when you move your money to another bank.

-AVOID GIVING EARNEST MONEY DEPOSIT DIRECTLY TO THE SELLER. An attorney can hold the deposit or it can be placed in a trust account until closing day.Your contract should state what will happen to the deposit in case the transaction does not push through.

-AVOID VERBAL AGREEMENTS. Put everything in black and white.Whatever was agreed upon verbally does not count in the eyes of the law.

-AVOID SIGNING DOCUMENTS WITHOUT FIRST READING THEM.Read, familiarize, understand, then sign.

This is another original article by Joe Lane, co-owner of The Lane Real Estate Team at http://www.joelane.com/. Are you looking for an experienced Tri City WA Real Estate agency? With 20 years of service based, business experience, Joe and Colleen Lane work hard to serve home buyers and sellers for the Tri Cities of Washington's Kennewick, Richland, Pasco, and surrounding areas.

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