Can I Become A Homeowner?
You have dreamed of owning a home for months or maybe even years, but have been a little afraid of being able to afford one. The question you have been thinking about is, “Will I be able to afford becoming a homeowner?”
This is a question that people have to answer for themselves. No one can answer this question for you, but there are a lot of factors that most people rarely consider as they make this decision.
What are some of these factors that can make it easier for you to afford a home?
There are tax incentives for being a homeowner, which means the government actually helps you to pay your monthly mortgage payment!
Home mortgage interest continues to be a valuable tax deduction. If you pay 20% of your income in taxes, this means that $5,000 in mortgage interest puts $1,000 more in your pocket. That’s like receiving an extra $83 dollars in your pocket each month! In addition to the home mortgage interest, other expenses such as property taxes are also deductible.
Check with your tax professional for all of the details and limitations, but the federal and state tax deductions can make being a homeowner a smart and very sound financial choice. When you run the numbers, you might actually find that buying is less expensive for you than renting, especially when you consider that you are also accruing equity (difference between what you owe on your home and what your home is worth) in your home with each monthly payment.
As a renter, there’s often only so much you can do to save energy, but as a homeowner, you can cut your monthly expenses by taking simple, low-cost or no-cost steps to save money on your utility bills. Simple actions such as turning off lights and appliances when you leave a room, turning down your hot water heater a few degrees, washing your clothes in cold or warm water, turning down your thermostat when you’re away in the winter (and turning it up when you’re away in the summer), and closing your drapes in the summer can easily save you $25, $50 and even as much as $100 per month on your utility bills.
Inexpensive programmable and “smart” thermostats can pay for themselves in just a few months in cost savings and can save you up to 20% on your heating and cooling bills, making your home more affordable. Your local electric and gas companies offer valuable free information that can help you to become a wise energy user – and a money saver!
Cutting Other Expenses
If you’re still a little afraid of making the jump to becoming a homeowner, you can always cut your expenses a little each month to ensure you’re able to make ends meet.
Eating fast food or going out to a restaurant fewer times each month can easily save you a few thousand dollars each year. Other household expenses, such as your cell phone bill and cable television bill, can also be reduced (talk to your providers about ways you can reduce your monthly bills), helping you to make ends meet. Over time, as your income increases with raises and better, higher-paying jobs, you will find that it becomes easier to make your mortgage payment. Cutting your expenses a little now can help you to become a homeowner sooner than you ever imagined and can also help you to begin accruing equity in your home.
Programs for First-Time Home Buyers
Even if you know you can afford to make the monthly payment on a home, you may be a little worried about the down payment.
There are a number of programs available today in West Virginia and nationwide that can help first-time home buyers – even to the point of not even requiring a down payment! There are also a few programs that can help home buyers with closing expenses. You may qualify for one or more of these programs!
What are you waiting for – hitting the lottery? Landmark Realty Services can help you to determine if you can afford to buy a home, what type of home you might be able to afford – and what programs might be available to assist you. Since Landmark’s inception, we have countless of first-time home buyers realize their dream of owning a home!
Call us today at 304-842-5298 to schedule an appointment with one of our real estate professionals. You will never know if you can become a homeowner – unless you try!