First of all, I believe there's a time to rent and a time to buy. Before you read this post, read my Top 5 Reasons to Rent a Home (vs Buy)
Here are my Top 5 Reasons to Buy a Home:
1. You need to live somewhere. Everybody I know lives "somewhere." It's something you will do for the rest of your life. The way I see it, you can either mooch off family/friends (live with your parents forever or stay on your friend's couch), buy a piece of real property, or rent. Since you're going to live somewhere, if you plan to stay in one area for a long time, it makes sense to put your money towards something you will eventually own outright, so that 15-30 years from now (depending on how quickly you pay off your loan) you have something to show for all the money you dished out.
2. Stability and emotional security. No more dealing with landlords, rent increases, or the possibility your home will be sold/redeveloped/rented to someone else. You’ll be able to live in your house as long as you like, fix your monthly payments for as long as 30 years, and you’ll be in charge.
3. Pride of ownership. When you own, you can plant a garden, paint your walls, renovate, and make the home just the way you like it. That is not always the case when dealing with a landlord.
4. Tax deductions, interest rates, capital gains, etc. Many websites/people/articles encourage people to buy based on reasons such as (1) taking advantage of income tax deductions for property taxes and mortgage interest (that you don't get as a renter), (2) buying when mortgage interest rates are low (which they currently are as I write this in January 2011), and (3) taking advantage of current capital gains laws (selling your property after two years and being allowed to keep the profit up to $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for couples tax-free). These are all good in theory, and they very well may save you money (but any of these could be changed if lawmakers choose to do so). I'd be cautious about buying for these reasons alone, but they are nice perks for those who do own.
5. Put down roots in a community. Owning a home allows you to keep your kids in the same school system, gives you more of a voice with local policy-makers (since renters tend to be more transient), and puts you at better odds to get to know your neighbors and people in the community (as renters tend to live more insular lives).
Of course, the one I left out was the word you were hoping to see, INVESTMENT. Real estate can be a good investment, and you very well may make money off the home you buy. Not so much for those trying to sell now (in 2011) who bought their homes in 2005, but in theory you may be able to buy property that goes up in value over time. Certainly many people make money off investing in real estate. I just wouldn't list it as one of the top 5 reasons to buy your own home. Your own home is much more a place to live than it is an investment.
The other point I want to drive home is that it's never the right time to buy until it makes sense for you financially.
Like I said at the top of the post, there's a time to rent and a time to buy. When it's your time to buy in San Diego, we hope you hire GLOBELLA Buyers Realty to represent you on your home purchase!
Justin Gramm is the founder and principal broker of Globella Buyers Realty, your San Diego Exclusive Buyer Brokerage. He also writes this blog, "For San Diego Home Buyers."
Exclusive Buyer Agents do not list homes for sale and never represent sellers. They have no "inventory" to try to sell you. They can represent you in purchasing any home. They are specialists at representing buyers only on the buyers' side of the transaction. Exclusive Buyer Agents work to get buyers the best price and terms when they buy a home.
If you have excellent credit and plan to buy a home or condo in San Diego County within 90 days, contact Justin Gramm to hire an agent on your side of the transaction. Call Justin at (858) 437-2662 or E-mail.