Rent or jump into the wonderful world of homeownership?

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As of this column, it appears that the government may or may not shut down on Feb 15, due to a sort of quasi-agreement between the Republican Senate and the Democratic House; but one never knows what glitch might be thrown into the mix!

If it were to happen and the 800,000 federal workers were to be laid off once again, I can only imagine the disruption this would cause, through no fault of their own and for one, I surely wouldn’t want to be engaged in certain things, like flying, when seeing an employee of the federal government, working without pay.

This is not to scare anyone or prevent them from flying, but how would you feel, if you didn’t get paid? Moreover, the difficulty in obtaining any type of mortgages insured and guaranteed by the federal government and the emotional impact upon borrowers would not be very healthy for our real estate market.

In my opinion, using innocent people as scapegoats is not the most logical or pragmatic approach to solving issues; however, everyone has their methods of getting things done. I want to correct something that I had written in last week’s column, that the period to grieve your real estate taxes has been extended to April 30, 2018 (not April 2).
Attention purchasers, there are homes, homeowners associations, condos, co-ops and investments out there that are worth searching for and checking out.

However, unless you have a blank check to buy whatever you want, you need to be extremely realistic as to your specific “needs and wants.”

I had an epiphany last night, that made me decide to write and elaborate on this. I see way too many renters who have decided not be tied down to any type of mortgage (and also those in the “move up crowd” or may or may not want to be obligated to a new or larger mortgage); I then ask why?

Their response is usually, “I or we don’t want to be obligated! I say, you are already or will be obligated to pay your rent every month, (plus all the increases over the years), whereby assisting your landlord in paying off his/her mortgage, taxes, some profit, and to boot, every year adding a bit of his/her appreciating value to their increasing wealth.

Oh yeah, I forgot about the amazing write-offs that will reduce your taxable income (there are some exceptions with high-income earners, consult your CPA for more advice).

Why in G_D’s name would you want to be part of that insane situation; when I explain to them that if I could provide them a fixed lease for 30 years, would they be interested? They said, OMG, yes! Where is that place, they ask?

It’s called a mortgage and it will be for your family to enjoy life in their new place! Then, their lightbulbs go off and I see the smoke rising from their heads and then they finally get it!!! LOL Besides, why hand over all the benefits of appreciation, tax deductions, increasing your overall wealth, assuming that you reside long enough in your home. (all things being equal and we don’t blow ourselves up or pollute ourselves to oblivion or run out of potable water, then all bets are off).

Lastly the security of not having to move, because your landlord’s kids, relatives or friend might be moving in and he/she won’t be renewing your lease, with all those wonderful increases in rent that you will be subject to, over the years.

It’s really called becoming your own landlord and reaping all the benefits of homeownership.
However, one must understand that if you want all the bells and whistles, one must save or be fortunate enough to be in a position to buy what you want, because you can afford it. Most are not in that situation, so one must decide what is really important and what one can live without for the time being. It’s called trading off the “bells and whistles” and coming back down to earth and having a realistic vision and attitude, as to what one is willing to tradeoff to have that “dream of homeownership” materialize before their eyes.

It can be done, but I see too many singles, couples and married people who are searching for that “pie in the sky” or should I say, a “needle in the haystack” within a still, very limited inventory. I know, you are thinking, why purchase an “ugly duckling” when you want something nicer? I will tell you the reason why, to turn it into a “swan,” but, maybe not overnight.

Sit down and create a plan and a common sense budget (which, when you earn more you can always increase the dollars to improve and upgrade). Turn that ugly duckling into your swan, but if you have to, you can surely do this over time (I did in my first home).

As they say, it takes nine months to usually make a baby, so take your time and think it all out and you will end up hopefully being a happier homeowner and a richer and possibly more wealthier when you retire!

Philp A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 Great Neck NY 11021-2415. He has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute and a Certified International Property Specialist. Receive regular “FREE” updates of sold homes in your area and what your home would sell for in today’s market or search on: WWW.Li-RealEstate.Com He can be reached by email, at: Phil@TurnKeyRealEstate.Com, or by cell: (516) 647-4289

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