Kathy Foran - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West

Posted by Kathy Foran on 9/11/2016

Owning a home is a dream come true for most people. To them, it is living the ideal life, for others, it is the worst decision they will ever make as far as their finances are concerned. The reason for this is that there was no proper in-depth analysis before they made the purchase. Many questions come to mind when it comes to owning a home, questions like, do I really need a home? Will I stay in this home long enough to reap the benefits of owning it? Am I ready for the financial responsibilities associated with owning this home? Owning a home is a major financial investment and should not be done without a proper understanding of all aspects of ownership. Below is a  look at the pros and cons of owning a home, this should help prospective home owners determine if owning a home is in their favor. Pros and Cons of Owning a Home There is the need to consider the financial impact owning a home will have on you. Would being a home owner have a positive effect on your financial position? Let us look at the advantages and disadvantages from a balanced point of view before arriving at a conclusion. The Pros

  • As a home owner, you have greater privacy.
  • There is a great possibility that your home will increase in value.
  • You tend to have a stable cost as compared to renting because most mortgage rates are fixed.
  • Interest and property tax portion of your mortgage is tax deductible.
  • There is pride and a healthy self-esteem associated with owning a home.
The Cons
  • The financial commitment associated with owning a home is long term.
  • All maintenance related expenses associated with your home is your responsibility.
  • When you own a home, you are more likely tied to your community making it more difficult to suddenly relocate.
  • When buying a home, there is a down payment, mortgage payment and closing cost.
  • If you do not make the mortgage payment, your home can be taken by the bank.
  • There is no guarantee that the value of your home will increase.
Pros and Cons of Renting a Home The Pros Depending on your financial standing, renting a home might be a preferred option. Here are a few pros and cons associated with the renting.
  • It may be a cheaper option than buying a home with comparable size. Your rent might also cover the monthly utilities.
  • It affords more flexibility especially when you have a job that requires you to move from place to place.
  • Maintenance expenses are not on you. The landlord is responsible for all maintenance from plumbing to electricity as well as other expenses associated with household repairs.
The Cons
  • You are not entitled to a tax break. When you file for a tax return, you cannot claim deduction for property tax and mortgage.
  • Your rent is not fixed and there is the possibility that it would increase from year to year.
In summary, there are several factors to consider when deciding whether or not to buy a home as ownership is not for everyone. This important decision should be based on your present financial status, the nature of your job and what plans you have for the future.

Posted by Kathy Foran on 9/20/2015

For the past several years there has been some confusion over whether it has been a better deal to rent or buy a home. Buying has always been the best long term investment. With the changes in the market it is now clear that in almost any situation buying is the best bet. Rents over the past few years have been on the rise and the demand for rental housing has been shrinking rental availability raising the rents and the competition for acceptable units. Rents have been increasing at about a rate of 2.5 percent a year while home prices have been dropping at about 3.1 percent a year. This makes buying a much better option. Lately, there has been an uptick in the home buying market and in some price ranges inventory is low for prospective buyers. Because prices and mortgage rates remain at all-time lows this is a perfect time to get out of a rental and into your own home. If you are looking for some hard numbers on your own personal financial picture the New York Times has an easy to use calculator that will help you determine how much you will save by buying a home. Click here to use the calculator.

Tags: Buy vs Rent  
Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Kathy Foran on 8/17/2014

More and more millennials are getting into the housing market. A survey by homebuilder PulteGroup found that 65% of those who make more than $50,000 a year reported increased interest in buying a home. The recession has forced Generation Y, roughly those age 18 to 34, to delay buying homes. Now millennials are now entering their thirties and the cost of buying a home is now becoming a reality. While student loans and financial resources are keeping some younger people from the housing market many others are realizing that in many cases owning a home is cheaper than renting. The survey also reported that millennials know what they want in a home: 84% listed storage as a priority was ample storage                 76% want space for TV and movie watching                                                                           69% desire an open living/room kitchen layout                                                                             63% look for outdoor living or a deck                                                                                               36% cited the ability to work at home Other recent studies have affirmed the PulteGroup study and have shown that 90% of millennials plan to buy a home someday keeping the dream of homeownership alive.                                                    

Posted by Kathy Foran on 2/24/2013

If you think the dream of homeownership is lost; think again! The American dream of homeownership is quickly becoming more and more feasible in  2012. There are many benefits of owning a home.  Due to negative press about the real estate market, buyers are skeptical of purchasing with the uncertainty surrounding the housing market. Here are 12 reasons to buy a home in 2012. 1. Rents are at an All Time High- Due to the influx of foreclosures and fewer people making a decision to buy a home, the demand for rentals the past few years has increased. All prices are based on supply and demand and that is pushing up rental prices. 2. The Worst is Over-From the market peak in 2006, the S&P/Case-Shiller index of 20 housing markets is down 32 percent. What does that mean? The housing market could be at a turning point. Signs are showing we are moving from steeply falling home prices to an extended period of stabilizing prices.  You can't predict the market and you won't know when low prices are over until they start to go up. Stability is your first clue. 3. Historically Low Mortgage Rates-Long-term mortgage rates fell to new lows in January. According to FreddieMac, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.89 percent in the week ending Jan. 12, falling from 3.91 percent last week and marking the lowest since Freddie Mac began keeping track. A 15-year fix fell to a record low 3.16 percent. 4. Mortgage Rates Won't Stay Low-Just like you can't predict when housing prices will rise; you also cannot predict the mortgage market. It is however unlikely that mortgage rates will remain low for long. This is especially true if demand starts rising and prices stabilize. 5.  Less competition-The slow sales pace is proof that there are fewer buyers out there. That is good news for a serious buyer; they will be less likely to end up in a bidding war. It doesn't mean that homes that are priced aggressively to sell will not end up with lots of offers. Wait too long to jump in the buyer pool and there may be more competition. The market is showing signals of recovery, meaning demand will pick up. Being a little ahead of the curve gives buyers more elbow room. 6.  Appreciation-Odds are that buying a home at the current rates can almost ensure your home’s appreciation in the future.  With the double advantage of low prices and low mortgage rates the perfect storm for home appreciation is brewing. 7. Build Equity-Your home can actually work as a wealth building or even savings plan for you. Some homeowners are now adding money to their monthly payment to decrease the principal balance of their loans at a much faster pace.  This is called equity building. Because home equity is the largest single source of household wealth for most Americans it is a smart move to ensure financial stability. 8. Tax Deductions-If you are looking to save more money on your taxes than buying might just be the answer. Real estate property taxes for a vacation home and first home are fully deductible.  The IRS Publication 530 provides detailed tax information for first-time buyers that may answer many questions about what deductions homeowners are eligible for. 9. Homes are More Affordable- According to Kiplinger, the percent of family income consumed by a mortgage payment is at record lows. The average family pays only 12% of their monthly income to pay for today’s mortgage. Affordability has not been that low since 1971. Additionally, the Fed's financial obligation ratio for mortgage holders have fallen to levels not seen since 2003. 10. Moving Up is More Affordable-If you are thinking about buying a bigger or more expensive home this is a great opportunity to save money. Homes in a lower prices range have not lost as much as higher-end homes. For example, if your home in 2006 was worth $125,000 it may now be worth $100,000. The home you may be looking to buy in 2006 was priced at $350,000 but now is under $300,000. You have made a gain of $25,000 in your upward move. 11. Buy Low, Sell High-The uncertainty surrounding the housing market will wane. When the housing market rebounds prices will go up.  Owning a home may eventually be more than just a pride issue, it could also become a profit through a home sale. 12. Pride of Ownership-There are more benefits than just financial gain in homeownership. Some of those benefits may be painting the walls the color of your choice, or landscaping the yard, or having a pet. No matter the reason; homeownership will give you pride.

Categories: Buying a Home  

Posted by Kathy Foran on 2/10/2013

Home prices are at rock bottom and mortgage rates at all-time lows so you may be considering going from renter to homeowner. If you are planning on staying put for a while the choice makes sense. There are a few things to take into consideration before you make the leap from renter to owner. First, you will need to determine how much you can afford. Consult with a mortgage professional to help you determine what kind of mortgage you qualify for. Just because you pay $1,000 a month in rent, doesn't mean you can handle a $1,000 monthly mortgage payment. There are more costs to owning a home than just the mortgage payment. As a homeowner you will also be responsible for property tax, home insurance, utilities, and repairs. To prepare for those costs plan on adding about 40 percent to your base cost. So, if your mortgage is $1,000, add about $400 a month for a better estimate of costs. Before you make a rash decision see if you really can afford the cost difference. Once you know the cost difference spend a few months depositing the difference between your rent payment and your cost estimate in the bank. In the previous example you would deposit $400 a month into savings. If you've been able to keep up the deposits and pay your other bills, that's a sign you can afford to buy. Now that you have been saving more you have more money to put toward the down payment of your new home. These are just a few tips to get you started. Once you have a better financial picture it will be time to start shopping. That is when the fun begins.