Buying a home may be the American dream, but it’s also a monumental task: You have to clean up your credit, apply for a mortgage, scrape together a down payment, and then move all your worldly possessions in after you close on the deal. Phew!
So then why do millions of Americans go through the trouble? Because they know that whatever headaches and hassles they must endure are far and away outweighed by the many benefits of buying a home.
If you need some inspiration to start house hunting or just want to make sure you’re taking advantage of all that homeownership has to offer, check out this top 10 list of perks that will repay your hard work from now well into retirement.
1. Predictable monthly housing payments
A landlord can raise your rent whenever a lease expires—and often by as much as he pleases. But as a homeowner, you can lock in a predictable mortgage payment for as long as 30 years.
Instead of worrying about fluctuating rents, “homeowners can create a budget knowing that their principal and interest payments won’t rise … ever,” says Brian Davis, co-founder and real estate blogger at SparkRental.com.
Bonus: Your housing budget goes toward your homeownership, not your landlord’s.
“Owning a house provides you with a valuable asset and financial stability,” says Peter Vekselman, a real estate professional with Keller Williams’ Yates Estates in Georgia. By purchasing a home, you’ll have an asset that, in many cases, will appreciate in value over time. A $200,000 home today should see an increase in value to $250,000, $300,000, or more—depending on how long you plan to live there and market conditions, according to Vekselman. This makes your home one of the best investments you can make and a way to establish a financial foundation for future generations (aka your kids).
3. Tax benefits
The many expenses of owning a home—like property taxes and accounting costs—are tax-deductible. The largest deduction is generally the interest you pay on your mortgage, according to Liane Jamason, a broker associate with Florida’s Jamason Realty Group. “This allows you to keep more of your hard-earned money.”
4. Freedom to make modifications
What renter hasn’t thought “I’d really love to paint/alter/knock down this wall to…”? Well, to do whatever the hell you want to do. But, of course, you can’t—not without the landlord’s blessing. And if you are allowed to renovate your rental, it’s the landlord who will ultimately benefit. (Especially if you do a really awesome job at it.)
Homeowners, on the other hand, don’t need permission. They can paint any room any color, replace the cabinets, add a deck, or do any other modifications they wish, says Davis. “Homeownership enables you to live life under your own rules.”