Buying your first Chicago home requires you to make important decisions! This is one reason why some buyers look at properties for years without making an offer. It could be that they don’t see anything they like; or, it’s possible their motive for home buying isn’t all that strong. Understanding why you want to buy a home helps you define your priorities!
Let’s look at some common home buying motives, and see where your goals line up!
First, there’s no wrong reason to buy a home – unless you’re expecting a shortcut to riches. While the vast majority of rent vs. own studies show home ownership as the smarter move, home values can move up, down or not at all. Generally, home values increase over time, but there isn’t an iron-clad guarantee. Be realistic about the value appreciation you can expect, especially if you plan on selling in just a few years.
Value appreciation aside, there are still good financial reasons to become a homeowner. You have better control of your living expenses with a fixed-rate mortgage, than you do with apartment rents that can go up every year. Home ownership provides income tax advantages like deductions for mortgage interest and real estate taxes, if you itemize your return. And even in the worst-case scenarios, if home values drop, you could still payoff your mortgage and live payment-free. (You would still need to pay your real estate taxes, of course.)
Money isn’t the only motive in home buying. If you’re renting, you may be weary of sharing walls with fellow tenants, and want more privacy. Or maybe your family is growing and you need more living space. Or, you want room enough to have people over for a backyard BBQ. You may want to have pets, or have the freedom to decorate, or simply have a place to call your own. Buying a home could be a purely emotional, personal decision…a desire for a better quality of life.
Home buying involves practical considerations too, such as the commute time to work, the quality of local schools, and access to medical services, shopping and dining. Make an honest comparison between the local amenities you have now, and what you might gain – or give up – by buying a home in a different location.
Finally, think about your current lifestyle and how home ownership could affect it. Are you ready to spend some free time mowing lawn, or raking leaves and cleaning gutters? Do you like puttering around with minor fix-it projects? Home maintenance requires both time and money. If you don’t like taking care of things, you might be happier in a condominium that gives you the perks of ownership, with a minimum of maintenance.
Whatever your motives for buying a home, StartingPoint Realty will be here to guide you!
StartingPoint Realty – helping first-time Chicago home buyers!
StartingPoint Realty provides complete education and guidance to first-time home buyers throughout Chicago and the Northwest suburbs! Attend our free home buying seminar for an introduction to the home buying process. There’s never any sales pressure or obligation!
Check out our list of home buyer assistance programs on our website! You can also visit our Chicago Resource Center for neighborhood information and personalized assistance.
Always feel welcome to contact us for help with your Chicago home buying questions!
Ryan Gable Broker/CEO Starting Point Realty
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