In good times or bad, there is one constant: Home ownership remains the American Dream for millions of American families. And there are many reasons why, both economic and emotional.
Most Americans consider home ownership to be their single best long-term investment and a primary source of their wealth and financial security. Generations of families have counted on and used the equity in their homes for their children’s education, their own retirement and other milestone expenses.
Individual household budgets are helped by tax incentives that are designed to make owning a home more affordable. Deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes can result in thousands of dollars of tax savings, especially in the early years of the mortgage when interest makes up most of the payment. Home owners save nearly $100 billion annually on mortgage interest and property deductions alone.
“Now is a great time to buy a home,” said Jerri Schmidt of Option 1 Credit Union. “Rates are historically low so you may be surprised with what you can afford. It is important to take you time and do your research. Use a lender that provides you with good quality financial advice. It’s always a good practice to use local reputable professionals – they know the market.”
“With home values where they are, many people are looking at ways to either add value, do simple maintenance and save with energy efficiency, or simply add some quality of life into their homes” Schmidt continues. You have financing options such as:
- Mortgages – rates remain at historic lows
- Equity Loans – mortgage loan in which the borrower receives cash. Typically the loan is secured by real estate already owned outright.
- Option 1 Home ReStyle Loan – unique loan option not tied to the equity in your home.
A healthy housing industry means more jobs and a stronger U.S. economy. In fact, fully 15 percent of the U.S. economy relies on housing. Home ownership builds stronger communities, provides a solid foundation for family and personal achievement and improves the quality of life for millions of people.
Home building increases the property tax base that supports local schools and communities. When a family owns their home, it is an asset that has a direct impact on their financial security and future. People are more likely to take care of things they own so they remain valuable. And a home’s value is determined by how well it is maintained as well as by the condition of the neighborhood.
Most of the products used in home construction and remodeling are manufactured in the United States. Constructing 100 new homes creates more than 300 full-time jobs, $23.1 million in wage and business income and $8.9 million in federal, state and local tax revenue. New home owners spend money on decorations and furnishings, to enhance the landscaping and to become members of the community by patronizing local businesses and service providers.
A home is so much more than an investment. In good times and in bad, the opportunity to own a home has been a cherished ideal and a source of pride, accomplishment, social stability and peace of mind. Home ownership strengthens communities as well as families.