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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, June 12, 2020

Why homeownership matters: A path to financial stability




June marks National Homeownership Month, which recognizes the value of homeownership and its positive impact on families, communities and the nation’s economy. This month is a time to celebrate and help promote the American dream of homeownership while pointing out the many benefits of owning a home.

This column is one of a three-part series on why homeownership matters. This week, I’m addressing how owning a home is a path to your financial stability.

Most consumers agree that homeownership is one of the best investments a person can make to begin building wealth. We know from studies that owning a home in certain ZIP codes can mean drastically different things, including access to health care and a quality education.

Having access to these amenities is part of the path toward financial stability. Homeownership provides social stability, builds communities and is a driving force for our economy.

My clients are often surprised to learn that a down payment on a home is about the same amount as a deposit on a rental property. And the financial benefits don’t stop there.

Purchasing a home is the first step in building equity. Over time, as the housing needs of your family unit change, you can upsize and downsize accordingly. You can use the wealth accrued from your current home and apply it toward a new home that meets your needs.

Compared to renting, purchasing a home is a way to limit the impact of inflation. It’s not uncommon for rents to fluctuate with inflation, but when purchasing a home, you have the ability to lock in a rate that remains the same for the life of the mortgage.

There are a lot of misconceptions about how much initial money it takes to purchase a home. According the National Association of Realtors’ most recent Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, renters who feel homeownership might be out of reach have options such as improving their credit score and managing their debt.

While it’s perceived that a buyer needs to put down 10% or more to purchase a home, for first-time buyers, the report shows the median down payment is actually closer to only 6%.

Our local market stats have shown a slow but gradual increase in median home prices over the last 10 years. The sooner you invest in a home, the sooner you invest in yourself and your path toward long-term financial stability.

Sound complicated? Try this. Think of owning your own home as an investment in not only your future but also your family’s future. Follow along this month for the rest of this series as I discuss homeownership as an investment in your community and yourself both socially and emotionally.

Interested in getting started on the journey of buying your own home? Contact a Realtor. We have the tools and professional knowledge to help you walk this path. Realtors are here to be your housing resource. That’s who we R.

Greater Chattanooga Realtors is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,000 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is one of 300 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors service Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit www.gcar.net or call 423 698-8001.