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Are first time home buyers fearing the worst?

The past few years home buyers were coming out of the wood work looking to purchase. Mostly first time home buyers. What has really changed? Interest rates are now the lowest they’ve been all year, there is inventory galore, sellers are eager…………….. So what is stopping people from buying?

Fear. Fear that things may get even better? My opinion is that things are pretty darn good now. Waiting may or may not be a good option for people. Once everyone figures out that now is the time to buy everything will change once again. They say it’s either a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, not both.

Here are Four Great Reasons To Buy

If you’ve ever thought about buying a home, but decided that it was too big a financial gamble, think again. It’s possible you haven’t considered the risk of not buying a home. For the majority of working people, home ownership is the single most reliable way to achieve financial security. Without it, you may find it almost impossible to gain access to the kind of capital you’ll need to support yourself in your old age, pay for your children’s education or start a new business.
Since the 90’s, overall housing prices have remained stable, though in some areas of the country they have fallen by as much as 25 to 30 percent, and mortgage interest rates have dropped dramatically. But, like many people, you may continue to think of home ownership as something beyond your reach. Here’s why that thinking could be a big mistake.

1. You may wait a long time to see rates this good again. Suzanne recently saw a house selling for $125,000. She has $20,000 in savings to use as a down payment; $105,000 30 year mortgage at 6% would cost her $629.50 a month, and she may have another $160 a month in real estate taxes and insurance, for a total of $789.50.Suzanne is hesitating: $ 789.50 feels like a stretch for her now, since she is paying only $650 for her rental. But if she waits, and prices and mortgage rates rebound to the levels of five years ago, the exact same home might cost her $150,000, and she could be paying an 8 percent interest rate. The bottom line: she would be stuck with mortgage and tax/insurance payments of $1113.90- almost twice her current rent for exactly the same home.

2. Renting deprives you of big tax breaks. Home ownership is one of the last remaining tax shelters. In the example above, Suzanne would be able to deduct about $9,000 in mortgage interest and real estate taxes on her annual tax return. She earns $30,000 a year, which puts her in the combined 31% federal and state tax bracket. Therefore, her tax savings could come to about $2,900 a year or almost an additional $250 in take – home pay each month. If she rents, she’ll get no tax breaks whatsoever.

3. You need to start small to trade up. You may feel that there will be plenty of time to get into the housing market when you feel financially secure. The problem is, you’ll probably need the profit you’ll make by selling your “starter” house to be able to afford the one that you’ll want in the future. In the last 6 years, the median price of a single-family home rose an average of nearly 8% a year, according to the National Association of Realtors.

4. Your future is going to be expensive. Financial experts generally suggest that to retire, you’ll need to build up enough in savings and investments to generate yearly income of 70 % of your pre-retirement income. That’s a tall order- and a reason to start amassing some serious capital soon.
Most importantly, a good Realtor can show you properties in your price range making your search almost effortless. Realtors who are “Buyer’s Agents” get compensation buy the selling agent, therefore it cost the buyer nothing for having representation.

If you are a thinking of purchasing a home and would like to be referred to an agent in your area you can go to

You will be asked for some basic information regarding your home search preferences. A qualified agent will then be assigned to work with you to determine what your options are.

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Written by Rae Catanese, Realtor

Licensed Realtor since 2002, Tampa Bay’s own Rae Catanese regularly gives expert advice and insider tips about the Tampa Bay real estate market via her blog, The Tampa Real Estate Insider. If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the Tampa, St. Petersburg or Clearwater areas-then this blog is for you. I typically post articles once a week. To make sure you don’t miss my newest posts, you can subscribe here! Have a real estate question? Email me here!

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