The Benefits of Becoming A Homeowner

There are some of us who still struggle with deciding on whether we want to rent or make the transition to becoming a homeowner. The latter may seem nerve-wracking, but today we’re discussing some of the beneficial reasons why owning a home versus renting is so much better.

Immediate Equity. Once you begin making payments on your mortgage your property’s equity increases. As a refresher, equity is determined by the current market value of your home minus what you owe in loans. Your home’s equity increases as you make payments on your mortgage balance or as the property value appreciates over time.

For example, if your home’s market value is $300,000 and your mortgage balance is $175,000, then you have $125,000 of equity in your home. After you sell, you can use this $125,000 to reinvest your money in yourself instead of renting and paying someone else.

Invest in Yourself. Usually, first time homebuyers are looking for a home that is an investment and not necessarily their dream home. You can use your equity in the future to move into a bigger home and a better neighborhood. You can also choose to invest your money into other properties or put it towards your nest egg.

Tax Advantages. We’re currently in the midst of tax season. As a home owner, you’ll receive a bigger return. Furthermore, in states such as South Carolina, home owners may be eligible for a Homestead Exemption which exempts a set dollar amount or a percentage of a home’s value from property taxes.

For example, the current property tax rate in South Carolina is 0.57%. If the assessed value of your home is $300,000 and your property tax is 0.57% then your property tax bill will equal $1,710. But if you’re eligible for a homestead exemption of $50,000 then the taxable value of your home would drop to $250,000 and your property tax bill would be $1,425.

Those are just a few of the reasons why you should make the transition from being a renter to becoming a home owner. To learn more, check out our video on The Benefits of Owning vs Renting. And if you’re ready to take the next step or have any questions, feel free to reach out to our trusted realtor, Qulia Bryant for your homebuying needs. Call us: 833-704-HOME or find your dream home online!

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/h/homestead-exemption.asp

https://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/personal-income-taxes/homestead-exemption.htm

https://smartasset.com/taxes/south-carolina-property-tax-calculator

https://smartasset.com/taxes/what-is-a-homestead-tax-exemption

 

The Fight for the Neighborhood

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In 2008, the US economy went under in what is now known as the Great Recession. Stocks were down, unemployment rate was up and foreclosures were at a peak. This market crash was a stepping stone for a small percentage of the population, the real estate investors.

While leveraging lower property values and foreclosure auctions, many hedge funds, developers, investment firms and private companies used this opportunity to gain a place in the real estate market and rebuild the economy.

Today, there are communities in every urban metro in the US that is experiencing gentrification due to the influx of these investors in recent years. Gentrification is the newest socioeconomic disparity in America.

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Neighborhoods that were once affordable to blue-collar working class families, are now attracting wealthy middle class homeowners.

Neighborhoods that were once notorious for violent crimes, are now chartered as historic and renamed to appeal the young hip residents.

Neighborhoods that were once overlooked in city’s budget plans, are now provided a weekly farmers market.

These new communities have pushed out some of the old residents with the increase in tax values, increase in rent, and neighborhood land development. Other residents have fought to keep their property in hopes of retaining some of the neighborhoods culture. However, what most people do not realize is that some neighbors they are fighting against were in fact the original residents of these communities.

Prior to the Great Depression, in the 1930’s the federal housing agency played a role in redlining inner city neighborhoods which resulted in mass number of whites moving to suburban areas in order to qualify for home loans. According to data from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition the affluent white middle class moved out of the inner city and the minority population were denied home loans and pushed into these urban metro areas.

Eventually in the 1960s and 1970s factories moved out of the inner cities and closer to areas where white communities were. This caused spikes in unemployment rates for blacks who were not able to get to work in the suburbs. In turn, the inner city communities took a huge decline. The public housing communities that were built to house poor minorities were not being reinvested into. The buildings were falling apart, drugs were infiltrated, and crime was unstoppable.

In the 1990s, President Clinton signed two bills into law that would be the beginning of reforming inner cities back to what they were originally, neighborhoods for affluent middle class. These bills were “One Strike” where a resident of public housing was evicted for any accusation of crime and “Hope VI” where 166 cities were granted funding to demolish public housing and rebuild mixed-income housing.

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The neighborhoods where public housing once stood, now serve only 42 percent of the mixed income housing and has created a severe affordable housing lack.

The neighborhoods were public housing once stood, are now sites for city attractions and half a million dollar and upwards real estate.

The neighborhoods where public housing once stood, are now gentrified neighborhoods with new occupants who are still trying to find their solace in it all.

So whose neighborhood is it anyway? The white middle class lived in most of these urban areas prior to the 1930’s. The minorities and blacks have made these neighborhoods home and created culture in these areas since the 1950’s. The investors are simply looking to capitalize on opportunities that will help the economy. The standard of neighborhoods are usually held together by all of the neighbors. These new neighborhoods should be no different. Create community organizations with leaders from all represented classes, work together to make the community cohesive, and fight back against the government for tax and rent controls instead of fighting against each other.

In the words, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Non-cooperation with evil is as much as moral obligation as cooperation with good.”