by Jock Ochiltree, NCET VP of Tech Wednesdays
For the past several years, there has been a high influx of new tech workers in the Reno area. At some point, you will consider the question of buying vs renting. Not only is it a big financial decision, but you are choosing where you are going to live for the next several years. Here are some process-oriented considerations for that deliberation.
- Builds equity. Part of every mortgage payment goes towards building equity. Home values have a well-documented history of appreciating over time, which builds equity.
- Tax advantage of owning a house. The interest you pay is deductible on your income taxes.
- Housing payments stay stable.
- There is a sense of satisfaction in owning your own home. People who own a home stay in their homes 4 times longer than people who rent.
- There is no expiring lease and no surprising payment increases.
- While you are renting, you have time to establish credit and save money to buy.
- No down payment.
- Little risk of damaging your credit.
- No maintenance concerns.
- Allows you to remain mobile.
If you do decide to buy a house:
- Find an agent you trust who can guide you through the process.
- Understand your wants and needs.
- Get pre-approved.
- Determine how much you can practically afford to spend. Include such factors as monthly payment, utilities, HOA fees, and maintenance.
When is a good time to buy?
- Interest rates are low and stable. Notice that despite predictions of rising interest rates, they remain historically low.
- Economy is doing well. Not only is the economy doing well nationally, but Reno’s new economy maintains strong growth.
- Lots of homes on the market. There is a shortage of homes in the Reno area due to the strong local economy & high job growth. This is actually incentive to buy sooner rather than later.
- There are seasonal considerations. Spring and summer are the prime buying time. More inventory on the market. Many more buyers to compete with. In winter, the inventory is lower, but there are fewer buyers to compete with and sellers are more anxious to sell, leading to better deals.
Your real estate professional can guide you through all the steps in home buying including pre-approval, searching for homes, making an offer, negotiation and contract, and the very detailed closing process.
I am often asked about lease-purchase as a path to homeownership. In a strong market like we have in Reno, this is seldom acceptable to sellers. But, I work with a company whose business is to provide lease-purchase with resulting lower qualification requirements and down payment!
Jock Ochiltree, a realtor with eXp Realty and a veteran of high tech, is NCET’s VP of Tech Wednesday (firstname.lastname@example.org – www.jockochiltree.exprealty.com). NCET (www.NCET.org) is a member-supported non-profit that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology.