Owning a home has always been a big part of the "American Dream." Whether you're looking to buy your first apartment, find more space for your expanding family, or downsize to a smaller location, Ron Phipps, president of the National Association of Realtors, offers some practical advice.
Benefits of Home Ownership
Home may be where we make memories, build our families, and go to feel comfortable and secure, but the benefits of ownership extend beyond the home to the community: Homeowners are more likely to be involved and engaged in local issues, and move less frequently than renters. This helps to prevent crime, improve childhood education, and support neighborhood upkeep.
Owning a home is also how many American families begin to accumulate wealth. According to the most recent data from the Federal Reserve Board, a homeowner's net worth is 46 times that of a renter's.
Setting the Stage
When it comes to selling a home, "the first impression is absolutely critical," says Ron. Effective staging that eliminates clutter and emphasizes the unique details of a house will almost always result in a faster -- and more monetarily successful -- sale.
Navigating the Mortgage
While today's low interest rates make home ownership very appealing, the decision to own a home is a personal one that should begin with a thorough analysis of your family's financial situation. Mortgage rates will vary depending on each individual's qualifications, and credit score is key.
For more information on home ownership, visit realtor.org.