I am feeling a little nostalgic. My Aunt and Mother were going through some of my late Grandmother's (Flora) papers recently and found this little gem!
It is a Real Estate Magazine from Pittsburgh, PA in December 1927. My Grandmother, Flora, entered a contest when she was 14 yrs old, entitled "Own a Home Essay Contest". Back in 1927, it wasn't all the common to own your own home, and my great grandparents did not own a home at the time. There were a lot of renters back then. It seems even back then people were pointing out the values of purchasing a home instead of giving all the benefits to a landlord.
At 14 years old, Flora, my grandmother, weighed the differences between paying rent vs. paying a mortgage. She also addressed pride in ownership. She mentioned that if someone makes improvements to a home that they own, the improvements usually increase the value of the home. When a tenant makes an improvement it is usually for comfort while living there. And in turn, a landlord usually will only improve what is necessary in order to keep it rented. She goes on to say that if you own your home you are saving for your future, whereas a renter is not saving (equity) for their future, the landlord gets that benefit.
She talks about how home owners are free to express themselves in any way they desire in the home, while renters are restricted to the tastes of the landlord. She says that homeowners have a sense of security that renters do not. Renters never know when a landlord might not renew a lease or ask them to leave. She says "this security [home ownership] is a great aid to contentment." At one point she discusses "The homeowner may fix a room for his daughter in a way that gives her the most pleasure without worrying particularly about the expense of such an arrangement being wasted, but with security of mind he can make these alterations to please his daughter with the knowledge that he is the master of his own destiny and can occupy his particular dwelling as long as he desires." It makes me wonder if she was expressing a discussion or thought she had with her father. Maybe she was wishing that her Dad would have done her room a certain way, but he said he couldn't because the landlord wouldn't like it.
She wraps up her essay by discussing that home owners tend to be more conscientious citizens. That they pay attention and care for their communities than renters. Remember this was from a 14 yr old girl, in the end of 1927. I know plenty of renters that care about their community, so please don't get mad. I am merely discussing my grandmother's essay from almost 100 years ago. (There are still ~some~ renters that don't care about anything) Her point seemed to be that renters usually don't worry about property values and community issues because they don't have the same investment that a home owner has.
Fast forward to 2018. Some of the same points still hold true. You gain tax benefits, equity, security, and other perks and profits as home owners. As renters, you are giving your hard earned money to a landlord with no return on your investment. Some landlords, in this current market, are requiring renters to have a credit score over 700! If you have a credit score of over 700, you probably can buy your own home and save all the benefits for yourself!
Many current renters do not know that they may actually qualify to purchase their own home. There are many programs available with down payment assistance, first time home buyer programs, and many more ways to help you purchase a home. Don't be afraid to ask. Just because you ask, does not mean you are now committed. If you don't ask, you will never know.
If you would like to get a snapshot of where you are and if you qualify to buy your own home, please call us and we can get you information to get you started. All you have to do is ask! 602-300-1002
PS My Grandmother did win the first prize in her district. She won $25.00! The average income in Pittsburgh, Pa, 1927 was $66.00/week.