Homeownership Rates Are Higher Than They’ve Been in 8 Years!

Over the past few months, those of us in the Raleigh area have been under pretty strict stay-at-home orders, and many of us have been working from home or have been out of work entirely. Life may have been put on pause, but real estate hasn’t taken a rest. In fact, a recent study by Housing Vacancy Survey shows that homeownership rates are higher than they’ve been in eight years!

Why Are Homeownership Rates Rising Despite Shut-Downs?

a family moving into a new house

While shut-downs and closures have shaken up daily lives like never before, for many of us, being at home has meant having more time to slow down and appreciate the little things in life. Spending time at home has given us an increased value in the sense of home—so really, it’s not too surprising that homeownership increased to the highest it’s been in eight years.

Low interest rates have made buying affordable

low interest rates leading to increasing homeownership rates

The first quarter of 2020 saw an increase of about 2.7 million homeowners—and for many, this was made possible by low interest rates. Especially after the fast-climbing rates of 2018, the lower rates of 2019 were quite surprising. But even those were nothing compared to the pandemic-driven drops of 2020. With some of the lowest interest rates in American history, 2020 has actually proven quite favorable to buyers.

New homes have increased availability

a beautiful new home being built

New home construction has also been on the rise in the last several months, which has provided eager buyers with more options than existing homes alone can offer.

The Raleigh area especially has seen some fabulous new construction developments in recent months and years—providing both affordable and luxury options for buyers of all ages and means.

Ownership is up in all age groups—but especially millennials

young happy homebuyers

Thanks to favorable economic conditions (like low unemployment and high household income) in late 2019 and early 2020, many younger buyers have been making moves to settle down and buy homes. In fact, households under age 35 (many first-time buyers) saw the largest jump in homeownership rates, with a climb of 1.9% from last year. The next age group, households aged 35 – 44, saw the second-largest gain of 1.2%. Even the 65+ age group saw a minimal gain of 0.2%.

Homeownership provides a sense of home

a happy family at home

The recent closures have certainly shined a light on which businesses and services are truly essential to keep our country running. And there’s a reason real estate was deemed essential by the majority of states and towns across the country—including North Carolina and the Triangle. That’s because it is essential to a vast majority of people across America.

Homeownership has long been an important element of the American Dream. And this recent health crisis has helped us to appreciate the homes we’ve shared with family, with friends (and virtual friends), with pets, and with kids—and truly see the value of homeownership.

Dreaming of Homeownership in the Triangle?

If you’ve been dreaming of buying a home in the Triangle area, we’re here to help! Whether you have questions about how your goals might have been affected by the global health crisis or you’re ready to start searching, Linda Craft & Team is here to put our 350+ years of experience to work for you. Give us a call today at 919-235-0007 and let’s get started!

3 Oft-Overlooked Financial Advantages to Homeownership

Buying a home comes with a lot of perks, both financial and personal—building equity, finding a place to belong long-term, becoming part of a community—but there are some overlooked financial advantages to homeownership, too.

Financial Advantages to Owning You Didn’t Know About

financial advantages to homeownership

If you’re still renting or haven’t owned a home recently, you might not know about all the hidden benefits to owning! Here are three financial advantages to homeownership you might not’ve thought about.

Someday, you won’t have a housing payment

paying off a home loan

When you first buy a home, you’ll likely have a mortgage, and it will probably be comparable to your current rent payment. But starting from that first monthly payment, your money will no longer be going into your landlord’s pocket; it’ll be paying down your mortgage.

And believe it or not, if you stay in your home long enough, there will come a day when you don’t have a monthly housing payment.

Homeowners get tax breaks

tax benefits of homeownership

As a renter, you might not be aware that owning a home comes with a few nice tax benefits. In fact, both the mortgage interest and your property taxes are tax-deductible—which can be a pretty big break when tax season rolls around! And it’s certainly a benefit that renters cannot enjoy.

Monthly housing costs are predictable

budgeting monthly costs

When you rent a home, the amount you pay per month depends on the rates your landlord sets, and since most leases are terms of a year or two, that rate can change from year to year. But when you own a home, such is not the case.

The majority of homeowners use a fixed-rate loan, which means that your rates stay the same throughout the duration of your loan. Your property taxes and homeowner’s insurance may fluctuate over the years, but what you pay for your mortgage will not. Not only does that make budgeting a breeze, but it also ensures that you’re protected against things like inflation and skyrocketing rental rates.

Convinced to Buy?

If you’re ready to buy a home in the Triangle, or even if you’re still on the fence, Linda Craft & Team is here to help! Let us put our expert local knowledge, our extensive network, and our 350+ years of combined experience to work to find the perfect home for you.

How Homeownership Makes the Biggest Difference

If you’re looking for the most surefire way to build your wealth, become a homeowner. We’ve blogged about this in the past, but it really is one of the most effective (and simplest) ways to build your wealth for the long term.

The majority of homeowners take out a mortgage loan to buy their home. By paying off your home’s mortgage every month, you’re building your wealth. Although it feels like you’re paying somebody else (the bank) you’re actually putting money into a forced savings account.

And forcing yourself to save money pays off. Big time.

It Helps You Achieve the American Dream

A core part of what many consider “The American Dream” is owning a home. Owning your own home brings a myriad of benefits, both financial and non-financial.

Financially speaking, buying a home and becoming a homeowner increases your net worth. Every time you make a mortgage payment, your net worth goes up a little.

Here’s an example: in a study performed by The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, researchers found that the difference in net worth between homeowners and renters over 65 was 47.5 times greater.

In that study, nearly half of those homeowners’ net worth came from their home equity!

It’s a Huge Retirement Benefit

Studies show that homeowners over 65 are more financially prepared for retirement. Even if they choose to sell their home and downsize for retirement, they have the added bonus of owning their home for a long time—meaning their home has likely increased in value.

Now, when they choose to sell their home, they’ll make an even bigger return on their investment.

Although renting may seem like an affordable option short-term, it’s less lucrative in the long term. This is especially true when you consider that median rent prices have increased substantially every year.

Plus, It Has Emotional Benefits

You deserve to love where you live. That’s the biggest emotional benefit you get from owning your home: you get to put down roots and invest in a community that will improve your quality of life.

When you buy a home in a community like Raleigh and the NC Triangle, you’re signing up for an exciting, well-rounded lifestyle! The Triangle has plenty of small towns, gorgeous real estate options, and maybe even a major city or two.

Ready to Become a Homeowner?

We’re ready to help. Start building your wealth and guaranteeing yourself a more successful retirement by buying your dream home in the greater Raleigh area.

Just call us, Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®, today to get started. You can use our free home-buying resources, easily search for homes in the area, and see popular Raleigh homes for sale.