Buying a home is the great American dream!

Houses all across the country are seeing a steady drop in prices in recent years, and now it’s more affordable than ever to own a home.

Of course there are certain benefits to renting, especially if you don’t plan on staying in one area on a permanent basis. But for those who are more than ready to settle in, is now the right time to buy instead of rent? To help you make the decision, homeowners can enjoy the following perks:

  • A customized space. A house can actually reflect your tastes once you’re allowed to knock down a wall, add a back patio, and paint every room according to your specifications. Renters don’t get to make these kinds of changes, and as a result, the house doesn’t quite feel like home.
  • Create a second (or third!) income. There are so many creative ways to earn an extra dollar or two shortly after you’ve moved in. The most lucrative way is to rent out the spare bedroom, but you live in a big city or higher-populated area, rent out the space in your driveway to the locals. Even better, rent the whole house as a “Summer house” while you’re away on vacation.
  • No more unexpected surprises from a landlord. No one can hike up the rent, especially since a fixed mortgage can’t go up. No one can kick you out. No one can suddenly decide to sell the home to someone else without informing you first. No more dealing with landlords! The security of being in a house that’s truly yours is incredible. And since you are in charge of any repairs that need to be made (such as a broken dishwasher or pesky termite issues) there’s no more waiting on landlords to call a specialist, either.
  • Tax deductions. Come tax season, you can declare and deduct mortgage interest payments and eligible expenses such as energy-efficient improvements. Other deductions include points on home mortgage, refinancing, and property taxes.