Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Homeownership cheaper than renting nationally

To piggy-back on my last blog, this is another take on the subject, which fascinates me, in this area where most real estate seems so expensive for a lot of people.

Trulia’s Summer 2012 Rent vs. Buy Report, which provides information on whether buying a home is more affordable than renting in America’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, found that homeownership is cheaper than renting in all of the 100 largest U.S. metros by a wide margin.

However, relative affordability depends largely on location. Buying a home is 24 percent cheaper than renting in Honolulu, 28 percent cheaper in San Francisco, and 31 percent cheaper in New York, but is 70 percent cheaper in Detroit. However, the actual dollar amount reveals that despite a low 28 percent difference in buying versus renting in San Francisco, the monthly dollar savings is big ($899) because rents and prices are so high in this region.

Note: Cost of homeownership assumes that the home is sold after seven years and includes closing costs, maintenance, insurance, property taxes and other costs. Cost of renting includes security deposit and renters insurance. Monthly costs are based on net present value of costs averaged over seven years, and based on the average across all properties listed in the metro area, including those for sale and those for rent, in summer 2012.

More info on this article from Trulia.

Thanks for reading, your comments are always welcome!
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A noteworthy web site: junk mail reducer: Catalog Choice

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Renting vs buying... an age-old quandary.

In 75% of the US one gets ahead within 3 years by buying a home vs continuing to rent.

Typically, and historically, it was kind of understood that it takes about 3 years to see the advantages of owning instead of renting.  The first years, most often, it seems a lot more expensive, and you do not see yet the tax advantage, when there is one. Then you settle in and start feeling "at home" vs leasing you space in life, and that adds to the financial aspects of the question.

But now that prices have moved a lot and in different ways throughout the US, it is not so straightforward.  In short, where prices have fallen the most would be where it is most attractive to buy, vs to rent.

This study from Zillow gives more detailed information on the new quirks and wrinkles of this age-old quandary.


useful links

Current Mortgage rates

Monday, September 10, 2012

Property tax increase.

Property taxes, as levied by the Counties, cannot go up more than 2% per year, right?
Well, not really.  It is true that Proposition 13 capped the increase of property values at 2% per year, but there is another Proposition, - Proposition 8,  which passed the same year as Proposition 13, which allows the property value to go down if the market tanks.

When the market goes back up, though, that same Proposition allows then the reassessment of the properties by the County to go back up by more than 2%, until it reaches the value that it would have been if it had not gone down in the first place.

A little hard to follow?  Just imagine what would be the potential value of your property, after you bought it, if it had increased by 2% per year (assuming the market was going up).  This is the value that it could be reassessed by the County if the market does go back to that value...

The request for re-evaluation of an assessment by the County can be done electronically now through their revamped web site, which provides easier ways to search for comparables and maps.
Santa Clara County assessor's web site.
and: contesting your assessed value.

If you wish, I can also assist you by providing a study of the recent sales through the MLS - which has saved quite a bit of money to some of my clients in the past few years.


useful links

Rates are super low right now! Mortgage rates

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