Putting down roots. Owning a home provides a sense of stability

Renting can work for some people, like those who move around frequently from place to place. But when you’re ready to settle down, whether to raise a family or just have a nice place you can call home, nothing beats owning a house.

There’s a sense of permanence you get when you own a home, one you just can’t find in an apartment or duplex, where moving trucks mark the coming and going of neighbors on a regular basis.

RAISING A FAMILY

It’s important for children to have a place of their own — complete with room to explore as they learn and grow — and the best way to provide that kind of long-term stability is to purchase a home that meets your family’s wants and needs.

A home isn’t just a place to keep you warm and dry. It’s the place your children will make most of their memories as they grow up, enjoying the holidays and spending time together as a family. It’s a place they’ll always remember.

And because today’s real estate market offers more homes at lower prices, now is the perfect time for young families to buy their piece of the American dream.

KNOWING YOUR NEIGHBORS

Hosting a neighborhood barbecue is a right of passage for many American families. The sound of laughter, the smoky smell of meat on the grill, and the warm smile of a longtime friend can make your backyard feel like heaven. But how can you develop those neighborhood bonds when your neighbors are always moving?

If you own a house in a safe, stable neighborhood, you develop close bonds with the people who live around you, the folks who share your interests and are always happy to help you out when needed.

Putting down roots is a great way to forge friendships that last a lifetime. It would be heartbreaking to lose those close connections if you’re forced to move at the whim of a landlord, or your rent is raised so much that your home is no longer affordable over the long term. It’s another reason that finding the right house in the perfect neighborhood is a smart idea right now.

FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER TIPS

WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD?

This is a decision that needs to be made up front, and there’s no easy answer.
Mortgage companies can tell you what kind of loan you qualify for, but that’s only part of the decision.

You also need to look at your personal budget and what kind of lifestyle you want to live. Be sure you include expenses like homeowner’s insurance and property taxes in the planning process.

REAL ESTATE GLOSSARY

REALTOR — A member of the National Association of REALTORS. Not all real estate agents are REALTORS.

PROMISSORY NOTE — A written promise to repay a loan over a certain period of time. Often shortened to “note.”

JUMBO LOAN — Any loan over $227,150, which is the top limit for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans. Sometimes called a nonconforming loan.

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