Condo Vs. Single-Family Home
If you're in the market for a new home, you may be deciding whether to purchase a condo or a single-family property. Both are great choices, but what's the best option for you? We've compiled a shortlist of common purchase goals to help you decide.
- Small Budget Benefits. When you purchase a condo, you're buying everything inside of the unit, not the land. For this reason (and a few others), most condos are less expensive than single-family homes. If affordability is a priority, you may prefer a condo's lower price tag and monthly payments.
- Less Elbow Room. Condos generally have less square footage than single-family homes and are controlled by a Homeowner's Association (HOA). This means in addition to having less space, you may have less control of what you can and can't do inside of your unit. The flip side is that the HOA takes care of exterior maintenance.
- At-Home Amenities. Depending on the community, a condo may offer fun amenities like pools, tennis courts, jogging trails, and/or gyms. This is a major perk for active people who want to connect with their neighbors.1
First-time Buyer? Check Out Your State's Down Payment Assistance Programs
Many potential homebuyers tend to put their plans on hold until they've saved enough cash for a down payment. However, almost every state, city, and county offers its own down payment assistance (DPA) program.
DPA program requirements vary. Some are limited to lower-income households, while others offer help with down payments and closing costs. Some even offer grants that don't require repayment if you stay in your home for a certain number of years.
Want to find out more? The fastest method is to Google "down payment assistance for [insert your state here] homebuyers" or similar.2
The Federal Reserve and Inflation
While inflation can make you an unhappy shopper, it can also be a sign of a recovering economy. Here's why: during the past few months, there's been increased demand for consumer goods, which means more spending. Manufacturers respond by increasing production and hiring more staff.
Other pandemic-related factors are contributing, including the low (0% -- 0.25%) overnight rate introduced by the Federal Reserve in response to the COVID pandemic. However, this rate is expected to rise this year as part of the Fed's efforts to combat inflation.3
Mortgage Basics for Turn-of-the-Century Buyers
Today's home buyers have plenty of options, including mortgages with low down payments. But life wasn't nearly as easy for buyers in the late 1800s and early 1900s, when a mortgage required a 50% down payment. These mortgages had to be paid in full in five years, and since the payments were interest-only, the homebuyer had to come up with a big chunk of change.4
Max Out Your Homeowner's Tax Deductions
One of the many perks of homeownership is the annual mortgage interest deduction. If this is your first year filing as a homeowner, here are some tips to prepare this year's federal return.
Tax filing software or your accountant will help you identify your deductions, including these:
- You worked remotely in a home office (check out the Schedule C form, and you may claim even more deductions).
- If your home was under construction.
- You received assistance from the Hardest Hit Fund or HUD's Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program.
Visit the IRS online at IRS.gov. Check out Publication 936, which explains mortgage interest deductions in detail. You can also file your taxes free of charge, and check when your refund's scheduled to arrive.5
Home Interiors Go Natural
According to interior design pros, homeowners' tastes are changing as the pandemic slows. Since staying home isn't mandatory, more consumers are expressing themselves and bringing more intricate décor indoors. Some trends for 2022:
- Patterned hardwood floors with two-tone inlays are becoming popular, especially as a remodeling project. So are lighter hardwoods, as these can open up a smaller room.
- Kitchens are abandoning the all-white color scheme. Homeowners are returning to wood cabinets or painting their existing ones in warm or neutral hues.
- Having missed nature for the past two years, homeowners are moving these elements indoors. More windows, sunlight and plants are part of biophilic design, which translates to homeowners becoming closer to nature by bringing it indoors.
- While a metal roof is an investment, it's also eco-friendly and long-lasting. Homeowners on a budget may opt for metal accents on a porch roof, or awning roof over windows. No matter what you choose, metal roof materials can last for 70 years.6
1 nasdaq.com; 2 themortgagereports.com; 3 cnet.com; 4 bebusinessed.com; 5 nerdwallet.com; 6 nar.realtor.Share:
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