Real Estate Information Archive


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Buying Is 38% Cheaper Than Renting

by The Hat Team

That statement reflects Trulia’s Rent vs. Buy Report. “Although the gap between renting and buying is narrowing across the U.S., homeownership is still 38% cheaper than renting.”

rent vs buy

When evaluating buying a home vs. renting you need to understand the local math. Although the national average is 38% cheaper for buying vs. renting, the range across the country is from 5% cheaper to 66% cheaper.

The Trulia report concludes that there is nowhere in the US that buying a home is not cheaper than renting. However, the percentage of difference does vary widely. That is because there are variables that depend on local circumstances such as:

  • Local home values
  • Local rents
  • Mortgage interest rates
  • Rates of value appreciation

If you really want to understand the detailed numbers go to the full report.

You can also go to Trulia’s Rent vs. Buy Calculator that allows you to plug in your local variables.

Borrower’s credit score is another factor you need to take into account when evaluating your situation. Mortgage interest rates are perhaps the most important variable in the buy vs. rent calculation. One of the factors that affects interest rates the most is the borrower’s credit score. The lower your credit score the higher the interest rate you will pay.

The monthly payment on a $200,000 loan for 30 years increases by $60.27 for every 0.5% added to the interest rate. That means the decision about whether to borrower using a variable interest rate (such as an ARM) or a fixed interest rate over the life of the loan is very important.

The Trulia report also evaluates the “tipping point” for interest rates that will cause renting to be cheaper than buying. For the national average that leads to the 38% figure the mortgage interest rate would have to rise to over 10%. However, you should look at local factors involved for a home using the Rent vs. Buy Calculator.

You can follow this link for the current interest rate forecast. You can also find current mortgage interest rates at

Current indicators are that both home prices and interest rates are going to rise steadily over the next five years. That is good news for potential buyers, and means now is a good time to buy. However, if you’re hoping to become a homeowner anytime soon use these tools to do some research.

Live the Dream

by The Hat Team

Consumers are more easily living the American Dream of owning a home because of the incredibly low mortgage rates. Today, most buyers can get a much lower rate than their parents or grandparents got on their first home.

American dream2.png

In a recent housing survey, FNMA released information about consumers' thoughts on the current market. Almost two-thirds would rather buy than rent and believe that now is a good time to buy. Half of the respondents expect rent and home prices will go up.

Top Ten reasons to move the dream to reality:

  1. It’s cheaper than renting in most cases
  2. Avoid rental increases in the future
  3. Equity build-up with amortization of each payment going to principal
  4. A home is a forced savings account
  5. Appreciation increases your equity and your overall investment
  6. Mortgage interest and property tax deductions
  7. Home equity interest deduction
  8. A place you can call your own
  9. A place to share with friends and family
  10. Capital gains exclusion on profit

Buyers need the confidence that they can afford a home and proof for the sellers when they’re ready to submit a contract. If a buyer has steady reliable income, a good record of paying their bills, money saved for a down payment and are prepared to pay the mortgage each month, the next step is to get pre-approved by a trusted mortgage professional.

Take a look at the Rent vs. Own to see what the real cost of owning a home for your price range.

Information courtesy of Montgomery AL Real Estate Experts Sandra Nickel Hat Team Realtors.

Consider The 5 year Rule When Buying a Home

by The Hat Team

There are many factors that go into the decision to buy a home. One of those factors is how long you expect to stay in the home. This applies whether you are a first time homebuyer or stepping up to a larger home. The length of time you stay in a home affects the financial outcome of that ownership.

5 year ruleHere’s a summary of some thoughts from and the 5-year rule for buying a home. There is a tendency for younger buyers to go through 3-year upgrade cycles. Why? Newer and younger buyers typically experience significant increases in income in their younger years.

As income increases their ability to afford a larger mortgage increases and the desire for a larger house sets in. There seems to be an assumption that buying is more cost effective than renting. Click here for a perspective on ownership costs vs. rent. That thought process occurs, on average, every three years.

The 5-year rule states that generally you should plan to stay in a home you’re buying for at least five years. That is for two primary reasons…

  • The first reason is closing costs. Every time a home changes hands both the buyers and the sellers put money on the table just to make the transaction happen. These costs can easily add up to thousands of dollars. Those dollars provide no real financial benefit to the buyers or sellers except to allow the transaction to happen.
  • The second reason is the payment of interest on the mortgage. A mortgage payment has two components – payback of the principal of the loan borrowed and interest on the amount borrowed. Because typical mortgage payments remain the same during the life of the loan the proportion paid on the two components changes. In the early years the payment is almost all going to pay interest and very little to principal. As the principal is gradually paid down the portion going to interest diminishes and the portion going to the principal increases.

According to author Thursday Bram “it isn’t until you’re about five years into paying down your mortgage that you’ve made enough progress on the principal to make it a better deal than paying rent each month.”

Here’s how to beat that average…don’t buy the biggest house you can just because a lender tells you what you can afford. Instead, consider buying smaller and then adding extra money to your monthly payments. That extra money will go entirely to paying down the principal loan – that means you will pay less interest over the life of the loan and you will create more equity because you are diminishing the principal balance faster.

However, if you’re not going to stay in your home five years you should probably consider renting.

Information courtesy of Montgomery Realtor Sandra Nickel, Hat Team Realtors.

6 Reasons To Buy Rather Than Rent a Montgomery Home

by The Hat Team

Many Montgomery renters are finding that they get more ‘bang for their’ buck if they buy a home rather than rent one. With affordable prices, low interest rates and tax incentives, Montgomery home ownership makes more sense than ever.

6 Reasons to Buy Rather Than Rent Montgomery Home

montgomery home1. Buying doesn’t always cost more.
The Associated Press reports the gap between buying and renting has decreased $550 in the last three years.

2. Affordability is at an all-time high.
Nationwide, prices have declined by nearly 20-40%.

3. Tax benefits for home ownership saves money.
The biggest tax break is the mortgage interest deduction. Most of your mortgage payment goes to interest which is tax deductible. Property taxes and mortgage insurance are also tax deductible.

4. Many loans require no down payment.
Veterans Administration (VA) loans and many first-time home owner loans don’t require a down payment.

5. Mortgage rates are at all-time lows.
Mortgage interest rates are the lowest we have seen in 30 years.

6. You own it.

There is nothing like pride of ownership…and you can do anything you want to do. You can paint it any color you want, make improvements, and landscape to your own taste..

Search all Montgomery homes for sale.


Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4




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