First Time Home Buyers on the Rise in Florida

Owning a home is considered a measure that someone has achieved “the American Dream.” Throughout the country, the number of first time home buyers is on the rise, which indicates that this dream is still going strong. The overall housing market is experiencing a slowdown, with current homeowners choosing to stay in their houses longer, but the first time home buyer market is growing, especially in states such as Florida.

Florida currently leads the nation in growth of first-time homebuyer rates. This growth is at least partially attributed to the state’s first-time homebuyer programs, which can provide fixed, low rate mortgage loans and up to $14,999 to assist with the down payment and closing costs. With this type of assistance available, it makes sense to think about buying a home.

The Benefits of Buying a Home

There are many reasons why someone would choose to purchase a home rather than continue to lease an apartment or house. Some of the key reasons are:

  1. You Can Customize. Once you own the house, you decide what colors to paint the walls, if you want to tear the walls down, and whether to rent out the spare bedroom. The outside of your home is also yours to do with as you wish unless there are homeowners’ association covenants.
  2. Good Investment. Purchasing a home means that you are investing in the property. As monthly equity accrues with each mortgage payment, your equity builds. Improvements on the house and property will also increase your equity, making home ownership a sound investment.
  3. Establish or Improve Credit Rating. Simply taking out a mortgage will increase your credit score if you are currently in the medium range. Making timely mortgage payments also improves your score over time. If you are trying to establish yourself as having good credit, buying a home will help.
  4. Tax Benefits. Even under the new tax laws, owning a home can help decrease the amount of federal taxes you owe or increase your refund in most cases. The interest and property taxes you pay are deductible within certain limits. Most first time homebuyers are likely to be under these limits, so these deductions will make a big difference at tax time. These are just a few of the potential tax benefits available through home buying.
  5. Cheaper than Renting. In many instances, owning a home is cheaper than renting, even with property taxes and interest rates, since these are often deductible from your taxes. You are also building equity, which means when you decide to sell, you have money in your pocket rather than nothing at all if you rent.

Renting is a practical choice if you don’t know where you plan to live on a permanent basis or if you travel often for work. Other than these exceptions, purchasing a home will bring better short and long term rewards over renting.

Utilize Florida’s First Time Homebuyer Program

There are several benefits available for Florida first time home buyers. A first-time buyer is typically defined as someone who hasn’t owned a home in the past three years. There are a variety of Florida and federal programs that support and encourage first-time buyers to finally own their own home. Each has its own benefits, restrictions, and requirements but it is worth the effort to conduct this research and decide what is best for you. This assistance comes in many forms, including but not limited to:

  • Preferred and low interest fixed rate loans
  • Low or interest-free second mortgages to finance necessary repairs and improvements
  • Mortgage Credit Certificate Program that results in a $2,000 annual federal tax credit
  • Down Payment Assistance and Grants

First time home buyers are on the rise in Florida and with all of the available programs, many are receiving great financial benefits before they even make their first mortgage payment.

Protect your newly purchased home with the right insurance coverage. At Alliance, we represent the best home insurance companies in this state. This allows us to find you the lowest cost home insurance with the coverage you need. Simply contact us to get a free quote and we can also provide you with side-by-side policy comparisons to help you choose.

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