24 March 2011

Double Guest Posting: Advantages of Buying vs Renting a House AND Things You Should Know About Smoke Damage

10 Advantages of Buying a Home Versus Renting
from DoorFly.com by Ann Douglas

  1. Build Equity: A major advantage to buying a home over renting is the ability to build equity over years of ownership. You build equity as your home value increases and you can leverage this value to take out lines of credit. Tenants don’t receive equity when renting because they don’t own their house.

  2. Ownership: One of the biggest advantages of buying a home versus renting is the ability to own. Ownership gives you the right to upgrade your home, rent it out to tenants, sell it and do as you please. Buying a home is one of the most important and valuable investments a person can make.

  3. Make Upgrades: A major advantage of buying a home is having the ability to make upgrades and improvements that will increase its value and give it more curb appeal. Owning a home gives you the right to decorate, renovate and remodel as you please to make your home look just how you want it. Renting limits your ability to personalize your home because most landlords won’t allow their tenants to paint the walls, replace fixtures and appliances or make any major changes.

  4. Lock In Payments: When you buy a home, you secure a monthly payment that you will pay for the rest of the time you own the home. If your finances suddenly change and you need to scale back on your monthly expenses, you have the option of refinancing your mortgage to reduce your monthly payment. This does come with some risks and you may have to face higher interest payments, but it’s a nice option to have when money’s tight. Tenants have less control of their payments because rent can increase from lease to lease.

  5. Increase Line of Credit: Buying a home increases your line of credit and can improve your score in more ways than renting. Homeowners with an increased line of credit will have a higher credit limit and get low interest rates on credit cards and loans. Renting limits your credit-building opportunities and doesn’t make quite as big of a splash as having a mortgage in your name.

  6. Make a Profit: Whether you’re a business-savvy homeowner who’s looking to make a quick profit from flipping a house, or a homeowner who’s wanting to sell their house after it increased in value, you have the ability to make a profit when you own a home. When renting, you never make a profit because you don’t own the property.

  7. Payments Eventually End: A major advantage of buying a home versus renting is the simple fact that mortgage payments will eventually end one day. It usually takes about 15 to 30 years to completely pay off your house and own it for good. When renting, the payments just keep coming and they don’t end like a mortgage.

  8. Home Value Increases: After years of owning a home, its value increases. Depending on the neighborhood, schools and other property values, purchased homes generally appreciate in value throughout the years, making them more and more profitable. For many homeowners, their home is worth much more than what they bought it for. Renting doesn’t allow you to make a profit because you don’t own your home.

  9. No Landlords: When you buy a home, you no longer have to deal with pesky landlords. Having the freedom to run your house the way you want it and taking all tasks into your own hands is actually a rewarding responsibility.

  10. Emotional Satisfaction: Homeowners feel greater emotional satisfaction from having a piece of property in their name and investing their time and money toward something as important as a house. This is especially true for first time homebuyers. Renters may experience some emotional satisfaction and pride in renting, but not nearly as much as homeowners.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Smoke Damage
by Allen Wright at Home Alarm Monitoring
  1. Smoke Migrates to Cooler Areas: The behavior of smoke during a fire is largely dependent on temperature. Smoke is typically hot and migrates to cooler regions of your home. Unfortunately, the cooler regions of your home are often hard to reach places, like cabinets and the under side of furniture. This makes the cleaning process much more difficult and is one of the major consequence of smoke damage.

  2. Smoke Uses Plumbing to Migrate Through Your House: Smoke naturally travels through plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to travel from floor to floor. This is the best way for smoke to travel throughout homes and buildings and cause further damage. Vents and plumbing systems are cleaned and often replaced if smoke damage is great enough.

  3. Wet, Smoldering Fires Produce the Most Damaging Smoke: The type of fire and the type of smoke produced by the fire make a huge difference when it comes to cleaning smoke damage. Wet, smoldering fires produce highly volatile and noxious smoke, the effects of which can persist for years. One of the best things to do after a fire is to be sure that all wet spots are dry and that all smoldering embers are doused to prevent this highly damaging type of smoke.

  4. High Temperature Fires Produce Easy to Clean Smoke Damage: Contrary to what you might believe, high temperature fires tend to be less damaging than smoldering fires. Thatís because they burn very quickly and produce a different type of smoke that contains less damaging soot. As a result, even though the high temperature fire may seem like it would produce more damage, you may just get lucky.

  5. Smoke Damage Persists for Years Without Professional Help: You can attempt to clean smoke damage yourself, but without professional help the effects of smoke damage can persist in your home for years or even decades. Professionals can make our home seem brand new again with innovative chemical techniques and professional assessment of smoke damage. Do yourself a favor; hire an expert.

  6. The Most Damaging Component of Smoke is Invisible: While the billowing clouds of dark smoke may seem the likely culprit, it ís the invisible protein residues of smoke that can cause the most damage. These residues can break down metal, wood, paint, and even porcelain, and their highly volatile chemical make-up allows them to penetrate deep into almost any substance while remaining totally invisible. Beware of this invisible killer!

  7. After a Fire, you Must Consult the Fire Marshall Before Cleaning Your Home: You may want to get a head start on your smoke damage, but until you consult the fire marshal after a fire in your home, it is illegal for you to re-enter. A fire marshal will assess the safety of your home and be sure that nothing bad will happen once you re-enter after a fire.

  8. Smoke Damage Can destroy Metal and Wood Items: You might think that hearty substance like wood and metal would not be affected by smoke as much as upholstery and textiles. Youíd be wrong. The noxious protein residues in smoke can break down brass, copper, wood, and even stone, causing them to decay at an ultra rapid rate. Be sure to let a professional know about the exposure of wood and metal items to smoke and the duration of the exposure.

  9. The Number 1 Rule to Prevent Lasting Smoke Damage: Get Air Moving: If you want to get a head start on cleaning up your home after smoke damage, follow the cardinal rule. Get air moving. Use fans and open windows to keep air circulating throughout your home. This will prevent any remaining smoke residues from penetrating even deeper into your house and property.

  10. Thermal Fogging is an Innovative Way to Remove Smoke Odor: When in doubt, fight fire with fire. Thermal fogging is a fancy way of describing a technique that uses smoke to battle smoke. By filling a smoke damaged home with specially treated thermal fog, the bad smoke deposited by the fire can be neutralized in much the same way as the original smoke caused the damage. A professional will be able to assess whether or not thermal fogging is necessary, but itís a great way to reverse the terrible effects of smoke damage.
Al Fin comment: Owning a home is a non-trivial experience, like "owning" a child or a spouse. Constant upkeep is usually required, if not on the house then on the property. All of the insurances, taxes, and regulations involved can also be a headache. But if you are thinking about taking the leap from renting to owning, be sure to do a lot of research first. Don't get too attached to a house until you have done all the footwork and research, and are sure beyond doubt that you want to own it.

This is a buyer's market in many parts of the western world -- including the US. Take your time, choose both house and neighborhood wisely, and get a good deal.


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Blogger Loren said...

Buyer's market it may be, but there are still significant barriers to becoming a buyer.

I was looking at a place in Casper, WY. Under a hundred, but I still need the credit check, preferable down payment, and closing costs. Even on an $80,000 home, 10% down is $8,000, and in Wyoming average closing costs are $4,000. I can get a no down VA loan, but I'd still need to have closing costs. It has a garage/workshop that would serve a small business well, but that's another 20-30K of debt to start out.

At this point $200 a month is a huge hunk of savings, but is still nearly 2 years to save up just the 4K for closing. In the mean time, I'd need to pay at least 500 a month plus have first/last month, deposit etc. and find a place that will let me have my dog.

Rent in a lot of places is too high unless you share, and that can be a debatable practice, but the entry costs to home ownership can take years to build up.

Thursday, 24 March, 2011  
Blogger al fin said...

Good point.

There are a lot of hidden fees and potential traps in investing of any type, but home investing can be particularly tricky.

It is nothing to jump into without doing a great deal of research and personal financial (and life) planning first.

Friday, 25 March, 2011  
Blogger yamahaeleven said...

I agree with all the positive points, but need to add a negative: flexibility. When owning a house, I felt nailed to the floor and much less free to take advantage of opportunity. I cower at the thought of owning conventional housing again, I'm relishing my freedom, for now. Perhaps the Seasteaders will provide a viable option....

Friday, 25 March, 2011  
Blogger Loren said...

I've been told a house isn't an investment, it's a liability. Unless you're looking at a property that will support a business, you'll always be putting money into a house(even after the mortgage), so it makes sense.

Friday, 25 March, 2011  

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