Owning a home in Boston may come with a lot of responsibilities when compared to renting. However, there is also significantly more flexibility when you own your home. Renting an apartment may be more carefree, but there are major limitations and some financial disadvantages. Of course, this will depend on your financial situation and whether you are ready to settle.
For some people, owning a home in Boston is the definition of “The American Dream.” It’s an achievement that many of us do not get to experience. You should set up a time to speak with a licensed real estate agent. He or she can also put you in touch with a trusted mortgage broker, or bank. It’s always a smart idea to see if you’ll qualify for a mortgage, and, if so, for how much. Buying a home in Boston may be the biggest purchase of your entire life so think about it carefully.
We’ll get you started with some pros that you may not have thought of otherwise. Here are five (5) benefits of owning a home in Boston.
Benefit #1: It’s Easier to Budget for the Long Term
When you purchase a home in Boston the mortgage payment is typically the same for the life of the loan. On the other hand, when you lease an apartment, the monthly payment will most likely increase over time. Here’s how it works:
The Monthly Mortgage Payment
Most people who purchase a homes for sale in Boston need to obtain a mortgage. Otherwise, you will need to pay for the purchase in cash. Only an incredibly small percentage of homebuyers can afford that. Even if you have the cash on hand, it may make more sense to take out a mortgage. Borrowing money is incredibly cheap these days. Interest rates are low. You may be better off keeping your money in the bank or investing elsewhere. There are various mortgage products available on the marketplace. However, the most popular one is the fixed rate mortgage.
The terms of a fixed rate mortgage never change. That means the interest rate and principal and interest payments stay the same each month for the life of the loan. For example, if you purchase a home in Boston for $500,000 with a 20% down payment your mortgage will be $400,000. Currently, the interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate purchase mortgage with a 20% down payment is 3.11%. The monthly principal and interest payment is $2,103 per month.
It will always be $2,103 per month unless you refinance the loan at some point down the road. You can count on the number month after month and year after year. That means you can actually plan around your monthly mortgage payment when it comes to investments and other major purchases, such as car or college tuitions.
The Monthly Rent Payment
If you rent an apartment your lease agreement will typically run for twelve (12) months. After the year is up, you can renew, remain as a tenant at will, or sign a new lease elsewhere. Either way, you should expect your monthly rent to increase. This is due to the fact that Boston is one of the priciest residential rental markets in the entire country. Only New York City and San Francisco are more expensive.
Why are apartments in Boston so costly? It’s a simple matter of supply and demand. There are actually less units available compared to tenants who want to rent them. Keep in mind that Boston is small but, based on its opportunities, thousands of people would like to live here. Of course, that drives up prices significantly.
Benefit #2: You Can Save Money in the Long Term
There are a few upfront costs when it comes to purchasing a home in Boston. For example, you will need to pay the bank or lender for the property appraisal fee. You also should pay for a home inspection in order to protect your best interests. However, you will absolutely save a significant amount of money in the long term.
You could rent an apartment in Boston for the same $2,103/month mortgage payment. However, the rent could easily go up by 10% or even 15% in year two. That can hurt your monthly budget. For example, if the lease starts out at the same $2,103 per month, a 10% increase equals $2,313.30 per month. That’s an additional $210.30 per month. If the lease increases by 15% in year two, that equals $2,418.45 per month. That’s an additional $315.45 per month. However, your $2,103/month mortgage payment would remain the same. If you’re paying a mortgage instead, it will save you between $210.30 to $315.45 per month.
That’s a total of $5,047.20 to $7,570.80 by the end of year two of ownership. The good news is that the payment savings increase from there. The rent will keep going up, but the monthly mortgage payment would remain the same.
Benefit #3: Design Your Home to Work for You
When you own a home in Boston you can do whatever you want to it regarding home improvements and decorations. However, when you rent an apartment, you need permission from the landlord in order to change anything. For example, you may not like the color of the wall paint. However, the chances are high that you need to leave it alone if you rent.
That means you can paint the walls whatever color you want and as often as you’d like. If you would like to replace the carpet in the living room with wood flooring, you can. The bottom line is that you get to make all of the decisions. The design and style of your home in Boston is 100% up to you. That counts for small projects, major home improvements and everything in between.
Benefit #4: Tax Advantages
As noted above, owning a home in Boston is far more financially stable when compared to renting an apartment. It’s also less expensive and will save you a significant amount of money in the long run. Yet, there is another important financial aspect that comes into play here. There are several tax benefits that also make owning a home in Boston the less expensive alternative. Homeowners can claim a few key items on their tax returns. For example, you can deduct the interest that you pay on your mortgage.
You can also claim the property taxes on your annual tax returns each year. These are significant deductions that equal approximately twenty percent of the yearly costs of owning a home in Boston. You simply don’t get that type of tax break by renting an apartment.
Benefit #5: Builds Wealth in the Form of Equity
The price of a home in Boston tends to rise in the same manner as monthly rents. On average, the values increase on a yearly basis. This upward trend negatively affects your finances when you rent an apartment. On the other hand, it builds wealth in the form of equity when you own a home in Boston.
Each time you pay a mortgage payment, you’re paying the balance down. That means you owe less on the house each month and the difference is equity. However, when you lease an apartment, your monthly rent builds equity for your landlord. It helps pay down his or her mortgage. In regards to building equity, rent is like throwing money out of the window.
Buying a home in Boston is a better choice compared to renting an apartment if you’re ready for the responsibility. The Boston Pads Real Estate Portal is a great resource for everything related to the real estate scene across the city of Boston.
Published November 16, 2021
Demetrios has pulled together the largest apartment leasing team in the Greater Boston Area and is responsible for procuring more apartment rentals than anyone in New England – with over 130k people finding their housing through his services. Demetrios is an avid real estate developer, peak performance trainer, educator, guest lecturer and motivational speaker.