Owning Vs. Renting in the City of Philadelphia

In life we have important decisions to make that affect our future. For example, the choice to own either a home or rent a place. Whatever you choose, the decision alone is important because we must have shelter. Coming from an immigrant family, I have long learned that buying a home is the American Dream. In the city of Philadelphia, where you can find some of the best residences, you can fulfill the dream of home ownership with many different choices; It could be a home with a waterfront view, in the historic district, or simply condo in the center of the city. Renting is not a bad option to have, but owning your home is more beneficial than renting it.

Additionally renting a house gives you limited control over your home. Since you don’t own it, you are at the mercy of the landlord. Any cosmetic alternation that you wish to conduct on the property is often limited if not outright denied by the landlord. Knocking down walls and pulling out floors, as you would do at a house you own, is often out of the question.  If something were to be break and needs fixing, the landlord may not respond in a timely manner. So be sure to keep some buckets handy to catch the water dripping through the ceiling until the landlord gets to it.

There is something unique about having a home to call your own. You can paint the walls green because you are a diehard Eagles  fan; you can remodel the basement into the man (or woman) cave of your dreams of, and install the Tiki bar that you always talked about with friends. It is your home you paid for it, and therefore, you have are free to add the additional room that you always want. You answer to no one and however you want your house to show, you can do so without asking permission. Owning a home gives us the security and stability that our founding fathers fought for; the freedom to home ownership.

Every year, millions of renters pay income tax just like everyone else. You would assume renters are able to deduct their rent from the taxes on their home, right? Wrong. Renters in most states cannot deduct rent on a Federal tax return. In fact, the landlord who owns the space can deduct any expenses on his or her tax return. As a result, we try so hard to maintain the space as much as possible in the way it was when we first move in. Sometimes that could take many years of uncomfortable living. Although, in certain states, you may deduct rent from taxes if you have a small business and work from home. You would have to have a specific space/room that is solely for that purpose. Otherwise, IRS will not allow it.

Unlike renting, there are large tax benefits to owning a home; homeowners can deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from their federal income taxes; as well as insurance, repairs, and improvements. However, the biggest tax advantage of home ownership is the capital gains exemption. All these deductions and exemptions can mean significant tax savings, especially in the early stages of a mortgage when interest makes up most of the payments. After calculating your tax savings you may find that it is cheaper to own than to rent. I highly suggest consulting a tax adviser for your individual situation, in order to get the most out of your resident state.

Thousands of dollars are being spent toward rent. But where is the money going? Will you ever see it back? It’s very unpleasant to answer this question, since the answer to this is just as good as throwing your money out of the window. Maybe it's not so dramatic as that since it is going towards a shelter. But it still represents many years worth of money going to someone else for place in which you have no stake.

Once you evacuate the a rental, you leave all the attached fixtures behind, sometimes including your security deposit. Depending on the condition of the place, the landlord may withhold money for the damages caused during the duration of your stay. There is also no appreciating value of the home. To make a point short, when you rent you don’t own anything and will never get your money back.

On the other hand, when owning a property, homeowners increase the degree of ownership one mortgage payment at a time. Owning more and more of your home. Considering the long-term benefits of owning a home plays a crucial role to homeownership. Over the years your home might appreciate in value and creating equity. You can also borrow money out of your equity to make major purchases or towards investments and allowing yourself to establish wealth.

In conclusion, owning a home has many more benefits than renting. One may have sense of security and stability because they have total control and freedom over the property. Other benefits are the numerous tax deductions that only a homeowner can take advantage of. Over time, as your equity increases, you may gain more wealth and ownership.

For me, owning a home is very important because I can secure a place for my family to live and have the value of my community. It may not make sense to some, but the pride of home ownership is still the American Dream.