WHY SHOULD I BUY A HOME?

House prices tend to rise over time, so a house is one of the best investments you can make. Home prices in the U.S. have risen three percent to six percent a year for the past 20 years. That trend is likely to continue. So if you buy a home now, you’ve put your capital in a safe investment where it is likely to grow.

You’ll pay less tax. You can deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage from your taxable income. The value of this tax break depends on factors like your personal tax bracket, the size of your mortgage, the rate of interest you pay on it and how long you’ve held the mortgage. As a rule, the newer the mortgage, the greater the amount of interest you pay each month and the bigger the tax break. Therefore, recent buyers with young mortgages tend to get the greatest benefit.

You’ll be buying a piece of real property rather than putting money in a landlord’s pocket each month. The real cost of renting is higher than the monthly payment. There is also an opportunity cost equal to the amount you would gain by using the money to purchase a home instead. Even if the house you purchased did not appreciate in price, you would be able to sell it and recoup some of the money you put into it.

You’ll have the stability and emotional security of owning your own home. No more worrying about dictatorial or negligent landlords, rent increases or the possibility your building will be sold and redeveloped or turned into a condo. You’ll be able to live in your house as long as you like, fix your monthly payments for as long as 30 years and you’ll be in charge.

WHY SHOULD I SELL MY HOME?

Moving on Up

People outgrow their homes in a figurative sense as well: Their careers are flourishing or they've come into money and can afford a bigger, grander, more expensive residence.

Deferred Maintenance

Some people don't want to put on a new roof, replace the siding, or buy a new furnace, so it's easier to buy a newer home. When you figure the life of most residential infrastructures is about 15 years, it could make sense to get out before it's time to spend the big bucks.

Cash in Equity

Some homeowners can't stand the fact their place is worth all that money and they can't, as the saying goes, eat the house. Rather than stare at four walls with empty pockets, they find it more financially expedient to sell and use the funds for other things. So they cash in, taking advantage of the appreciation in property values.

Personal Reasons

Life changes in a lot of ways that have little to do with money or the size of one's family. When owning a house is the only thing keeping a homeowner tied to a specific area, it might be time to consider cutting ties to the house as well.

New Job or Transfer

Obviously, work-related relocation makes it necessary to pull up roots—and it doesn't have to be a full-fledged move to another town or state. Many people draw the line at a commute that exceeds a certain distance, especially if it means driving in heavy traffic.

See Family More Often—or Less

People frequently move to be near relatives, especially as they age. Conversely, some homeowners move to put distance between themselves and their kin. Dysfunctional and fractured families have been known to grow closer after being separated.

Changes in Relationships

Moving in with a partner or getting married usually means selling for one or both of the homeowning parties. Conversely, breakups also are a common reason for people to sell homes. One party may need to buy out the other and not have the cash available, the place may not be affordable to sustain on a single income, or the home simply holds bad memories.