First-Time Home Buying 101

First-Time Home Buying 101

Buying a home is an investment in yourself and how you want to live your life. Whether you’re thinking about starting a family or you’re looking to establish a solid financial foundation for your future (or both), this is an important decision.

And let’s just be real for a minute. The process of buying a home, especially your first home, often seems overwhelming at first. It’s not just you. It’s more complicated than any other financial move you’ve made so far, most likely. You’re going to need some facts, advice, and a good understanding of the process before you get started.

Luckily, you’re a member at Alaska USA Federal Credit Union-and we’ve helped thousands of people just like you successfully buy their first homes (and often their next homes). So, you’re in the right place.

Reasons to Buy Your Own Place

Let’s start with the big question: should you even buy a house? As a renter, you don’t have to deal with things like mortgages, property taxes, maintenance and repairs, and so on. But renting isn’t doing much else for you. You just end up using your money to pay your landlord’s mortgage. Which is super nice of you. But still.

There are some people that view homeownership as some kind of anchor; something that will inhibit their freedom. In the long run, however, it’s often the opposite: a smart investment in a home can provide financial advantages that could allow you to pursue your dreams with more resources and confidence.

There are some significant advantages to owning a home:

Equity and Value

Every time you make a payment, you’re building equity in an asset you own—an asset that will most likely increase in value over time. When you rent, you’re just spending money that you’re not going to see again. Ever.

Tax Benefits

When you buy a home, you get to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from your income tax. Those deductions are a great ongoing benefit while you pay off your house.

Creative and Financial Control

You’ll also have a much greater degree of control over the way you live your life. It’s your house—you can put in dog doors, paint the living room whatever color you want, install a deck, build an addition, you name it. You also get more control over your finances, too. With a fixed-rate mortgage, you have steady monthly principal and interest costs, so you’re free from unpredictable rent hikes.

You can also use our Should I Rent Or Buy? Calculator to help you determine the right move.