I never looked at real estate as an investment .It is just the cost of doing business, You have to live somewhere and it depends if you can live wih a landlord ,telling you what you can or can not do.
If you decide to buy , pick a house that is rather new so you don't end up replacing and improving many things for the next buyer ,who will not pay you what you have put in.There will be several other considerations as well. One is that with your income there will not be any tax advantages and any major unexpected repairs on the house will be difficult for you to pay for.My advice Rent ! Don't gamble!
I am an accountant and even with the tax write-offs, you'd be a fool to buy here now.
TD Bank offers a great way to calculate this. Just enter your information in the appropriate fields. It also offers a graph option - be sure to check mark it.
It's a good general guide. I can help you with more specifics, but try it for yourself first, ok?
Any quesyions, give me a call at 215 266 7227.
It sounds like you are a perfect candidate to purchase a home. If your credit is good and you have enough money saved for a downpayment and closing costs you should think about buying a home rather than renting. Since you will be here in Philly for 4-5 years that is plenty of time to build equity and get a positive return on your investment. When you rent you do not see any of the tax benefits of owning a home. I am not an accountant but I can tell you this, you will be able to claim all of your interest at tax time which will be the majority of your mortgage payment in the first years. You will also be able to claim any improvements you make on the home as well. The only thing to do now is determine where you would like to live. You can search my website http://www.liveinphilly.net to see every listed home in the city as well as read articles about the process of purchasing your first home.
The reason someone gets into home ownership is the pride of owning a home in the first place and that under normal circumstances, real estate doubles in value every dozen years or so. I would not go with what "everyone" says about the tax "savings" from owning a home. Go to the expert, a good private tax adviser and crunch the numbers with them and you be the judge.
Owning a home is always a good choice to make. Paying it off quickly, even better. Contact me for ways to pay off that home fast. There are a few good tips.
I think the great news for you is that it sounds like if you did buy the type of property you are looking for, 4 or 5 years from now you could either sell that property or keep it as a rental. That option is awesome and provides for much more flexibility down the road. In the meantime, the HUGE benefits are building equity every month, having a healthy mortgage interest tax deduction every month and participating in the future appreciation of Philadelphia, which I believe will be there !
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Good luck !