June may be National Homeownership Month, but Carver County CDA Housing Counselors work to support and expand homeownership opportunities for our residents year-round.

For many Americans, owning a home is an essential part of the American dream. Becoming a homeowner comes with a lot of responsibility, but also a lot of rewards.

A Carver County Community Land Trust homeowner said it best, “Finding the right size house, in the right town, with everything I ever wanted in a house, makes me forever grateful to call it my home!” Homeownership provides several economic benefits, such as the ability to accumulate wealth and access credit by building home equity, reduce housing costs through the mortgage interest deduction, and gain long-term savings over the cost of renting.

While home prices move in cycles, overall homeownership is a good investment. When you stay in your home for a long time, it could increase in value and give you a substantial return on your investment. A housing counselor can utilize a rent versus buy calculator and help you determine which option provides the most economic benefit for you over time.

Homeownership allows you to build equity. Each month as you pay down your mortgage, you increase the equity in your home. As your home increases in value, it creates more equity for you too. In a sense, paying your mortgage is a form of savings. By increasing your home equity, you can tap into it if you need money in the future.

Owning a home can reduce the amount of income taxes you pay. Mortgage interest and property tax payments may be deductible from your federal taxes, as well as state taxes. Certain closing costs and loan discount points also may be tax deductible. In the early years of your mortgage, when interest represents the bulk of your monthly mortgage payment, these tax deductions can put a significant amount of money back in your pocket.

When you buy a home and consistently make your monthly payments on time, you increase your good credit. Other lenders will see you are a good borrower and the risk of you defaulting on a loan is low. A strong credit history will help you in the future when you need other loans for buying a car, making improvements to your home, or paying other major expenses.

Homeownership offers the freedom to create the living environment that you have always dreamed of. You can have a pet, paint rooms whatever color you like, make changes to flooring, upgrade appliances — the choices are yours.

Homebuyer Counseling and Education can make the dream of homeownership a reality. Homebuyer education can help borrowers improve their credit score and understand the long-term commitments of homeownership. This education also gives homebuyers the tools they’ll need to rebound should something go wrong during the home-buying process or after the closing.

If you aren’t quite ready for homeownership, counselors can customize one-on-one counseling, helping you create an action plan to become a successful homeowner. Homebuyer education and counseling makes prospective buyers understand what’s needed to buy a home, making them stronger, smarter, and more resilient buyers.

The truth is a well-informed homebuyer is more likely to achieve sustainable homeownership. Studies by HUD, Fannie Mae and NeighborWorks America found that clients who’d received counseling were more likely to stay current on their mortgage payments and had lower default rates than homebuyers who did not receive education or counseling.

To celebrate National Homeownership month, contact Carver County CDA at 952-448-7715 to attend our free homebuyer education course or schedule a one-on-one meeting. Let a Carver County CDA Housing Counselor help you achieve your dream of homeownership.

Allison Streich is the Deputy Director of Carver County Community Development Agency. She can be reached at allisonS@carvercda.org.

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.

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