5 Financial Benefits of Owning a Home

5 Financial Benefits of Owning a Home
You want to make smart financial choices for your future. Do those include buying a home? Here are five financial benefits that point to yes.

1. Tax breaks: As a homeowner, you may qualify for tax benefits. These deductions can help offset other costs of homeownership. Potential deductions include the interest on your mortgage, property taxes, and home equity lines of credit.

2. Stability: If you take out a fixed-rate mortgage, you’ll know what payments to expect for the life of the loan. Rent, on the other hand, often increases annually. When you own a home, you also typically have more control over expenses such as utilities, so you can make choices that encourage efficiency and save money each month.

3. Forced savings: Each month, as you pay down your mortgage, you are adding equity. This can be an excellent way to build wealth. In the future, you can sell the home for a profit or borrow against the equity to obtain needed funds. Medical emergencies, college tuition, and home repairs or renovations are common uses for these funds.

4. Good health: A mortgage looks good on a credit report and can help you establish a healthy score. As you faithfully pay off the loan, your score can increase. This can prove helpful in obtaining lower insurance rates and qualifying for lower rates on future purchases.

5. Final payment: When you buy a home, there will come a day when you no longer have to make your mortgage payment. It will eventually be your property, free and clear. (Time to celebrate!) This scenario is much different than paying rent, which will continue for a lifetime.

Are you wondering if a home purchase makes sense for your financial future? I’d be happy to discuss these and other benefits and help you determine if now is a good time for you to pursue homeownership.


This Police Officer’s Proposal Will Be Hard to Top

Runners, hopeless romantics, and multitaskers, take note! Chicago officer Mike Nowacki showed his superhuman side when he took part in the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k on Sunday, November 3, 2019.

A veteran of the Chicago Police Department and former army medic, Nowacki already knew a thing or two about keeping a cool head under pressure. Not only did he plan to run in full SWAT gear on the fateful day of the race, but he also planned to propose to his long-time girlfriend and fellow Chicago police officer Erin Gubala, who was stationed on bike patrol at the end of the 9-mile minimarathon.

Moments before he approached the finish line, still rehearsing the proposal in his head, the courageous officer put his romantic gesture on hold to answer the call of duty when he noticed a crowd of people gathered around an unconscious woman on the ground. He proceeded to administer CPR until the paramedics arrived to whisk her away to the hospital, where they treated her for cardiac arrest. Nowacki’s quick thinking had saved her life!

Notified of the situation, Gubala anxiously awaited her beloved’s arrival. Luckily for all involved, a happy ending was finally in sight. “Before I knew it, he was running at me, crossing the finish line,” she said. “He got down on one knee, and I thought that he was hurt, and then he said, ‘Erin, I don’t know what to say.'”

After catching his breath and getting the right words out, his high-octane proposal was met with a resounding “Yes!”


Holograms Are Bringing Artists Back to Life

Want to know what Roy Orbison, Frank Zappa, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Maria Callas, Buddy Holly, and Whitney Houston have in common? They are all deceased legends, yet they’re all back on the concert tour circuit if you can believe it.

That’s right. With today’s technology, we may never have to say goodbye to our favorite artists.

In 2012, fans were astounded when a virtual Tupac Shakur appeared at the Coachella Music Festival. The rapper’s posthumous comeback via hologram nearly 16 years after his death lit up the Coachella stage as part of an electrifying performance with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. In the years that followed, the mainstream music market adopted holographic technology to enable 3-D experiences of many other virtual artists.

It takes an enormous amount of time and effort to create a holographic performance. Months of work go into every detail, from each precise move and gesture to how the perspiration forms on the performer’s brow. The likenesses and movements are based on careful study of old films, and the performances are created using motion capture technology.

The use of holograms has extended to live artists as well, and have been employed when artists were unable to perform publicly due to legal obstacles, such as bans in certain countries.

Holograms are becoming an established component of the live concert experience. Their use is expected to become an integral part of the future of music and, possibly, our day-to-day lives. Technology expert Carl Guyenette predicts, “Within five years, people will be able to ‘teleport’ themselves by hologram to interact with others.”


Wondering What’s Happening in Your Neighborhood?
How has the price of your home changed in today’s market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for? Do I need a house inspection? These are all critical questions that shouldn’t be overlooked when thinking about buying or selling your home.

Whether you’re curious about prices in your area, whether it’s an excellent time to sell, or just need an expert to answer your questions, I can give you the tools and offer guidance through the entire buying or selling process.

If you’re wondering what’s happening to prices in your area, or you’re thinking about selling your house, I’ll be able to help.

Click the market report below or select San Antonio Real Estate Market and complete the requested information about your home!


How to Get the Most from a Home Inspection
Buying a home is probably the single most significant investment you’ll make in your lifetime. When you’re making such a significant purchase, you want to know exactly what you’re getting.

This is the goal of a home inspection. A professional inspector will review the home and point out any potential concerns.

Here’s how it works.

1. Arrange for the inspection: Typically, you will include an inspection contingency as part of your offer to purchase the home. This contingency will allow you to order an inspection (at your expense), then determine if you would like to proceed with the purchase, based on the results.

2. Complete the inspection: You should be present during the inspection so the inspector can review any items of concern with you in person.

He or she will inspect all the home’s systems, structural components, and general condition and provide a report that notes any areas of concern.

3. Request repairs: You’ll review the inspection report with your real estate agent and decide if there are any items you would like the seller to address. You can request that the seller make the repairs or provide a credit to cover their cost.

Typical things to address are safety concerns and anything that is not up to code. If the sellers refuse to negotiate, you can decide whether you want to move forward with the purchase or move on to another home.

I’d be happy to connect you with a qualified inspector and help you smoothly navigate this process.

SA Realty Watch Group
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Thinking of Buying a Home? Get My Free Guide
Buying a home is a complex process with many factors to consider.

Prepare for the decisions you’ll need to make along the way by requesting my free report, “10 Easy Steps to Buying a Home.”

Just call me and I’ll send it right out to you.


Quick Quiz
Each month I’ll give you a new question.

Just reply to this email for the answer.

Which US state produces the most roses for Valentine’s Day?


Puff Pastry Hearts
Yields 16 hearts
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, optional
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed (follow directions on package if frozen)
5 tablespoons butter, melted
Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Lightly grease a cookie sheet. In a small bowl, combine sugar and spices. Roll dough out slightly with a rolling pin, keeping a rectangular shape. Then brush 3 tablespoons butter on one side and sprinkle the spiced sugar evenly over the dough.

Starting with each of the short ends of the dough, roll them toward each other (like you would with a jelly roll) until they meet in the center of the rectangle. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, about 40 minutes.

With a sharp knife, cut the roll crosswise into 16 slices and place them 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Gently and evenly press them down to 1/4-inch thick, then pinch and shape the bottom of each slice to create a heart shape. Brush with remaining butter and bake until golden brown (about 10 minutes).


Ask the Agent: This Month’s Question
What is a contingency?

When a contract to purchase a home includes a contingency, this means the deal is contingent on (conditional, subject to, depends on) something for it to move forward. In other words, it is contingent on something the buyer must do.

If a contingency clause is written into the contract, and the condition is not met, the buyer can break the contract without penalty.

Several types of contingencies are shared in real estate contracts. The buyer may include a home inspection contingency (to complete an inspection of the property), a financing contingency (to obtain a mortgage for the purchase), or a home sale contingency (to sell their current home before purchasing the new one).

Contingency clauses usually specify a date by which these conditions must be met. If they are not met by the deadline, the buyer can request an extension, or the contract may be canceled.

You don’t want to try to go it alone. A buyer’s real estate agent will help determine what contingencies to include in the offer to purchase, so that all their bases are covered.

This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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