Thanksgiving is around the corner which marks the yearly tradition of enjoying a fabulous meal with friends and family and putting one foot forward Christmas by adorning your home with a tree. Well, we have a novel and popular approach for you this year: order your tree on-line and have it hand delivered directly to you!
Green Christmas Trees is locally owned and operated in Portland and already well into a successful second year of business. In addition to a wide variety of trees, they offer flowers, candies, teas, wreaths and more.
Select your tree and book your delivery date today!
Renting vs. Owning Your Home
Homeownership has long been called the Great American
Dream, and more people own homes today than ever
beforeabout 70 percent of all Americans. A changing
market can open new opportunities if youre thinking of
making a change to your living situation. Here are a few
things to consider if youre trying to decide between owning and renting.
When to rent
While most people prefer to own a home, there are some
circumstances in which the benefits of renting make
If youre a free spirit or like
staying mobile, its a lot easier to pick up and move if
you rent. Selling a home when you move takes time.
There are costs associated with buying
and selling a home. If you see yourself moving in a
couple of years, it probably makes financial sense to
rent in the interim, and then buy when youre settled.
The toilet backs up? No problem;
just call the landlord. Renters have little or no
responsibility for the time and expense that go into
Normally, renting is cheaper than owning.
While monthly mortgage payments and rents may be
similar, a homeowner also has to pay for property taxes,
homeowners insurance and maintenance. In cities where
the cost of homes is particularly high, renting allows
you to afford to live in a neighborhood that might be
out of your price range if you were to buy.
While renting can seem simpler than owning a home, there
When to buy
- Your monthly payments go to your landlordyou dont
build any equity.
- You have no control over rent increases, which makes
long-term budgeting difficult. And if your landlord
sells the property, you may be looking for a new place
- You cant really make the place your own. Most landlords
wont permit tenants to make substantial changes to a
rental property, and many dont allow even simple
cosmetic changes such as paint. You can long for red
walls, but youll be stuck with beige.
- The owner is responsible for the maintenance. That can
be a good thing if your landlord is particularly
responsive and has pride in his property. If not, youll
have to learn to live with the rusty bathtub and
Financial guru Suze Orman calls owning a home the
absolute best investment out there, bar none.
In many cities across the country, the last five years
have seen dramatic growth in the value of real estate,
with annual increases in the double digits. Most experts
agree that the market is taking a much-needed
correction, and expect appreciation rates to settle down
to their historical average of about 4 to 5 percent a
year. Even at that rate, homeownership is a great way to
build wealth over time with a relatively small cash
Jane Bryant Quinn, the personal finance columnist for
You can make splendid profits even in a mediocre
market, thanks to the leverage youre allowed, she
writes. Leverage is the great advantage that homeowners
hold over owners of bank accounts or stocks. You control
the property for a down payment of only 5 to 20
Lets say you buy a home for $300,000 and put 10
percent down. Thats an investment of $30,000.
If your house appreciates 4 percent, you realize
a gain of $12,000. The first year, you make
$12,000 on a cash outlay of $30,000a 40 percent
return on your investment. Thats tough to beat.
There are plenty of other reasons why buying a
home makes sense. Here are a few more to think
Its all yours
You can paint the walls
whatever color you want, add a room, remodel the
kitchen, plant a big shade tree. There are
freedom and pride in owning a home that renters
just dont experience.
Youre building equity
When you write a
rent check, youre paying for the right to live
in someone elses property; when you write a
mortgage check, youre building up ownership in
your own home. You can also borrow against that
equity to make major purchases, pay for your
childs education or make other investments.
Plus, all the interest expenses associated with
a home equity loan are tax-deductible. Lets say
youre renting, and have credit card debt of
$10,000 at 15 percent. None of the interest you
pay is deductible. But if you take out a home
equity loan for $10,000 to pay off your credit
card, all the interest is deductible, and the
rate on your home equity loan will be much lower
than 15 percent.
Great tax benefits
The IRS lets you
deduct your mortgage interest as well as your
property taxes. Plus, when you go to sell, you
get to take the first $250,000 in profit if
youre single, or the first $500,000 if married,
without paying capital gains tax. The cost of
home improvements is also deductible when you
sell your home. There are other tax advantages
available. For example, if you work out of your
home, you may be able to take deductions for
your home office.
Youre in the game
For most buyers,
their first home isnt their ultimate dream
home, but it is the first step towards that
dream home. Your home appreciates over the
years, and perhaps you do some improvements that
increase the value even more. Over time, the
equity in your home builds into a great down
payment on that dream home in the future.
Security for retirement
Rent goes on
forever, but the mortgage on your home will
eventually be paid off. Having a rent-free
place to live provides a lot of security in your
retirement years and allows you to spend that
extra money enjoying yourself.
The timing is great for buyers
markets, theres plenty of inventory, which
means lots more choices for you and more room to
The bottom line? Buying a home is one of the
most important decisions in life. The time to
buy a home is when it makes sense for you:
Youre ready to own a home, you can afford it,
and you plan to live there for a while. Over
time, youll be able to ride out any downturns
in the market and benefit from the upturns ...
and youll spend that time in a place that you
can really call home.
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