and origination points. Each of these points is equivalent to 1% of your mortgage. Discount points involve prepaid interest, are tax deductible, and can reduce your total mortgage payment. The interest rate on your mortgage typically lowers by 0.25% per point you buy. ; Current mortgage rates are relatively low. Interest rates rise and fall through the years. Several years ago, interest rates were higher, and it was more expensive to obtain a mortgage. Since these costs have been reduced, it is now easier and less expensive to own a house. ; Ownership rights and creative freedom. Your decorating and home improvement choices are just that — yours, provided they don’t break building codes or violate homeowners’ association rules. You can paint walls any which way, add fixtures, update or finish your basement, or build a patio or deck. Changing your environment to suit your whims is a freeing aspect of homeownership. ; A sense of belonging to the community. Homeowners tend to stay in homes for longer than renters and are more likely to grow roots. They might join a neighborhood association, sponsor block parties or National Nights Out, volunteer at a nearby community center, join a school group, or align with a business improvement district. Renters might not do any of those things, particularly if they know their lease is up in a year and they might move. There is an intangible pleasure attached to owning your own house, a sense of freedom and independence. The home you live in belongs to you and only you (and, perhaps, your spouse), and you can do what you want with it. You are not daunted by increases in rent or the risk of losing your lease. You are free to make improvements and changes. Also, owning your home gives your children the guarantee of attending the schools in the area on a more permanent basis; you never have to worry about a notice from the landlord to vacate your rented house or apartment for any of a variety of reasons over which you have no control.
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