Video Transcript: Buy or Rent? Which is Right for You
[Enter Regina Lewis, AOL Consumer Advisor]
Regina Lewis: Thinking of buying a new home? Navigating the real estate market can be tough. Now it's time to get answers from the experts. Get ready to learn what works now.
Regina: During the past few years, the housing market has definitely seen its ups and downs. With so much media attention on the matter, potential homeowners are now better educated than they were 5 years ago on the process of buying a home – but a lot of uncertainty remains.
[Street interview with Nancy, a renter]
Nancy: Hi, I'm Nancy. I'm currently renting. I really wanted to take advantage of the tax credit while it was here, but now that it's gone I'm wondering if there are any other options available for assistance.
Regina: The Federal First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit certainly influenced many potential homebuyers over the past year. Todd, the tax-credit wasn't the only incentive and it isn't the only incentive. What else is out there for people?
[Enter Todd Dal Porto, Home Loan Enterprise Sales Executive for Bank of America]
Todd: That's correct. There are a surprising number of programs that offer down payment or closing cost assistance to consumers. Often the best way for consumers to get that information is to contact a local lender and discuss those options. Bank of America, for example, has a web portal that's available to our mortgage loan officers, where 2,500 approved programs that offer down payment or closing cost assistance are available, and the mortgage loan officers can direct people to what's available in their particular proximity. And there are often some very favorable repayment terms, and in some cases there are even grants, which is a very exciting option.
[Enter Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, Personal Finance Expert]
Lynnette: One important thing for consumers to remember is that just because the tax credit has expired, doesn't mean you still can't get a lot of great tax benefits from homeownership. There are three that come to mind. First, you certainly get a deduction for mortgage interest, and that's a benefit that's obviously not available to renters. You can also write off your local property taxes – that's another great tax benefit for homeowners. Depending on your circumstances, many homebuyers are also qualified to have up to $250,000 in profit on the sale of your home. In other words, the government will exclude you from having to pay capital gains taxes on that sale.
Regina: Alright, thanks guys. It sounds like there's definitely help out there beyond the tax credit for those who know where to look. You can find more information on this topic as well as this video in its entirety on demand on AOL Real Estate's "What Works Now" section.