Friday, July 03, 2020

In 1995, National Homeownership Week began as an initiative of President William Clinton’s administration to increase homeownership across the nation. President George W. Bush expanded the observance in 2002, to encompass the entire month of June. With each passing year, more emphasis and recognition have been granted to homeownership, placing it at the top of the list as the “American Dream” across the nation.

Real estate has continually ranked as the “favored” long-term investment by Gallup research - surpassing stocks, gold, and bonds. Simply put, real estate offers many advantages where homeowners and investors can enjoy the benefits of owning a high caliber asset, as well as a steady income flow or tax advantage that it provides. Independent of financial benefits, homeownership allows occupants to personalize and customize their living lifestyle to suit their needs and dreams.

With that said, I wanted to take a moment to congratulate the winners of our “I Love My Home” Kids Art Contest which was featured in the Jewish Link over the past few weeks. A few years ago, we came up with the idea of having kids draw pictures of their own house, and to write a sentence as to why they loved their home. The campaign has been a huge success, and not merely because of the amount of participation - which well exceeded our imaginations. It is truly so meaningful to go through each submission we received, to see the genuine appreciation and heartfelt emotions as to why children love their homes. This year, being quarantined in our homes for so long, it had even more significance, and I thank all of those who participated.

Aside from the personal benefits that each home affords its owners, one of the major advantages of owning real estate is the ability to build “equity.” Equity is built through property appreciation as well as principal payments on the loan. Equity is a real asset that adds to your actual net worth. As you pay off your mortgage, you build equity. As you build equity, you now have the leverage to acquire additional rental properties or continue to improve your value. Statistically, the amount of available equity in real estate today is unparalleled to that which we have seen in decades. This is one of the major reasons why the housing market has fared so well during this pandemic.

As an investment vehicle, real estate brings a diverse range of financial benefits to its owners. The steady cash-flow stream which comes in the form of monthly rental income is one of the cornerstones of buying properties. Investors are entitled to many tax benefits that help minimize expenses and maximize profits. With property appreciation, owners can sell their investment properties for a future gain, while capitalizing on market improvements. Real estate is an excellent “hedge” against inflation where investors are not as sensitive to market fluctuations.

Another extraordinary advantage is the leverage that is permitted when purchasing or owning property. To be able to acquire a real asset for twenty or thirty percent down payment with aggressive financing terms is unparalleled in the marketplace. It is like having a cash partner in the deal, without the headaches and heartaches of dealing with someone every time you want to make a decision. For owner-occupants, one can buy a home for as little as three percent down payment.

With interest rates at true historical lows, this is one of the most favorable times in U.S. history to buy or own real estate. For those who have not spoken with a mortgage advisor since the drop in rates in April, I encourage you to reach out for a “check-up” as you will truly be amazed at the benefits that are available to you! Happy birthday to Robin Greenfield, Racheli Israeli, David Joyandeh, and Kenny Yager.

Shmuel Shayowitz (NMLS#19871) is President and Chief Lending Officer at Approved Funding, a privately held local mortgage banker and direct lender. Approved Funding is a mortgage company offering competitive interest rates as well as specialty niche programs on all types of Residential and Commercial properties. Shmuel has over 20 years of industry experience, including licenses and certifications as a certified mortgage underwriter, residential review appraiser, licensed real estate agent, and direct FHA specialized underwriter. He can be reached via email at [email protected]