NeighborWorks News

Is Homeownership Right For Me?

Is Homeownership Right For Me?

Katie Batterbee - Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Should I rent or buy?

The decision to rent or buy depends on your financial situation, your lifestyle, how long you expect to remain in a certain area, the prevailing mortgage rates and rents in your area, and many other factors.

If you’re a renter, it can be frustrating to write a rent check every month and have no home equity to show for it at the end of the year. But if you aren’t certain that you’re going to stay put for a few years, it’s probably not the right time to buy—equity or no equity. You should not buy property and automatically assume that you’ll be able to rent it out or sell it when you move.

Ask your NeighborWorks homeownership planner for his/her assessment. There are also a myriad of tools available online to calculate the financial benefit of renting or buying, depending on your situation.

How will owning a home change my life?

Owning a home takes time and hard work and it is perhaps the greatest financial investment you may ever make. It’s essential that you protect your new asset through home safety precautions, sound household budgeting, and regular home maintenance. As you pay down your mortgage over time, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you are building equity for the future. You also will gain pride in ownership, personal stability, potential tax benefits and be a part of building a stronger community.

How much home can I afford?

The amount of money you can afford to pay for a home depends on many factors, including your income, your debt, your monthly expenses, the amount of money you can contribute to the purchase up front, among other factors. The maximum dollar amount that a bank will agree to lend you should be the upper limit; in most cases, it is advisable to borrow less than this amount.

There are many calculators available online to help you get a general sense of what you can afford on sites like Zillow, Bankrate.com, and others. These sites take a look at your TOTAL debt when calculating what your maximum home purchase price. When looking at your total debt (your house payment plus any other monthly debts you might be paying), most lenders consider your total monthly debt to be sustainable when it is 36% or less than your gross monthly pay.

There are many factors to consider when deciding between renting and buying, at NeighborWorks we recommend meeting with our homeownership planners as your first step. Our free appointments will allow you to look at your credit, budgeting habits, affordability factors, financial assistance you may qualify for and ultimately how to make your homeownership goals a reality. Create a homeownership profile to get started!

Generous Donations Kick-off NeighborWorks Endowment

Generous Donations Kick-off NeighborWorks Endowment

Katie Batterbee - Tuesday, February 06, 2018

NeighborWorks Great Falls has received tremendous community support as the kick off their multi-year endowment campaign. Major contributions include the Thayer family, Cari and Jim Yturri, Steve and Carla King, Johnson Madison – Bill and Larry Madison, First Interstate Bank and anonymous donors. Donations from these supporters alone total over $260,000. The NeighborWorks Endowment, including investments and pledges, now stands at $612,000. Many donors took advantage of the Montana Endowment Tax Credit, which gives a donor an income tax credit up to $10,000 per taxpayer for an endowment gift. NeighborWorks would like to thank the community for their continuous support, and in particular the generosity of the donors mentioned above.

First Interstate Bank presented NeighborWorks Great Falls with a check for $10,000. Kyle Herda, Branch Manager stated “First Interstate Bank has been a prominent supporter of NeighborWorks Great Falls for many years. As a financial institution, we can really recognize the value of the unique programs they offer to our community.”

Former long term Executive Director Sheila Rice emphasizes the importance of this endowment, looking to NeighborWorks’ future; “The future of NeighborWorks Great Falls is made possible by the endowment. As Federal funds dwindle, the endowment earnings will continue our long legacy of creating opportunities for homeownership for hard working families. Our new Executive Director, Sherrie Arey, will carry the endowment campaign forward to reach the $2.5 million goal, which supports 100 homebuyers every year, forever”.

Sherrie Arey, NeighborWorks’ new Executive Director thanks the community for their previous support and continuous generosity throughout this endowment. “Our community is dedicated to creating strong neighborhoods and successful homeowners; this is exemplified by the commitment made by so many who are supporting our endowment. We have a long history of benefiting from a very generous community in our fund drive and many of those same individuals and businesses are now setting the pace in our endowment campaign. We are so very grateful for their deep understanding of our mission and the long term investment they are making in our future and in the future of families throughout Great Falls”.

 

About NeighborWorks Great Falls’ Endowment: The NeighborWorks’ Endowment will allow NeighborWorks Great Falls to provide homes and mortgages, plus education and planning to create successful homeowners for years to come, despite rapidly shrinking federal funds. Every day, families come into NeighborWorks Great Falls determined to find a way to create wealth through homeownership. They are willing to work for a home, but need a little bit of help to get there. School debt, cost of living, and high rents are keeping these families and individuals from living out their dream of homeownership. Attaining a home would provide a safe and stable place to live, and a place for their family to thrive. “Homeownership and the pride that comes with it should never be taken for granted. That’s why we are proud to help build the NeighborWorks’ endowment so that many generations can enjoy the pride, satisfaction, and community that come with owning and living in the comfort of their own home” – Board Member, Steve King and his wife Carla.

An endowment creates an income stream for the future that assures good work can continue, regardless of the variations of federal and foundation funding. Certain charitable donations will qualify for the Montana endowment income tax credit and can be made in a variety of forms. All contributions quality for the Federal and State charitable income tax deduction. Please visit www.nwgf.org/endowment for more information.

 

 

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