Math for Homeowners

math-homeownerDoes buying a home make good financial sense? Does the Math for Homeowners work out? As I sit (or lay) here and watch Inside Job, a documentary on the late 2000’s financial crisis, I am (again) horrified by the series of events, collusion and massive manipulation that took place at the highest levels. To repeat a comment from the documentary, “The US is a Wall Street government.” It makes me question again and again if I really want to buy another house – I go back and forth and back and forth in my mind on this concept ALL THE TIME.

Read the summary below from Fortune Magazine that contradicts the traditional “tax benefit” argument:

The mortgage interest deduction doesn’t make up for the fact that you’re still paying a lot of interest.

  • While I understand that it’s possible to buy a house without a mortgage, the large percentage of homeowners (more than 70%) take out a loan.

  • With average mortgage rates at 4.3% (as of this morning), you’ll actually pay $356,307.44 for a $200,000 home: $156,307.44 in interest alone.

  • Averaged over 30 years, that works out to a little over $5,000 per year (even though in practice you pay the most interest at the beginning).

  • Assuming you’re in a 25% bracket – and you itemize – that works out to a tax savings of just over $1,300 per year.

  • But the word “savings” is somewhat of a misnomer because you’re still out of pocket more than you get back in tax savings: in our example, you would “save” less than $40,000 while paying out more than $150,000 in interest.