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Harvard: 5 Financial Reasons to Buy a Home

May 13, 2014 2:00 pm

Bank as House.1Eric Belsky is Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University. He also currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Housing Research and Housing Policy Debate. Last year he released a paper on homeownership - The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America. In his paper, Belsky reveals five financial reasons people should consider buying a home. Here are the five reasons, each followed by an excerpt from the study: 1.) Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available.  “Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.” 2.) You're paying for housing whether you own or rent.