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Home NOT Just A Tax Shelter

Cottonwood-Sedona-Cornville, Arizona Real Estate

Letter to the Editor

By Inman News
Inman News™

February 04, 2011

Re: ‘The tax benefits of homeownership‘ (Feb. 4)

Dear Editor:

While I appreciate the writer’s advice that REALTORS® and real estate agents should not dole out tax or legal advice, we can and should point out — just like he did — that there are almost no tax benefits to renting, other than not paying real estate taxes directly. A renter is still paying real estate taxes — just not their own. Just like they are still paying a mortgage in most cases — just not their own.

The benefits of home ownership extend far beyond a tax benefit, and that is mostly what we like to point out to prospects capable of and ready to make the jump from renting to owning. Wanting to have a pet, change the color of the walls, putting up new light fixtures, or hanging a new flat-screen TV on the wall are just some of the things a renter needs permission to do.

Renters also give up ownership of the improvements if they leave or the landlord chooses not to renew their lease. Owning is not and should not be for everyone. Just like not everyone should have a driver’s license.

Tax benefits for home ownership have been around for more than 100 years and have been a major component of growth and development for this country. They aren’t easily going to be changed, but some change is inevitable and perhaps due. There will most likely always be a tax benefit to owning, and there should be.

I would also like to add that 30 percent of the REALTORS® in the country support the REALTORS® Political Action Committee and fight hard to support the rights of homeowners, landlords and tenants. We stand for all property rights and concerns, and that includes tenants’ rights.