Real Estate Information Archive


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Why Rent When You Can Own a Home

by Susan Johnson and Associates


Should you Rent a home or should you buy a home? This is an age old debate. Some people think it’s better to buy a home while others are of the view that renting a home is much better. Everyone has an opinion.

What is the Answer? Well the truth be told, there isn't one answer that is cut and dried that makes the decision easier. Let me walk you through the pro's and con's and let you decide

PROs of buying a home:

    “Home owner”, has a nice ring to it. Especially in America, owning a home is the America Dream. Of course, there are many other benefits too and here are some

  • Buying a home gives you peace of mind
  • It helps you put down roots.
  • Provides financial security
  • Financial stability
  • Tax deductions
  • A vehicle for retirement savings
  • With each mortgage payment, you get closer to fully owning the home
  • Growing asset
  • The equity you build over the years can be leveraged to buy another home and keep the investment property or can be utilized to buy up or reduce your existing mortgage should you wish
  • Sense of achievement

​​This could be the first step in building your wealth

CONs of Buying a Home:

Home ownership comes with risks

  • Buying means you are tying up your savings into an asset that requires maintenance
  • Its not easy to move quickly should you need to - lets face it, homes can take time to sell
  • Life happens - you can be transferred, you could lose your job and that may have a serious impact on your financial well being
  • There are costs of maintaining a home
  • You have a responsibility to pay HOA Levies
  • Your day off work can sometimes be the day for doing home maintenance

PROs of renting:    

  • In some States, the cost of owning far exceeds renting
  • There are little or no maintenance costs
  • If life happens and you need to move, its far easier to do so
  • If you do not like your neighbors or even the neighborhood, you can move!

CONs of renting:

  • The property is never your own
  • You are paying someone else's mortgage
  • The property can never be personalized to suit your needs - its someone else's investment 

Home ownership cannot be taken lightly and if you are a free spirit and like to move fairly often, then owning a home may not be for you. Take time to make the right decision for your personal set of circumstances. Do keep in mind that owning a home could cost you less than renting a home. Perhaps it would be a good idea to explore your options

If you would like some assistance by looking at the facts, then let my team of specialists and I help you with that important decision

Contact me - Susan Johnson - 704-439-5350 or email


221 Watermelon Road in Statesville

by Susan Johnson and Associates

Fantastic Opportunity with Great Potential

What a great investment opportunity with awesome potential! This 3 bed,2 bath home features a gas fireplace in the Great Room and Master Bedroom, a large walk-in closet in the Master Bedroom, a garden tub in the Master Bathroom, two decks and a Breezeway connecting the 3 car garage( perfect for a workshop) and the house, a carport and the list goes on and on! With almost 5 acres and a long, private driveway, you have the country feel in your own back yard although only minutes from I-40! This as-is home has an array of possibilities! Call Molly LaPorta 312-804-1010 or email

New Listing - Great Buy! 9516 Gilead Grove, Huntersville, 28078

by Susan Johnson and Associates

9516 Gilead Grove Road, Huntersville 28078

4 Beds 3 Baths 2,504 sq ft


This beautiful 4 bedroomed, 2 1/2 bathroom home is the last home you will need to see! Conveniently located in McCoy Crossing, you have access to ample shopping and attractions (Harris Teeter, Publix, and Earthfare to name a few) Easy access to I-77, the Presbyterian hospital and the Business Park! This charming home features wainscoting and a tray ceiling in the Dining Room, a spacious Kitchen with an island, a luxurious Master Bathroom with a garden tub & walk-in shower, along with sizable guest bedrooms!




Call Molly LaPorta 312-804-1010

For an appointment to view



Investing In Real Estate

by Susan Johnson and Associates

Investing in Real Estate 101

In recent months many of our clients have approached us asking is now the time to invest in real estate?  Well, the answer isn’t really a yes or no answer.  There are many factors to consider and each person’s individual long and short term goals as well as their risk tolerance differ.  As real estate consultants, it’s our job to go over all the factors with each person to determine if it’s right for them.  Then, if they are ready, we will help them make the best decision.

Here are some of the things we initially discuss when venturing into real estate investment.  Keep in mind, some of our clients are seasoned investors and some have never bought a home before, so we go from the very basic to the complex when analyzing each situation.

First you have to evaluate your buying power.  How much cash do you have to put down?  Typically in today’s market, lenders want to see at least 20% down for a non-owner occupied property.  Have you spoken to a lender to get pre-approved and for how much?  Do you own a home now?  One strategy to consider if you don’t own yet, is to buy something very affordable, live in it two years and then turn it into a rental and buy something else.  Keep doing that and grow your portfolio that way.

Then we discuss your risk tolerance.  Is your down payment all the money you have to your name or is this money you can live without being liquid long term?  How close are you to retirement?  How does investing fit into your personal budget?  

Many new investors get excited thinking that they must buy while the market is low.  While it is wise in theory, if you aren’t ready financially, meaning you will be stretching yourself thin, using your retirement money, or just putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation where you are stressing out every month if the renter will pay their rent or you can’t pay the mortgage; then you probably shouldn’t buy an investment property.

However, if you are really ready for the long term commitment, there are opportunities out there.  Not every home listed will be a good investment and not every foreclosure, short sale or FSBO is a deal.  It takes some skill and market knowledge as well as patience to find the right investment.

Cash flow is the biggest consideration.  If the numbers don’t work, meaning you don’t break even, or better yet, have positive cash flow after all expenses, then it’s probably not the right property.  Of course there are other factors, like appreciation, but too many people got burned banking on appreciation, so the safe strategy, in my opinion, is to follow the cash flow model.  Here is a link to a site that has a basic tool you can use to plug in some numbers for practice.  Cash Flow Tool.

Before jumping into a purchase, there is a lot of homework on your part to master.  Don’t rely on random information to make a big financial decision.  You need to take the time to know and understand the market.  Give us a call and let us setup a Market Snapshot in the areas you are interested in so you can keep abreast of the property information in your chosen area.

You should also watch the rental market carefully in the areas you are interested in.  You can look on Craigslist, the MLS and property management websites.  Create a spreadsheet or just make notes so you can remember which neighborhoods, size homes, features, etc are most desirable to renters and what the rates are in comparison.  

If you are considering flipping, rather than buying and holding for investment, then that is a completely different ball game that takes even greater skill and knowledge as well as a higher tolerance for risk and more capital outlay.  If you are handy and plan on rehabbing the property yourself, you may have an advantage, but the reality is it always takes twice the length of time and two times more money than you thought it would when you first venture into flipping. You really have to know your numbers and understand the market.  Flipping is not for amateurs.

This is just a basic overview about considering a real estate investment.  If you would like to meet and discuss your situation and goals, please contact us anytime.  We here to help.

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Contact Information

Photo of Susan Johnson & Associates Real Estate
Susan Johnson & Associates
Lake Norman | Real Estate | Susan Johnson Team
19721 Bethel Church Road
Cornelius NC 28031
Susan Johnson 704-651-9023
Fax: 704-439-2602

Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated.