This is one of my favorite questions since there are many advantages to home ownership. While landlords are happy to have you to rent their house, you are basically making the payments for them and helping them increase their equity which you could be doing with your own home.

So why do rent payments continue to increase? In 2010, the rental vacancy rate peaked at 7.32% in Grand Junction. According to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the Grand Junction area has one of the lowest vacancy rates in the state at just 2.7 percent.

The median monthly gross residential rent in Grand Junction, Colo. (the Grand Junction metro area) was $981 in 2019 according to the Census ACS survey. This is a 10.85% increase over the previous year.

The Western Slope housing market continues to show growth year over year. Today’s housing market offers great opportunities making it a better time than ever to purchase and providing first-time homebuyers more buying power!

You might be surprised how much you can afford based on your rent payment. Considering your mortgage payment includes principal, interest, taxes, insurance and possibly mortgage insurance (depending on your down payment and loan type), a payment of $1,400 could equate to a purchase price of $240,000! Your interest rate and payment may vary depending on the loan program, but this gives you a good estimate.

Let’s compare rent vs. home ownership. Per Kate Porras at Re/Max 4000, the average home appreciation for the last five years in Mesa County has been approximately 11%. If you purchased a home for $240,000 in 2021 and we use an average appreciation of 11% per year, your home may be worth $328,231 in just 3 years! If your initial down payment was 3.5% (using an FHA loan as an example), your initial loan amount would be $235,653 which includes mortgage insurance. After three years of making your normal monthly mortgage payments, your loan balance would be approximately $220,600. In this example, you would have gained over $107,631 in equity in three years! If you continue to rent, it is estimated that an existing rent payment today of $1,400 may increase to as much as $1,661 by the third year and you have no equity to show for it.

There are many loan options available that may only require a small down payment also. Many lenders work with the Colorado Housing & Finance Authority (CHFA) to provide down payment assistance grants and zero-percent second mortgages for down payment assistance and/or closing cost assistance which may allow you to put no more than $1,000 down on your new home.

There are so many advantages to home ownership including:

 You can build equity in your own home.

 Your rent payment is not tax deductible. By comparison the interest portion of your mortgage payment could be tax deductible. Please consult your tax advisor.

 Your apartment shares the walls, ceiling and/or floor compared to the privacy you experience when owning a single-family home.

 As you have experienced, your rent almost always increases when your lease is renewed, but with a fixed mortgage, the principle and interest payments never go up.

 An apartment can feel only like a place to stay, but owning a home gives you pride of ownership.

In addition, you do not need perfect credit to purchase a home. Most loan programs can work with borrowers with scores as low as 620.

Many renters CAN afford to buy a home but don’t realize it. I encourage you to reach out to your lender and they can provide you with the many loan options available for home ownership. Feel free to contact me directly if you have further questions.


Jim Kaiser

Branch Manager, NMLS #1721861

Cherry Creek Mortgage, LLC, NMLS 3001