The term "misery loves company" is definitely overused, but it seems to apply perfectly to what people say when they're encouraging you to buy a house. "The tax benefits are great," they say, ignoring the fact that you've just taken on a 30-year load of debt that makes the tax refund look nonexistent even when compared to the amount of interest paid, much less money borrowed. In spite of my recognition of reality, however, I was excited to do my taxes this year so I could see if the money I'm wasting on interest payments really did come back at least a little.
First realization: the tax software for homeowners costs more than the one I used as a renter. $10 more...so that's one strike against the Homeowner Tax Win argument. Though I did get a thrill of buying the one that says "homeowner" on it!
Armed with calculators and piles of paperwork, I delved in. (I was oh so grateful to my awesome realtors for sending me another copy of my settlement papers - I didn't even ask! If that's one of the courtesies they do for clients at least I'm not the only one who must be searching frantically for all those important documents that signed my life away to the mortgage company...!)
The process of doing taxes is boring even to those doing it, so I'll cut to the end. After entering the amount of interest paid on my house this year plus digging through those papers to find the extra interest paid while I was handing over my life savings...
I got to see the "refund" number at the top do magical things. The house helped me receive a $1,350 refund! Granted, that's less than a third of the interest I paid...but wow, that is still very cool. Thank you, house o' dreams!