Equity accumulates less quickly than you might expect, but you can get there faster by either getting a 15 year mortgage or by paying off a 30-year mortgage on a 15-year schedule. Factors that affect the accumulation of home equity include: Carrying costs. Property taxes, maintenance, insurance and routine upgrades all offset some of the equity you gain simply by owning the house over time. Mortgage interest deduction. For decades, mortgage interest was deductible from Federal income taxes. The deduction added back cash that homeowners could use to cover some of the carrying costs. It is prudent to base your decision based on the monthly payment you can afford, not including the mortgage deduction. That way you are covered if your financial circumstances change and you no longer qualify for the deduction. Stay up to date on the status of the mortgage interest deduction at the IRS website. Agents' commissions. Eventually, you will sell your house, and that is when you hope to recoup all that you put into it - from mortgage payments to improvements - in the form of a capital gain. The gain you eventually recoup will be affected by the cost of selling, so be sure to include that in your estimates.