What are the advantages of a pastor owning his own home rather than living in a church owned parsonage?

For years I have advised churches to get out of the parsonage business. I think it is very important to get a pastor into his own home as soon as possible for many reasons.

  • Retirement – owning a home at retirement is a key ingredient to retirement planning.
  • Security – for his family, particularly his wife. Privacy – they can decorate how they want -it’s home.
  • I think it tends to add to longevity – the family feels more attached to the community because there’s a stronger sense of belonging.
  • Tax purposes – income tax law provides for generous benefits to the pastor who is buying his own home. Federal and state income taxes are greatly reduced and sometimes eliminated due to the housing allowance and double deduction for mortgage interest and real estate taxes. (Unfortunately, it has no affect on the pastor’s most burdensome tax, his self-employment tax.)
Attention: Tax Law is subject to interpretation. Please be advised that the material contained on this Web site is for information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. The Stewardship Services Foundation endeavors to update the information on this site on a regular basis, but cannot guarantee its accuracy at all times.