Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rent vs. Buy

Even though I don't really have much means, I'm struggling with an odd decision - Should I look into buying a house?

It seems like an odd question to ponder, since at best, I probably make $30,000 a year, and my guaranteed income is only about $18,000. But because the economy is historically bad, and the real estate market has collapsed, and there is a $7,500 tax credit for first-time homeowners, and because my credit rating is really good - I still pay everything on time - it might make more sense for me to buy a house as opposed to renting an apartment.

I looked into a $100,000, two-bedroom cottage, very preliminarily, online last night. Even if I put $0 down, the monthly payment on a 30-year mortgage for me would be about $423. Meanwhile, most one-bedroom apartments in the area go for about $525 to $650, more for two bedrooms. I would have to pay electricity, heat and cable, but I'd have to do that in an apartment as well, and I wouldn't be getting any equity into the place. There are things like upkeep to think about, but relying on landlords to fix problems in my past apartments has been as big of an issue as relying on myself to call someone anyway.

Thoughts? I know at least one person on here has bought a house recently, so I'm curious about getting some perspective on the whole situation.


  1. I say... buy. Why? Because I was hesitant about it too but everyone around me has been super supportive and keeps telling me that it's such a great thing to do, yada yada yada. Plus there are all the benefits that you listed.

    I have a few friends who have said they can't imagine themselves doing it any time in the next few years but then when you think about how much money they're spending on rent every month (and every year) and it's not going towards anything they can KEEP... yikes.

    Seriously though, if you're okay with staying in the area for 5-10 years and your credit is great, I say go for it. Plus if you can get a roommate or two that you know you won't have any issues with, that could really help you out for at least the first 6-12 months or so.

  2. Yeah, Carolla used to say that if you're responsible, then you might as well just get it over with and buy the house. I haven't missed many bill payments in my life, even when I was laid off this past year, so it really is tempting.

  3. By the way, I recommend and when searching for houses. When/If you get serious about it, you can save custom search criteria on either site and they will e-mail you updates when new homes are added and when the homes you've marked as "favorites" have new photos added or price changes.

    I mostly use remax because my real estate agent is a RE/MAX agent but it should show you listings for all new "for sale" homes in your area.

  4. Sweet, I will poke around them tonight when I get home. The whole process is a bit fun.


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