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Old 09-04-2013, 07:13 PM
Location: Oakland, CA
26,879 posts, read 28,176,944 times
Reputation: 26003


I am pondering it. But I want a condo and not a SFH. Hopefully I can cross it off my to do list in 24 months. I realize right now, I just have way too many other things I need to focus on, that I really can't do it now.

I prioritized it a while ago, and then life got more expensive, so it doesn't seem like a good idea with my current extra expenses (re: new car payment). Once I pay off more of my car, it will make more sense!
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:22 PM
Status: "Cats know. Cats always know." (set 1 day ago)
Location: Pennsylvania
15,575 posts, read 9,602,481 times
Reputation: 26040
I agree with the others that, given the life style you've chosen, renting would be preferable to owning. But it seems that you're applying that to everyone. Not fair.

I'm single. I'm living in my 4th house, pretty much one for each job change. I can see the pros and cons of renting vs owning but my preference is to own. The house I'm living in now is mine, bought and paid for. Taxes/insurance are a lot cheaper than rent!

Last edited by PAhippo; 09-04-2013 at 07:23 PM.. Reason: oops
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:25 PM
14,389 posts, read 16,308,377 times
Reputation: 12880
I had several different homes when I was single. It wasn't a huge risk to me and it was very practical for me. I had a dog and a fenced yard and a garage and a garden. I planted trees and shrubs and added enhancements to the home just like any other homeowner. I even moved to other states....sold one home in the old state and bought a home in the new state.

What's this big risk...that you lose your job and not be able to pay the monthly mortgage? You'd be up a creek if you cannot pay rent just the same. But most folks that own a home have a monetary emergency fund that will cover expenses if a job loss. Renters should have this too.

Just because owning a home is practical for one single person, this doesn't mean it's practical for a different single person. Some people don't want to own a home. Actually some couples don't want to own a home EVER. Other people wouldn't dream of renting.

Do what is best for you.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:45 PM
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,874 posts, read 12,931,398 times
Reputation: 28957
When I reached the age of 40, my mother finally convinced this footloose woman to become a home owner despite the fact that I was a single who traveled constantly. I wish I had given in earlier because I didn't find home owning was all that much extra work since I purposely bought a place without a yard. But I made a firm decision that I would buy something WELL within my means and try to pay it off as soon as possible. I chose something that made my mortgage payment PLUS ALL RELATED EXPENSES no more than a rent payment. That was actually a bit of a downgrade. But later, when my employment became very dicey through no fault of my own, it turned out to be a wise decision. But I, at least, have something to show for all those years of paying for somewhere to live. So I remain happy with MY decision. Deciding the opposite, on the other hand, is no negative reflection on you. But if not wanting to do maintenance work is your only issue, that's why God gave us condos.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:34 PM
2,803 posts, read 2,517,879 times
Reputation: 6171
A person's residence 'type' status is a Lifestyle choice best made by the individual, there is no rule of thumb because everyone has different lifestyles and priorities.

That being said here's some guidelines. If you are single and enjoy traveling and mobility and have the ability to live comfortably in rent for less than 25% of your net income and can be disciplined enough to save 10% a year along with a regular investment program such as 401k through employer or via Voluntary Investment programs it makes sense.

Living modestly in rent and saving is a good choice if you can stand some of the annoyances of renting (multi family buildings with neighbors whom you will likely inevitably find annoying for a variety of reasons (noise, uncivil behaviors / habits, cooking odors, smoking, variable working schedules etc..). If you have a good landlord that is responsive and is prompt in fixing and maintaining a clean property, as well as if the property has certain location or amenities you find of value. Rent.

If those types of things are low on value and having your 'own place and space' is a priority for peace of mind AND you anticipate living in an area / location for a minimum of 7 years, you probably should buy. Do your research of neighborhoods and their demographics so it is not a 'surprise'. Always seek lowest cost homes in a neighborhood or greater value homes as it provides built in 'value insurance' in the market.

Home ownership while building equity in an asset is the most illiquid and fixed of assets. Home ownership should be made with your living requirements first and foremost and NOT as an investment. outside of a few markets (Wash DC/ SFO / NYC) and submarkets in large metros that are premium desireable areas most real estate is in another growing bubble unless it is in one of the cratered markets (urban Detroit, Cleveland, St Louis).

Homeownership also comes with a myriad of responsibilities and ongoing maintenance, operations expenses that many do not figure into their decisions. When you rent the landlord builds in the property taxes he/she pays into your rent. When you own its another line item for expenses. Homeownership will also be an inconvenience to many lifestyles if you value your time off for yourself (travel R&R etc..) . Many times a home will drain your time to maintain / landscape / be home when the contractor / handyman has to fix something which you can not etc...

If you are a handyman and enjoy working projects then perhaps homeownership is your thing. When you live in rent the landlord fixes all those nuisance things (if they are responsive and well managed).

Basically, the argument you will hear is the money for rent is throwing it away, while buying, is building equity. Well, as long as you know the market is still rising maybe that is true, but when a market is in a long slow correction (depreciating values) you are (while building equity) trying to catch a falling knife. On the one hand we ALL need a place to live so if your lifestyle and circumstances demand it (family with children) you are better off with buying or renting to buy type programs.

For your particular situation I go back to original paragraph IF you can live in rent on 25% of your net income and are disciplined to save 10% or more along with a consistent savings / investment program you are likely better off in rent as you will be better diversified investment wise, rather than tying up practically all your investment in an illiquid asset which disproportionately weights your assets.

If you are desirous of 'owning' at some point I would suggest you research the many foreclosed properties being slowly bled (government's concerted save the big bank program - i.e. slow bleed of shadow inventory - that is properties upside down on mortgages or which have defaulted and been walked away from etc...). There are listings geared toward first time buyers Fannie Mae's Homepath First Look program which give first time buyers a 15 to 30 day window to be first bidders.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:41 PM
35,121 posts, read 37,853,466 times
Reputation: 61846
We choose to not own a home right now and may never own a home we have not decided yet.
Renting is good for us because we tend to move often and don't have to worry about any repairs and such.
If something breaks we call the landlord and it is taken care of.
Renters insurance is a lot cheaper than home owners insurance and we don't pay real estate taxes either.

We know single and married people who are parents and not parents and some own some rent, it is a personal choice which to do.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:14 PM
25,839 posts, read 49,753,618 times
Reputation: 19297
As a landlord I would not be where I am if a lot of people had not chosen to rent.

I bought my first home in my early 20's just out of college and I paid for college by working... yes it took an extra year... graduating without appreciable debt was well worth it to me plus I had a double major... engineering and business.

The responsibility of caring for a home definitely is not for everyone and could prove very expensive quickly.

Never thought of it as a status symbol... my first home was scheduled for condemnation and it was a 650 square feet cottage on a 25 by 100 city lot in the SF Bay Area.

Learned a lot buying that home and still have it today and now on my second tenant.

Taught me a lot of practical skills plus getting along with people... taking the worst home in the neighborhood and transforming it is a quick way to make friends and many went out of their way to offer advice too.

I knew a lot of older people willing to give advice... most said they had regretted waiting to buy property and just about all encouraged me to start young.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:14 PM
121 posts, read 132,500 times
Reputation: 150
Renting is the right choice for you right now, and without even knowing the details I can say it is most likely saving you money. If your situation changes, you can reevaluate it when and if the time comes. I own now, but until I was 40 (life can change), I was in exactly the same place you are. I have absolutely no regrets, other than I wish I had waited another year before I bought.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:16 PM
Location: Los Angeles
252 posts, read 482,189 times
Reputation: 79
Ok sorry for going off topic
But why arent u getting married ? :P
Ok jokes apart.
You should rather buy a home now. because the prices of homes are sky rocketing.
You won't get a good deal when you will be in your 50s or 60s
Your income will stop and you will be living with your savings.
So would you rather like to stay in your own home at your retirement or pay those rents in your retirement. Think mate!
Buy a home in San diego , as the prices of properties are going down and its a wonderful place too.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:37 PM
25,839 posts, read 49,753,618 times
Reputation: 19297
Homes are cyclical in nature...

Don't buy unless the numbers work for you.

I've been through several down markets... yes, in my area the prices always come back... might take awhile and who wants to be in a position of having to sell at the bottom.
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