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Old 06-07-2018, 05:23 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,031 posts, read 13,366,845 times
Reputation: 6744

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PamelaIamela View Post
OP:
Wait till you have ~20% saved for a down payment, because your income is way too low to cover the PITI and the maintenance costs of a SFH in the price range you describe and you will be cutting it way too close.
If it takes another five years, so what?

I bought my first place, a condo, on LI at age 40, and lived well below my means after that.
You would freak out to know my financial condition at this point in my life.

Stop using external rules to dictate your life, but be guided by what is right for YOU.. and when.
I already do have 20% down payment saved up.
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Old 06-07-2018, 07:48 AM
 
3,031 posts, read 1,208,829 times
Reputation: 5990
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapikap View Post
Wait it out, move a little further away, or re locate if you can. Bad schools and high crime are not attractive options. Renting is not always a bad thing, as you wont have to deal with maintaining a home. If things go bad with you neighbors in an apartment, you can just get up and move. But if things go bad, with the neighbors in a house, it would be harder to relocate.

Have you considered homes within a 15-20 mile radius? or in between the bad and the great?
Jacksonville tends to be MORE expensive on the outskirts due to the poor quality schools in the city (which is basically the entire county). There are only a few good neighborhoods near the urban core and then the rest are either at or near the beaches or far out from the city center or in different counties. Jacksonville is the largest city geographically, to boot, and takes up the entire county except the beach communities. They are building a lot of nice rentals in the urban core over the past few years, but the houses there are quite expensive.
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Old 06-07-2018, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,031 posts, read 13,366,845 times
Reputation: 6744
Quote:
Originally Posted by RamenAddict View Post
Jacksonville tends to be MORE expensive on the outskirts due to the poor quality schools in the city (which is basically the entire county). There are only a few good neighborhoods near the urban core and then the rest are either at or near the beaches or far out from the city center or in different counties. Jacksonville is the largest city geographically, to boot, and takes up the entire county except the beach communities. They are building a lot of nice rentals in the urban core over the past few years, but the houses there are quite expensive.
You are correct!

The vast majority of the area inside the beltway is not desirable to live in. The desirable parts are mostly outside the beltway, but are quite expensive. I don't want to be too far outside the beltway either because the commute would suck.
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Old 06-07-2018, 08:38 AM
 
570 posts, read 221,809 times
Reputation: 655
Are you limiting your search to detached homes or might you consider a townhome?

Reason I ask is that I have lived in both and, when I was at the point of getting into the housing market, a townhome was a wonderful fit because I was able to live in a better and more desirable location than the detached homes I could afford at the time, I did not have to worry about exterior maintenance because it was covered in the HOA fees, and I was able to build equity and avoid the regular rent hikes that come with renting. Additionally, the townhomes I could afford were much more updated and move-in ready than the homes in my price range.

Both of the townhomes I bought were end units so I really only had to worry about one neighbor being ok. I lived in apartments and I can say that both of the townhomes I lived in had much more sound insulation than apartments and I never even heard or noticed my adjacent neighbor in either circumstance and we had dogs and our neighbors said that they could never hear us either.

The second townhome I owned was just a few years ago when my husband and I were house hunting. We currently lived in the tiny townhome I had bought before meeting him and had outgrown the space. We wanted a detached home and we looked at many and even made offers on a few. Unfortunately in that process we were not able to afford detached without moving quite a distance away from our desired location which would have been a commuting nightmare so, since our current home was under contract and we had to move, we bought a larger and nicer townhome in a great location. Our budget allowed us to live exactly where we wanted in our area and then, just 2.5 years later, home prices rose so quickly in our area and we were able to sell that townhome for almost 30k more than we paid for it and we were then able to buy a detached home in our preferred area because we had made money on the townhome and we also had moved forward in our jobs so we could afford more.

Not to push you toward a townhome if your dream is to get into a detached home but the reality is that not everyone stays in the home they buy for 30 years. One home can be a stepping stone to another and a way to build equity instead of renting.
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Old 06-07-2018, 08:41 AM
 
193 posts, read 76,594 times
Reputation: 555
OP, will you have more income in a few years? Have you considered a variable rate mortgage? I don't normally advocate for those, but if your budget only puts you in a bad home/area, you might consider buying more with a lower monthly payment for 5/7/10 years and refinancing before the payment increases after the fixed period ends.

None of the options sound great to me. You can fix any ugly house with enough creativity and cash, but you can't fix location or neighbors. If you had said the house was bad but the area was great, I would say buy right away. But bad house and bad area? You are better off not investing your money.
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Old 06-07-2018, 08:43 AM
 
193 posts, read 76,594 times
Reputation: 555
Or how about a place that is more expensive but has the potential for an income suite? A finished basement apartment or an in law suite over a garage? If you can get a renter, you can really increase your buying power.
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Old 06-07-2018, 08:58 AM
 
820 posts, read 275,250 times
Reputation: 2611
Quote:
Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
I already do have 20% down payment saved up.
I inferred that you didn't when I read in your OP .. "This takes into account the fact that I am qualified to receive down payment assistance, etc." so that's a GOOD thing.

Now you also should have a hefty emergency fund, and maybe raise your budget enough to buy a lesser home in a better hood and/or use an ARM (judiciously) as others have suggested.

You may have to wait a year or two, but trust me, it goes fast.

Good luck!
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Old 06-07-2018, 09:01 AM
 
10,265 posts, read 6,495,798 times
Reputation: 10842
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitty61 View Post
I know many folks won't like me saying this but...
Home ownership is not all it is cracked up to be. Some people will tell you to buy, why waste your money on rent? But they don't tell you to take into account the higher cost of heating/cooling a much larger sq footage, light/power for the same, house insurance, city water & sewage service, city property tax, plumbers and other trades persons, roofing, painting, mowing, raking, shoveling, vermin, water heaters/AC/furnace, mortgage interest ..... all of these have to be in your budget. Instead of all that money going into the money pit, be happy renting and put that money into investments/savings fund. You will find you have a very large chunk of change to live contently without pouring it into those extra costs not included in your mortgage.
For me it's all that it's cracked up to be and then some. My only regret is that I rented for over 20 years before buying.
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Old 06-07-2018, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
6,298 posts, read 3,477,426 times
Reputation: 14916
Quote:
Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
Next year, I expect my financial situation to improve. I'm expecting a pay raise, promotion, bigger bonus, significantly more cash savings and more disposable income. But I'm already 34 and have been renting my whole adult life!

Thoughts?
Keep renting and keep saving. You really, REALLY don't want to buy a property you won't be happy with!

I didn't buy my first home until I was forty, BTW. There's no set age at which one must own a home or be thought of as immature. You buy a home when you're ready for one and when you can afford one, not before.
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Old 06-07-2018, 09:42 AM
 
38 posts, read 61,611 times
Reputation: 89
My wife and I rented for the first ten years of our marriage. And we lived in many different areas. Every single experience was bad or near it. Between having annoying neighbors and/or terrible landlords, we finally decided we had had enough. If you are lucky to have good neighbors and a good landlord, you don't realize just how LUCKY you really are. But still. You are subject to rent hikes AT ANY TIME. The rules can flip and change on you fast. Unless you have a contract that protects you for a period of time.



At the same time. After owning, I had to be responsible for all repairs and upkeep. No problem since I have the background for anything like that. But for someone who can't do plumbing or repair roof leaks, it ups the expense for sure. So you do have to save just for that while owning. Else, it'll bite you hard down the road. To each his own. But I like the idea of having neighbors FAR AWAY from me. And that requires owning in most cases.
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