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Old 09-12-2019, 10:50 AM
 
Location: New York
808 posts, read 486,274 times
Reputation: 2046

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My experience was mixed. I've owned a home for 4 years now.
Here's what I've learned (good and bad)

1. Owning gives you more autonomy over your circumstances, you can do whatever you want to the property within reason
2. Since you sink costs into the closing, etc you are tied down financially in a sense, but your costs are more stable and you don't have to worry about rent hikes
3. Don't buy more house than you need even if you can afford it. The maintenance and upkeep is a pain.
4. NEVER use the inspector recommended by the RE agent. Get your own inspection before signing the contract and save yourself potential headaches in the future.
5. If you're thinking of moving or want flexibility in the future, look at homes in terms of rental potential
6. Avoid dealing with a HOA if you can, that's my biggest regret.
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:28 AM
 
96 posts, read 56,889 times
Reputation: 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Berteau View Post
Iím single and donít really need much space, but Iíve decided to buy a home next year. I just want my own place where Iím not living in an apt on top of a bunch of strangers. My only fear is buying a home limits your mobility. Youíre kind of stuck and if you donít like it or want to move, itís a hassle and expensive. I also like the idea of not having additional unknown expenses Iím responsible for. Like needing a new roof, something breaking, etc. What is everyoneís experiences in going from renting to buying? Particularly as a single person?
Then only buy a house that you actually like and that you can see yourself living in for a few years. You can always make improvements on the home and then sell it for a profit whenever you want to move. When you purchase you are actually building equity in a valuable asset instead of renting and never seeing that money ever again. Sometimes renting is more suitable for people but once you buy your own home, I'm sure you will have a difference perspective. You will feel a sense of accomplishment while you take great care in maintaining your property as it will truly be your own. I find it a joy to maintain my house and always making sure it has fantastic curb appeal as well as always keeping it clean and redecorating to current styles it makes homeownership fun etc.
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
9,862 posts, read 19,115,086 times
Reputation: 8831
Just because you own a home doesn't mean you have to be the one to live in it. Should you want to move, then get a property manager and rent the house out. Check the numbers between mortgages and rental prices in the area, if you'd be able to rent it and pay a property manager and still come out on the plus side, then buying makes sense.

If it were me, I'd find a small house with a small yard so it wouldn't need as much maintenance, although, also if it were me, there'd be enough room for some fruit trees and a garden.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:56 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
29,081 posts, read 63,253,669 times
Reputation: 33300
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
What it mostly comes down to is how likely it is that you'll continue to live there
The OP hasn't posted on this or any of the other points made.
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Old 09-12-2019, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,519 posts, read 4,320,653 times
Reputation: 18992
Quote:
Originally Posted by possibleyou View Post
Then only buy a house that you actually like and that you can see yourself living in for a few years. You can always make improvements on the home and then sell it for a profit whenever you want to move.
One word of caution: you CANNOT count on selling your home for a profit, improvements or no improvements. I bought my house for $259,000; when I sold it 13 years later, it went for $261,000, despite the multiple improvements I made in the property (including adding high quality replacement windows, a water softener, a sump pump, and having the entire property professionally landscaped). Houses are never guaranteed to appreciate. (They are, however, guaranteed to be an ongoing source of costs for the time you live in them.)
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Old 09-12-2019, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
5,816 posts, read 4,577,206 times
Reputation: 12021
What is your lifestyle? Do you like to hang at home a lot? Do you enjoy decorating? Do you like gardening. Do you like to “putter”? Do you prefer to travel alot? Are you always on the go? Do you have pets? Do you like having a garage workbench?

Think about each of these things to help you decide. Generally, if you are a “lock & leave” type of person, a home (unless a condo) could be a real burden.
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Old 09-12-2019, 02:35 PM
 
2,010 posts, read 870,081 times
Reputation: 2215
Quote:
Originally Posted by vladlensky View Post
My experience was mixed. I've owned a home for 4 years now.
Here's what I've learned (good and bad)

1. Owning gives you more autonomy over your circumstances, you can do whatever you want to the property within reason
2. Since you sink costs into the closing, etc you are tied down financially in a sense, but your costs are more stable and you don't have to worry about rent hikes
3. Don't buy more house than you need even if you can afford it. The maintenance and upkeep is a pain.
4. NEVER use the inspector recommended by the RE agent. Get your own inspection before signing the contract and save yourself potential headaches in the future.
5. If you're thinking of moving or want flexibility in the future, look at homes in terms of rental potential
6. Avoid dealing with a HOA if you can, that's my biggest regret.
What maintaince and upkeep is a pain? What things do you have to do?

What makes the HOA a pain? Isnít that mostly for condos and townhomes?
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Old 09-12-2019, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,519 posts, read 4,320,653 times
Reputation: 18992
Quote:
Originally Posted by Berteau View Post
What maintaince and upkeep is a pain? What things do you have to do?
In a single family home, yard work is a constant. Mowing grass, trimming shrubs, weeding beds, raking leaves, shoveling snow (if you live in a cold climate) - it's never-ending and has to be done pretty much weekly. Gutters have to be cleaned out at least once a year, caulk around windows inspected at least yearly and replaced when it starts to fail, and many types of siding have to be painted at regular intervals. Hoses have to be removed from their faucets and brought into the garage when fall arrives. Cracks in the driveway or concrete patio need to be repaired, and wooden decks need to be restained every two years or so.

Inside, let's see: there's basic housekeeping (dusting and vacuuming), fixing minor plumbing issues (dripping faucets, running toilets, that sort of thing), flushing out the hot water heater at least once a year, if a water softener is present the salt has to be checked and topped off when needed, changing the filter in the furnace monthly, checking the smoke detectors and replacing smoke detector batteries at least once a year (and replacing the detectors every ten years), repainting when needed, replacing worn carpet when needed, replacing worn-out window coverings when needed, replacing appliances when needed (these days they rarely last more than 10 years).

I'm sure others will chime in with their own additions to the list. Obviously you don't have to do all this stuff yourself - but it does have to get done!

Quote:
What makes the HOA a pain? Isn’t that mostly for condos and townhomes?
No, most subdivisions have homeowners' associations these days. Most of the time they are not a problem - but if overly rigid types wind up on the board, they can be, because the HOA can fine you if you break the covenants, or even put a lien on your property. If you buy into a neighborhood that has an HOA, prepare to be an active participant - that's how the troublemakers are warded off.

Last edited by Aredhel; 09-12-2019 at 04:19 PM..
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:49 PM
 
2,010 posts, read 870,081 times
Reputation: 2215
Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
You are indirectly paying fore things, along with taxes, insurance and other expenses, as part of your monthly rent. However, renters don't gain any property appreciation or equity, which has long been the mainstay of the investor-rental market. (Of course, owning requires a larger initial and ongoing investment than 2-3 months in renter deposits.)

Even greater rental mobility is not completely cut and dried, unless one rents on a month-to-month basis instead of an annual lease.
Yes. You indirectly pay for those things with rent. But homeowners say that renters “throw away their money”, so it’s irrelevant where it goes. Renters know it goes towards all those things. Yet homeowners throw away an almost equal amount of money also to cover those same costs. That’s the point. And property appreciates at the rate of inflation, and most of your payments go towards interest, not principle or equity. Just look at an amortization schedule. You’re paying interest on a 6 figure loan. People think those payments all go towards the principle, which they don’t.

Last edited by Berteau; 09-12-2019 at 06:57 PM..
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:20 PM
 
55 posts, read 19,709 times
Reputation: 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I'm closing on an inexpensive townhome ($96,500) tomorrow. With 3% down, my all-in PITI with taxes and insurance in escrow is $659/month. The townhome has been completely remodeled, with new stainless steel appliances, new granite, new laminate flooring, and freshly painted. 2BR/2BA, with a loft that could be used as an office or small bedroom, and a ~550 sq. ft garage. The current owner is a dentist who had it remodeled and then moved out of the area.

Renting something similar here with stainless and granite in a townhome/PUD configuration would easily be $1,000/month. I should make up my upfront costs within a year and a half.

This condo was on the market for less than a week with mine and at least one other offer. I'm not that worried about selling it later. I'm not looking to make a lot of money off of it, and I don't think it will be a stretch to get my costs accounted for and move it if I need to leave area.

When I left my last lease, I was about ready to lose my job and moved out of state on short notice. There were plenty of people on a waiting list in my complex. The complex sent me an initial bill for about $3,000. I eventually paid them like two months rent. Leaving early on an annual lease may be more expensive than selling an inexpensive property.
The only problem with this approach is that you need to have a buyer for your property. In a down market, sometimes it can take upwards of a year to find a buyer, who even then, may lowball you. Buying now, near the end of the market cycle, could also result in OP being underwater, which would mean going to the table at a sale.

No offense intended, but if tomorrow you had to sell with only 3% down, you'd likely need to go to the table with cash in order to close. Hopefully you bought because you're ready to settle down somewhere, but nevertheless, I wouldn't argue ownership makes mobility easier than renting. In many states, landlords are also obligated to make a good faith effort to find a new tennant and can only recover any gap between their lease start and when you moved out.
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