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Old 09-12-2019, 07:24 PM
5,741 posts, read 2,496,237 times
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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
Man. It's amazing how home prices vary. I couldn't buy a closet for $95,000.
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:52 PM
4,012 posts, read 2,273,919 times
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I would recommend continue to rent. Your life will be less complicated.

You can get better returns on your money with equities, bonds, and commodities without the hassle of a home.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:25 PM
768 posts, read 233,724 times
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Originally Posted by Berteau View Post
What maintaince and upkeep is a pain? What things do you have to do?

What makes the HOA a pain? Isn’t that mostly for condos and townhomes?
Even new construction houses are money and time pits. If you buy a house, be prepared for your new house to grow two hands that will stick themselves into your pockets as soon as you sign on the dotted line at closing.

Yard work. Painting. General repairs. Gutter cleaning. Keeping an eye on the attic, basement,and/or crawl spaces to make sure that all is well with the house's bones and foundation. Annual inspections of the HVAC system(s). Caring for appliances (changing/cleaning filters, replacing hoses/belts, draining the water heater, etc). Saving money in what I like to call the "Oh, S**t Fund" when things inevitably need to either repaired or replaced. The work truly never ends.

A lot of what you now consider to be your disposable income will go towards your house if you choose to buy.

In terms of HOAs: an HOA or a covenant often dictates the use of your property (milage definitely varies from HOA to HOA. Check the terms and conditions well before buying a property that falls under the jurisdiction of an HOA as well as read the terms of the community covenant if applicable). When your trash cans can be put out and when they have to come in. Where your guests (and you) park your cars and if your garage door is permitted to be left open. Whether or not you can build a fence, how high it is. Whether or not you may have a garden or a clothesline (landscaping). The color of your house. Whether or not you can hang a flag on your property. HOA fees might also go toward the care and maintenance of a community pool and/or clubhouse and the landscaping of public areas.

In terms of owning a home as a single person: even with all of the time and money that I've put into my current home over the past few years, I don't have any regrets about choosing to buy again after I sold the marital home. Even with maintenance costs, it's less expensive in many parts of my area to own rather than rent.

It helps that I'm handy, have a few solid and trustworthy trades folks with whom I deal for the projects that are beyond my skill set, have been been to the homeownership rodeo twice before buying this house of mine, and like working on my house and yard as a pastime.

While I'm not planning on leaving this house or the area, I chose to buy in a neighborhood with both a strong rental market and a good sellers' market in an up and coming neighborhood should I ever have to move on the fly.

Last edited by Formerly Known As Twenty; 09-12-2019 at 08:36 PM..
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:57 AM
2,010 posts, read 870,081 times
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One think I would like to note is that I live in Indy where housing is cheap. I'm paying 1k for rent right now and a mortgage and taxes on a new house would be like $1200 monthly payments. I also handy and can handle some time for upkeep myself. I don't mind an hour or two housework on weekends. I'm more concerned with the financial aspects

Last edited by Berteau; 09-13-2019 at 06:19 AM..
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:24 AM
Location: The Triad (NC)
29,081 posts, read 63,253,669 times
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Originally Posted by Berteau View Post
I'm more concerned with the financial aspects
As said a couple times now... that mostly comes down to HOW LONG you'll be there.
How long you'll want to remain and/or be able to remain in Indy.

If you aren't sure or might want to move (or be transferred) within X years... do NOT buy.
If you are sure, have solid family/friend relationships, the good job, etc... then owning almost always works.
A 5-10 year duration is the starting line.

Being more specific requires having one or another property to be specific about ...
and of course a deep and honest analysis of your income, savings, debts, etc.

eta: It's only after these several considerations are sorted that the lifestyle aspects
of which type/age/size/etc of a property can come into play.

Last edited by MrRational; 09-13-2019 at 06:43 AM..
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:32 AM
Location: SW Florida
10,941 posts, read 5,123,851 times
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Originally Posted by bizcuit View Post
As a compromise, consider a townhouse?

This is what I was going to post. I was renting an apartment and was trying to buy a townhouse because I didn't want the yardwork so I was checking into townhouses where nobody is above me and if you get an end unit you don't have anybody on one side. And I really wanted a pool that was not my responsibility to take care of. However I had the chance to buy my late aunt's small single family house when she died so I did.

The negatives are like the OP mentioned: maintenance worries, yard upkeep (I finally hired someone), no pool and the fact that if you get an opportunity to move it's not as easy to do as when you rent.

The positives are I was able to get a dog since I have a fenced yard and I only have to take her for a walk once a day for exercise and socialization, I don't have people stomping around over my head and I can fix the house anyway I like.

If I had to do over again I would have bought a townhome as I'm a 64 year old widow. I'm still in great shape but when you own a home there is almost always something that has to be done. The downside to that is HOA fees and their rules & regulations.
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:09 AM
Location: Tennessee
24,394 posts, read 18,164,569 times
Reputation: 28702
Originally Posted by smc733 View Post
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.
The odds of it taking a year to sell something here at that price and in the condition in its in are very long. Sure, it could happen, but I highly doubt it would take more than a couple months to sell even in a down market. I wouldn't want to be sitting on a $500k house here.
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:45 AM
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
3,817 posts, read 9,363,278 times
Reputation: 7428
I will never buy another house. Biggest mistake of my life.

Take a look at an amortization table and enter your info. You are looking at roughly 10 YEARS before you touch the principal of your loan.

Never look at a house as an investment. It isn't. It's illiquid, requires regular $, and is difficult to liquidate.

Selling a house is a huge PITA. Agents are gonna cost 5-6% + transaction costs. In my area, if you had a $100,000 house it would cost about $10,000 just to sell it. But it doesn't end there. Buyers in my area ask for thousands in closing help (and they get it) and then try to re-negotiate after the inspection.

When you sell, the house has to be updated (kitchens & baths) or you'll have trouble selling.

Maintenance cannot be overstated. You will have to fix electrical, roofing, or plumbing. Things wear out. Kitchen appliances, washers/dryers will have to be replaced. They say to allot 1%-3% of the cost of your house (adjust for inflation) for maintenance and that's probably about right.

Maintaining is truly never-ending. Once you get behind it is crazy expensive and hard to get out.

You will never truly own the house. You will always pay taxes and maintenance.

Comparing rent to mortgage isn't an even comparison. Add to your mortgage the downpayment and the costs to sell and maintenance (updates) and compare that figure to rent.

The lack of flexibility cannot be understated, either. We've missed out on jobs in other states, been forced to live next door to neighbors who drove us crazy, and dealt with Hoa issues.
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:48 AM
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,519 posts, read 4,320,653 times
Reputation: 18992
Originally Posted by Berteau View Post
I'm more concerned with the financial aspects
What financial aspects in particular most concern you?
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:11 AM
2,010 posts, read 870,081 times
Reputation: 2215
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
What financial aspects in particular most concern you?
As I've said, closing costs, maintenance costs, repair costs, interest, taxes, costs when you sell. Basically, am I throwing away as much money as renting, but with less flexibility and more responsibility with a house.
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