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Old 08-22-2013, 08:13 PM
18 posts, read 151,616 times
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I was wondering if anyone out there is or was in a similar situation as myself, and what if any decision you made. I'm a young, single professional that really only needs to be 'in' the office one day a week, and I can't decide whether to buy a home/condo or just travel more until I reach my thirties or get married, etc. The dilemma is I'm currently on property my family owns, which is really cheap and gives me tons of freedom to travel internationally often, but it's not really 'mine' and it's not exactly in the best location for my social life. Some people tell me I 'definitely' should just keep traveling/exploring, while others say I 'definitely' need to get a nice house and establish social circles. The thought of buying a home when I don't even really know if I'll still be doing this job in 10 years, whether I'll even want to be in that city, or whether I'll lose traveling opportunities, all keep me from pulling the trigger. You guys with a spouse and kids are in a way lucky since the choice is so clear for you!
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:34 AM
Location: Dallas, TX and wherever planes fly
1,850 posts, read 2,727,650 times
Reputation: 1944
I'm in the keep traveling camp myself. There will always be properties to buy somewhere. Of course I guess you could purchase a property in an area you are likely to eventually settle down in and just rent it out? Could catch the good interest rates and such. But honestly who knows what tomorrow would bring so I say seize the moment and get your travel ON. Many of those folks with Kids are trapped and will be waiting until their 60 and 70's to travel on that kind of level and that's if they have the health and funds. Live it up whilst you can.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:52 PM
Location: Miami-Jax
7,438 posts, read 8,185,195 times
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I really want to give you a helpful answer as I'm in a somewhat similar situation. I can relate to most of what you said, but obviously we are also different people so I don't have the same dilemma that you do.

First, I'll give you some context. I too am a young professional with an extremely flexible work schedule. I probably only HAVE to be in town for about 12 weeks out of the year. I also travel about 8 weeks a year for work but outside of that I am free to be anywhere with an internet connection. I am also lucky in that I live by myself for extremely low rent on family-owned property, but in a part of town that is not at all where I'd want to be as a very sociable young guy. And I have often considered buying a place in a more hip part of town.

We differ in that my decision to buy or not would have little effect on my traveling. Also, I do have personal/social ties to other cities that are strongly guiding my future decisions AND in the event that I do decide to move to another city I'd still have the option of keeping my job. So that aspect isn't a concern for me.

That said, if I imagine myself in your position what I would do is make sure I buildup some savings while my housing costs are low. How much totally depends on your personality/goals (I'd be fairly aggressive myself) but I'd make sure I was saving as much as I could comfortably. Now, in saving...I'd choose to invest that money for a decent return. Again, how much risk depends on your personality/goals, but in choosing your investments it might turn out that real estate is the way to go. Basically what I'm saying is, I'd just keep living where you are and enjoying life as much as you can while turning an eye towards saving/investing. And if the time is right to 'invest' in a property in a more desirable location, then go for it. You could move into it or rent it out (or both) but I wouldn't worry about it until then. For now, keep living the life (except in a less desirable home) and traveling...who knows, maybe you'll tire of it and your decision will be much easier! Hope that helped a little.
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Old 08-25-2013, 04:02 PM
Location: MD's Eastern Shore
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My situation is probably different as I am far from a professional but I did a lot of traveling for work, but by choice due to the type of work I was in. But i'll throw it out there anyway.

I did a lot of traveling working the sportfish circuit. I chose to take those jobs though as I wanted to be where it was warm and hated the cold. For a dozen years I traveled throughout the Carribean and Latin America, even renting long term in Costa Rica. When one job would go due to the owner selling the boat I'd look for another that did the same--mainly in Costa Rica. Occasionally I would find a boat that came back to the mid-atlantic for the summer which was a nice bonus because I always liked being "home" in the summer.

But there was a point I got sick of living out of a suitcase. There was also the constant worries of the house I was renting getting listed and having to pack up so I basically always had my things ready to move. Then there was just the pain of maintaining a US address in one spot but constantly being somewhere else.

I finally bought a house here in MD a little over 2 years ago because I felt the time was right (and this is home). The prices were right and I was able to get a mortgage which isn't easy when being a contractor basically. I'm glad I did. I now have a permanent place to keep my things and the suitcases and duffle bags are buried in the attic somewhere, empty. It's been nice being unpacked.

I have medical issues now which will keep me from traveling anyways for at least the short term but I do plan to eventually get back into it. Though it will be just FL for a few month's with an occasional boat delivery or Bahamas trip being my travelling because long term international travel for me is out. However, even when I bought my place I had/still have the thought that if/when I decide to get back into traveling I could always rent out my house. I even have on the back of my mind permanently moving to FL later on but keeping and renting out my house here.

Overall, it is a personal decision that only you know what is right. On the being tied down to your house part, I don't feel it. I bought a simple rancher in which the mortgage costs less then I was paying to rent similar places in the past. I was able to keep renting in the past even while traveling and practically living in another country so I'd have no problem keeping up with the mortgage if I decided to get back into traveling. The only thing that keeps me somewhat tied down is that my legal immigrant wife has a full time job here and is now contributing to our income. But she doesn't see herself at that job permanently anyways and since this is a tourist/seasonal location that would be no reason not to travel again as well.

All that being said, I am 45 now. My whole career since 1992 has been travelling whether NC in the spring, FL in the winter early on or out of the US from 2000 till 2011, so up to age 43. Those were the best times I've had. I'm glad I did that in my younger years and if I had the opportunity to go back I would not hesitate. Now I have kidney problems and as mentioned for at least the short term there can be no travelling for me and I am glad I made that decision before I had these health issues. My point is that you never know what hand you'll get delt and when/if it will be given to you. So have fun and enjoy yourself while you can.

Last edited by marlinfshr; 08-25-2013 at 04:11 PM..
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