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Old 08-14-2010, 06:12 PM
 
148 posts, read 471,197 times
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I will be going to grad school in Seattle. I might be there 5-6 years depending on how things go for school. I was wondering. Where does $150k get you as far as buying a condo? Thanks! I really like the belltown and capitol hill area even queen anne. Not sure if I can even think of buying anything there.
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Old 08-14-2010, 06:38 PM
 
Location: WA
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I might advise against it. Doing the math, grad student stipends won't be enough to cover mortgage PLUS homeowners dues, taxes, home insurance, maintenance, etc. You could do it if you got a roommate or two, but I doubt you'd be able to find more than a tiny studio for $150k.
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:01 PM
 
148 posts, read 471,197 times
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My parents are willing to help me out. So, I shouldnt need a roomie.
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:42 PM
 
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There are currently about a half a dozen condo units, all small studios, for sale on Capitol Hill for under 150 thousand dollars. Nothing in Belltown or Queen Anne.
I'll give you some pros and cons:
Pros: Some people just feel better when they own the place they're living in. When you own the place, you can take advantage of any appreciation in the market when you sell.

Cons: When you own the place, you can lose your shirt and a whole lot more if prices go down. People bought in 2005, 2006, 2007 with the idea that they'd hold on to them for a few years and then have all this extra money because of how smart they were. Prices in Seattle are down about 20-25% off the peak of July 2007. I'm not convinced they're going back up anytime soon. When you buy a place, it generally costs about 3% more in closing costs, and when you sell, about 9% goes towards closing costs. So if you bought a 150,000 studio on Capitol Hill, and let's say put 20% down, your payments would probably be a little over a thousand a month after taxes, insurance, and HOA dues.
You can rent something larger and nicer for that same amount of money.
If you decided to sell the condo in five years, odds are pretty good that it will not be worth much more than 150,000, and you'll have only paid off 3000 dollars or so in principal.
If it just feels better to own, then feel free to do it. But please don't think it's an astute financial move.
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:31 PM
 
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I just like the idea of owning. I dont expect the economy to improve for like 20 years.
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:39 PM
 
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In that case, go ahead. But be aware that for 150,000 dollars, a condo in a cool area is going to be tiny.
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:41 PM
 
148 posts, read 471,197 times
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No problem with that...its just me...I wont decide what to do until the fall. I still have a travel bug in me. Might be a bad idea to buy since I want to do some cool trips.
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