AM
Dedicated June 2019

Renting vs Buying a house scaries

AM, on October 29, 2018 at 11:45 AM Posted in Married Life 0 31
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Hi folks!

As two adults strapped down hard with insane student loans, i know if we scape together enough for a downpayment for a house here in the midwest, we'd still need to have a mortgage (which means extra payments every month).

I'd love to hear from couples on what made them decide to rent or buy a home, and how their financial situations lined up. (And also if you have kids or not, which i DO think makes a difference in how you go about renting a home in a particular school district).

I've been doing a TON of reading (seriously my brain might overheat soon), about how in the scheme of investments, home ownership doesn't really come as much of an advantage anymore. It's disheartening and hard to walk away from the idea of putting down roots somewhere, but i also want to make sure we're looking at this from all angles to make the best decision for our future.

YES we plan to talk to a financial advisor before any decision is made, however we have sat down with a bank to discuss mortgage options and the ultimate first step is to reduce our student loans to make home ownership a feasible option.

I'd just like some support and to hear from others on why they chose what they chose, their regrets and their perspective on why they think what they chose work.

31 Comments

Latest activity by Larisa, on January 23, 2020 at 5:59 AM
  • FutureMrsKC
    Master January 2019
    FutureMrsKC ·
    • Flag

    We bough our home a year and a half ago. It really made more financial sense for us.

    Our finances at that time, I had $40,000 in student loans and had just bought a $15,000 car before we looked into buying. FH has student loans as well totaling about $35,000 but he had no car payment at the time. We have great credit, too. We used a USDA loan (no down payment) and a Florida Bond ($10,000 to use towards closing costs). Our closing costs were only $6,000 so the other $4,000 went into our loan so we actually took out a smaller loan than what we agreed to buy the house for. It worked out perfect. They actually gave us a check back at closing because we had paid for the inspection and other fees.

    I was 22, FH was 24.

    When we looked at renting, the average rent in our area was about $1500 for a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home with a yard. We do not have kids, but we have a dog and an apartment was out of the question. Our mortgage payment is only $790 so we are paying way less on our mortgage than we would have paid in rent. Its also an investment into your self. That is your home that you can do anything to and you can turn around and sell whenever you want to. Owning doesn't have to be scary or forever.

    I think it was the smartest move we could have made and a lot of our friends are now trying to buy because they feel they are throwing money away renting.


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  • M
    Super November 2019
    Melissa ·
    • Flag
    It's not for everybody, but if one of you or both meet the standards to join, the military can help you pay off your student loans.
    • Reply
  • Nisa
    Super March 2019
    Nisa ·
    • Flag

    My fiancé and I are currently renting in the Midwest. We have one roommate (his brother). Once our lease is up, our plan is to rent an apartment or house for 2-3 years while we save for a downpayment.

    Home ownership may not be as great as it used to be, due to the rising costs of everything else, but it's still a good way to build equity. Also, there is NO WAY we would find an apartment with the same amount of space as a house for a comparable rent vs. mortgage payment. Our current place is 1800 sf in a not so great area for about $1300. We can get a slightly smaller house, but with a yard, garage, and all the amenities of a home for a lower mortgage rate. The only issue is living in one of the most booming real-estate areas right now. It's definitely a seller's market, but we see this turning around in the next few years when we decide to take the leap.

    I would sincerely weigh the pros and cons, and even look at it finances aside (which sound weird). But a lot of the benefits of home ownership aren't financial. I cannot wait to not have to scrape snow off my car, not to have fight with other people over parking, not have to contact a landlord about faulty appliances, etc. I also wouldn't let your student loans hold you back. As long as your monthly debt payments aren't huge, you should be okay, even if you do have a large amount of student loan debt

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  • Nemo
    Master August 2018
    Nemo ·
    • Flag

    H and I own our home. I am so glad we aren't throwing money away renting every single month. Our home value has gone up 30k since it was purchased, meaning that we have an extra bonus 30k that we will get to apply to our next home, and possibly even more than that since we live in a trendy area and the home values continue to go up. The down payment was a little under 20%, so the interest rate is a little bit higher. It has been a great investment. We are in the Midwest as well. He has no student loans, and I will have a total of 45k in loans when I finish up my master's. We have no children either.

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  • AtoZ
    Devoted May 2019
    AtoZ ·
    • Flag

    Hi AM!

    We purchased a home right after we got engaged (engaged last August, purchased our home last December, wedding is this coming May). We were 22 and 24 at the time with no student loans, no credit cards, and two car loans. We are paying for 97% of the wedding ourselves, minus a handful of things that we are very grateful for. We are also located in the Midwest.

    We chose to buy because we couldn't fathom throwing our money at something we couldn't even paint -- if we are going to be spending the money, we wanted it to be ours. I actually write mortgages for a living, so it was a pretty easy decision for us (although I didn't do my own). It did take a lot of research and a lot of number-crunching to determine what was the best fit for us.

    I would absolutely recommend speaking to a loan advisor or financial consultant about your questions and concerns though! Some banks/brokerages do have products that are little-to-no money down (FHA, USDA, and some portfolio products) and that may aid in your decision. Shop around, and don't just stick with the bank you do business with.

    Overall, the decision to buy a home really worked out well for us as we have had time to save back up for the wedding. I think location definitely plays a part in the renting versus buying discussion. If we lived in an area like Chicago, I'm sure renting would have been a better decision for us in the long run. In our area, renting isn't near as common.

    Best of luck to you!

    • Reply
  • Kelly
    Champion October 2018
    Kelly ·
    • Flag
    We live in California and in our area 1000 sq feet will cost minimum 7 or 800k. We lived in a one bedroom condo for a while but this spring we upgraded to a two bedroom one and a half bath townhouse which was about double the space for us! We would love to buy a house eventually but we are probably several years away from that due to needing an extremely large down payment.
    • Reply
  • annakac
    Devoted February 2019
    annakac ·
    • Flag

    We don't have kids and currently rent in the midwest, in a fairly popular area so rent and housing is higher. Personally if we could get enough pulled together for a down payment to buy right now, I absolutely would. I hate the thought of renting because when we move out we have absolutely nothing to show for it and that drives me nuts! The school district thing will very likely go into our decision when we do decide to purchase because while we aren't planning for kids in the near future, we would likely raise kids in whatever house we do buy. Right now every extra dollar we have is going to the wedding fund but after the wedding we plan on splitting the extra between saving for a house and paying down some debt (student & vehicle loans) so we feel better about that.

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  • Heather
    Devoted February 2020
    Heather ·
    • Flag
    We just closed on our first home back in April in CA. Our lease was up in May but we had already known we wanted to get a bigger place than where we were currently (we were in a 1 bedroom apartment with two dogs over 60 pounds). When comparing renting prices of houses here with a yard vs buying the mortgage monthly was actually cheaper than rent (Our cost of living here is ridiculous 🙄). So that’s really what pushed us to buy.

    Luckily my parents pay my student loans and he doesn’t have any so that was a concern. We both have car payments and some credit card debit, but we both had great credit so we were able to qualify.

    If your able to afford to buy I’d suggest it since at least your not just throwing the money away like when you rent.
    • Reply
  • c
    Super May 2019
    c ·
    • Flag

    We bought a condo in SoCal. It was WAY cheaper than renting in our area. It's a bit of a commute but we are still saving money having a mortgage than renting. The only downside to consider are the costs of repair and maintenance for your house. At least with renting, that's all covered but there literally hasn't been a month where something didn't happen that cost us a pretty penny to repair. We put down 10% to avoid adding on PMI to our payments. We have a 4 year old daughter, two car loans, and I have $33,000 worth of student loans remaining and we are still making it work.

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  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
    • Flag

    My fiance and I bought a home in June. We used the VA loan though, so only paid closing costs. That was a huge factor in our decision, we didn't have to save 3%. Colorado has a first time home buyer's loan with very low down payments if you pay mortgage insurance monthly. We had a good experience with Loan Depot. They went over our finances with us (income, debt, savings, etc.) to tell us realistically what we would get approved for and what closing costs would be. They didn't run our credit, we just gave them estimates (Credit Karma is usually higher than your actual credit score for a mortgage). That helped our decision. Once we realized we could afford it, we went for it. We had enough in our savings for the closing costs (about $6k). We got approved for more than we thought we could afford monthly, so we set our own budget. I also did the math on the city's websites for what utilities would cost us each month so we had an exact budget. We are happy with our decision. We bought a fixer upper, but it's been fun so far.

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  • Bianca
    Dedicated May 2018
    Bianca ·
    • Flag

    We purchased our home almost two years ago at 24 and 26. We both still have a good deal of student loan debt and two car loans. For us the decision was easy. The amount we pay for our mortgage (including taxes and insurance) is the same as what we were paying for a 2 bedroom apartment. As far as a down payment, thankfully we had money that had been left to us to be able to afford a 25% down payment which helped a lot. I did a lot of research as far as what school districts were good, even though we are like 4 years from kids, and what areas we liked the best. Now we have a home that we can truly make our own and don't have to worry about hearing people above us. The biggest thing is setting a budget for a home that won't make you house poor. Good Luck!

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  • Jordan
    Dedicated June 2019
    Jordan ·
    • Flag

    FH and I close on a house on Wednesday! Renting was not something I wanted to do at all. It can be easy to get stuck in a spiral where you can't save because all your money goes to the rental. We made the full 20% downpayment with a gift from my parents. We had the income to save for it, but we were planning to buy in March, not now. We didn't have it all saved yet. It was the right house though. No kids. No debt. A lot of people base their home on the school districts here, but we are probably 17 years minimum for a kid in high school so we didn't care too much about what district we were in. We assume we will move prior to it mattering.

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  • starsinwaves
    VIP November 2018
    starsinwaves ·
    • Flag

    I'm so jealous of everyone who saves money by owning instead of renting.

    We live in the NYC area and pay $2800 (lol) for a large one-bedroom. We could move out to the suburbs and afford to buy, but we like living in the city. Condos of equal size in our neighborhood start around $1 million. Even if we could afford it, I'm not sure it would be worth it as our mortgage would be more than our rent. Basically, it comes down to we'd rather rent in the city than own in the suburbs. Also we live in the state with the highest property taxes, so that's a huge downside to owning here.

    I do think owning a home is less about investing than people make it out to be. Owning has a ton of costs associated with it. My mom's home is almost 30 years old and she's starting to have to pour thousands of dollars into it. In the past two years she's replaced the roof, HVAC and windows, to the tune of $10k+. It really makes me not want to own. However, there's definitely emotional and practical reasons to own like putting down roots somewhere and having your home be yours.

    For what it's worth, we would like to own one day, but we know it's probably a way's off. Part of the reason we don't mind spending $20k of our own money on a wedding is because we know we're nowhere near putting down a down payment in our area anyway.

    • Reply
  • Kelly
    Champion October 2018
    Kelly ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I feel you! Where I live a mortgage would be at least a thousand more a month than our rent even if we put several hundred thousand down. A condo would be cheaper but there would be $600+ a month HOA fees on top of the mortgage. We could move farther out as well but I love our town and don’t want to give up living less than a mile from the ocean. It doesn’t bother us and I’ve seen a lot of my friends spend thousands for things like termites, a new heater, etc as well! We are fine renting but I think it depends on what is the norm in the region you live in.
    • Reply
  • Alyssa
    Super July 2019
    Alyssa ·
    • Flag
    We just bought a home at the beginning of this month. We had talked about it back in January and then decided to wait to save up more money. I have student loans but I have them under control. My FH does not. We don't have any kids. After researching the market in our area, I learned that the cost of housing where we live is increasing at a faster rate than Seattle. We had enough saved for a decent down payment so we decided it would be better to buy now while there were properties we liked in our price range than to wait a few years and potentially not be able to afford what we want anymore. We started looking in August, found one we liked in September and began getting mortgage quotes. We put down an offer and closed October 5th. Our mortgage payments including taxes and insurance is about the same amount as we were paying in rent so for us it wasn't cheaper to buy but it also wasn't more expensive monthly. I'm glad we decided to go for it and didn't wait another year like we had previously decided. The market where we are is just insane. It will really depend on the market in your area as well as your financial situation as to when might be the right time for you.
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  • Katelyn
    Devoted May 2017
    Katelyn ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I completely agree. My spouse and I thought about buying, but we LOVE living in the city (Washington DC) and do not want to live in suburbs. We don't even own a car and don't want to. We just moved to a 3 bed townhouse (rent $3100 lol) BUT we are walking distance to everything and only a short bus trip to both our jobs. When we started to look at buying in this same neighborhood, we would have needed a budget of AT LEAST $650,000 if not $700,000+ or even up to $1 million to 1.5 million for areas right near our jobs. At first we thought about buying b/c a mortgage would be "cheaper" or the same as renting but not when we started delving into those neighborhoods. And realized that we did not want to buy outside our target neighborhood. I think the rent v. buy debate has a lot to do on where you want to live and what kind of lifestyle you want. Rent is insane in most major cities, but so is owning in those cities. We are not very concerned about schools for us b/c we don't have any kids and wont' for at least 2 years, so won't need to worry about good schools for 7 years. School districts can change a lot in that amount of time. We also have $200,000+ in student loan debt (undergrad and graduate/law school for both of us), so we want to focus on paying some of that down first.

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  • Rachel
    Super July 2019
    Rachel ·
    • Flag
    Where I live renting is cheaper than buying. I had a couple real estate agents tell me last week that although subtle the market is becoming a buyer’s market again as of August. We’ll see if they’re right but we’re in no rush to buy when it’s a seller’s market. The home prices here have increased 35% in the last 3-4 years and wages have gone up 12%. I’m not buying into the fomo crap of the housing industry, I’m perfectly fine waiting until the market is reasonable.
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  • starsinwaves
    VIP November 2018
    starsinwaves ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Six-figure combined student loan debt high fives!

    Lawyers...

    • Reply
  • Meagan
    Dedicated May 2019
    Meagan ·
    • Flag
    My FH will have just graduated from medical school by the time we get married and will have a huge amount of debt! We will be renting once we get married (probably for three years) and then will buy a house when he is done with residency!
    • Reply
  • S
    Devoted December 2018
    Sarah ·
    • Flag
    We plan to buy even though our combined student loans are well over $400K (you read that right). We live around a military base so it seems rental prices are inflated. A decent apartment 1/1 or 2/1 in a safe area is at least $1300 a month. Rental houses 2/2 or 3/2 are all over $1600 a month, most around $2000. You can buy a move in ready 3/2 or 4/2 house (nothing fancy) for $160-200K in our area. Mortgage payments even with a small down payment and pmi would be significantly lower than renting in our area.

    We both are in the non-profit/government sector so our student loan payments are minimal in comparison to our debt and we fully intend to stay in public service work for the 10 year forgiveness. 3 years down and 7 to go!
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