Profile picture for user002041

Buy house, buy condo, or rent?

Hello.
I am new to the home buying process but my husband and I will both be professionally employed by early next year. We have been renting for years. We do not plan on having children and hope to travel a lot when we are both working. I am trying to decide if we should just continue to rent, buy a cheap condo (which we can redecorate) and have a low mortgage payment or go all out and buy a house. We do not live near family nor do we entertain a lot of people so sometimes it seems silly to purchase a big house for 2 people who aren't planning on being home a lot. But it would be nice to have a home. I also like the flexibility of renting but for a nice apartment, the payment is almost as much as a mortgage payment. Any advice?
  • September 05 2012 - Orlando
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Answers (14)

Hey there,

It's always better to own than rent because you are investing in your future not to mention the tax benefits of owning.

Another issue is home prices are creeping up slowly and builders are raising and cutting some of the included options.

Also if amendment 4 passes it will help you as a first time buyer with property taxes. 

I guess the big question is can you get qualified for a loan, you didn't state your current job status.

My wife and I have helped many first time buyers, fell free to call or email me with any follow up questions.

Hope this helps,

Broker Dave
  • September 05 2012
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack

You said that you are planning on travelling while employed, am I to assume that you will accept jobs overseas...?  If that is the case I would continue to rent to avoid the responsibilities of home ownership.  This is a very personal decision, you must weigh the pros and cons, always understanding that home ownership carries responsibilities that you do not have when you rent.  If you are care-free and want few responsibilities, continue to rent.  You may want to save on the side to be able to purchase a condo later on in life. It would not hurt either to talk to two or three mortgage brokers to ascertain what price range of property you could purchase, should you decide to go that way.  Good luck whichever way you decide to go!

  • September 05 2012
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Seems a condo would be perfect for you.  Renting should be an option, if you have a down payment to actually buy.
  • September 05 2012
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Profile picture for Mikki Ramey
This is a hard decision.   Here is one piece of advice.  The more you own the more responsibility you have.  You need to decide if you want the responsibility of a house (repairs and yard work) vs condo (no yard work and less repairs.)
  • September 05 2012
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Home ownership is always a great option to have. Review your current rental situation as for as monthly rent and speak to a local professional about potential mortage options. If you are comfortable with the monthly amount then Investing in a home comes with many advantages financially and taxable benefits. Yes with more benefits comes more responsibility. I am positive you will make a great decision either or.

Best wishes

Hans P
  • September 06 2012
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Profile picture for StevenHaas
On point you didn't mention was how long you believe you'll be able to stay in the same area.  A lot of people early in their careers find the need to relocate.  There are a lot of upfront costs to buying... not just points on the mortgage, but also fees.  Many of these are required by the realty and mortgage companies  but literally seem to buy you nothing of value.

If you KNOW that you'll settle in your town for family and work and plan to stay for at least 6-10 years, then buying can make sense.  If you aren't sure, then do you want to end up eating all of these fees now PLUS fees to sell your home in a few years and lose some of the flexibility of renting?

  • September 06 2012
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I own some rental properties. They have a higher ROI than my 401K's.So, you could own, and rent when you are gone.......
  • September 06 2012
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Profile picture for MBExclusive
It is good you have an idea of the life you would like to lead. We recommend buying a condo, since right now, the mortgage rates are at all time lows and renting is more expensive than buying in the current market. Further, if you are looking to travel extensively, you could rent the apartment out.
  • September 06 2012
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Home Ownership is great! However , you will need to take into consideration ... Do I want the responsibility of fixing items within my home when they go bad? Is it worth it financially to pay rent vs. buying (low interest rates now on homes) Do I want the upkeep of a yard vs. a condo? If traveling a lot you will need in place landscapers for exterior upkeep.
  • September 09 2012
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Renting or buying is a very personal decision. Also keep in mind that the bank will require that both of you be employed for a minimum of a year before you can begin buying. Best of luck to you both!
  • September 09 2012
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Profile picture for sunnyview
"It's always better to own than rent because you are investing in your future not to mention the tax benefits of owning."

That is a ridiculous statement that recent events in the real estate have clearly disproven as an absolute.

Owning vs renting is an economic and personal decision. There is not a one size fits all. If you travel a lot, a single family house may not be the best choice for you, but I would not cross them off your list completely since tend to appreciate better over time in many areas.

Buying can be a way to control your living expenses and build equity over time. You should be comparing the cost of owning vs renting for your market and look for a house/condo that will suit your needs and increase in value over time. Getting a house with mortgage/taxes/insurance that is close to or less than your current rent would be a benefit and give you flexibility to sell, move out and use the property as a rental at any time with less financial risk.

The right decision about whether or not to buy lies in your goals, the difference in cost between renting vs owning and your financial plan long term.
  • September 10 2012
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This was a great article written by the NY Times, where they built in a buy vs rent calculator. You can input all details relating to your financial situation to accurately determine which is the better option for you. Hope this helps. I know it has helped some of my clients :)
Article
  • September 12 2012
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Buying anything at all is going to sky rocket your net worth and investing in homes has never been the wrong descision. Remember even when the market is down, you dont lose until you sell.

Hope this helps!

  • September 25 2012
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
Mucho Foolishness that skyrocket never been the wrong decision don't lose until ya sell stuff is...
  • September 25 2012
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