Profile picture for user809358

Should I purchase a home as a grad student

Hi. I am a graduate student in a PhD program at Michigan State University. I have been renting here for the past two years. The first year I lived on my own at about 580/month for all expenses, and the 2nd year with a roommate for 330/month for all expenses. This winter my lease ends and I will be looking for a new place because my roommate is moving out, so I was wondering whether I should rent again or buy. I have an ok stipend of 23k/yr, and I would have roommates for the remaining 3 years that have the same stipend. I would have reliable renters for 3 yrs. One house is 80k and another is 65k but is a fixer upper. After I graduate I would hope to either sell, and if I couldn't then I would rent it out through an agency. The houses are in a college town and are located in a good school district. Any advice?
  • May 08 2012 - East Lansing
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

 
 

Answers (7)

only buy if you plan on holding it for a long time. it sounds like you have the math worked out for keeping it as a rental after you graduate.
  • May 08 2012
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for the_country_hick
If you buy now that house will be your responsibility until it is sold. That includes replacing a dead furnace, bad roof, and broken foundation. It also includes replacing your entire wiring system and all of your plumbing. It is true that none of those issues could affect a house you buy. It is also true that some or all of them could be a problem and somehow you have to pay for those repairs.

I would not like the idea of buying a house and then having a problem moving to get a great new job because the house was holding me back.

This is a choice you have to make yourself. Do your homework before you make a decision to rent or to buy.

Look at each of these links to see some ideas you might not have considered before.
"Does it make more sense to buy, or to rent? Here is the way to find out for sure."

"Why rent if you could buy for less money? Valid reasons inside."

"Questions I would ask when purchasing any property."

"What should I watch out for when choosing a home to buy so that I don't jump into a money pit?"
  • May 08 2012
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for wetdawgs
I'd recommend purchasing only if you are thinking of being an owner for 7 to 10 years or more.   Otherwise, the trouble and expenses are far more than it is worth.

  • May 08 2012
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for bneuman7373
My opinion is rent.  I am not a broker just using zillow to help a brother buy some property.  I think you actualy have only two options.  1 - buy and then sell in three years or 2) Rent for next three years.  Having an agency to me is just not a good option.  When you leave town your going to want to cut ties all together.  You have better things to do than worry about a property you own 400 miles away and you feel like your tennents and leasing company are screwing you over.

I'm all for you making some money on good decisions but buying property to turn in a few years doesn't sound all that sound to me.  You will need to figure in property tax, property insurance and up keep on the home.  Then in three years when you sell assuming things stay the same and you use an agent you will need to give them 6%.  When I bought my first home I was constantly at home depot doing and buying stupid stuff - garbage cans, ladders, shovels, paint ect.....  Rent and enjoy your time at school.  Go Hawks beat Mich St.  Just kidding








  • May 08 2012
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Good Decisions can only be made when you have been provided good information.  Locate a professional Realtor in that market place who understands values, what they were, what they are now, and how much they have improved in the past 12 months.   Based on the rents you have paid and the potential rental incomes in college towns, I am not so certain that you should only buy according to some of the answers provided here.  Again, more information will provide you the ability to make a sound decision.  Also, discuss your circumstances with a tax advisor and an attorney to understand the possible tax advantages and the attorney to assure you minimize your risks against potential non-payment and damages caused by tenants.  Frankly, in the lower price points, there are areas that a holding period for 3 years could be beneficial to investors who are seeking both positive cash flow and appreciation. No doubt that you are wise to consider purchasing vs. renting.  Now, locate the resources in that community to obtain the best advise. 
  • May 09 2012
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

When using the rent vs buy calculator, it appears there is a slight advantage to buying. BUT, is it worth the headache of being a landlord? Sounds like you have a busy life. When Murphy's law kicks in, and you're dealing with plumbing issues at midnight, is that extra little income going to be worth it? Also, the calculation was based on selling for basically the same amount as the purchase price.  This assumes you can sell the property, and that it will not decrease in value. It also assumes there will be no major repairs within the next 3 years.  Read through the replys.  There are some good points being made. 
  • May 09 2012
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

I would advise against buying, unless you plan to stay in the area after you are done with school. It will be less stressful on you if you dont have to worry about repairs and all of the other things that go along with homeownership.
  • June 26 2012
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.