Post # 1
Hi, new here, so any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated!
My fiancee and I have decided to buy a home. We have good-paying jobs in stable industries, are financially secure, no kids, and have no student debt or other major expenses. Home ownership is a big fear of his, so he wants to look at condos/townhouses for 240-260K and stay there for a few years. I want to go more around 300K for a house and make it our forever home. My reasoning is we are 33 and 35 and more established in our careers, not in our early 20s with starter salaries. Even with a 300K house, if one of us were to lose our jobs or something were to happen (knock on wood), we would still be able to stay afloat with just one of our salaries. We were approved for a ridiculous amount, but a financial advisor said 300K would be very doable with our expenses, income, lifestyle, etc. and we would still have plenty left over to live comfortably.
My question is for all you Bees who have been through something similar or those who have experience in real estate/finance/etc. I know it is a personal decision, but I don’t think we’d be able to turn much of a profit in 2-3 years if we bought something lower-priced, so I don’t see the point. The mortgage payments between our two prices are NOT that different, but I think what is all boils down to is his fear (his parents had issues with money and I think that’s the source of all of his hesitation).
What would YOU do if you were in my shoes? Thanks, ladies!
Post # 2
- Wedding: March 2018 - Anthem Golf & Country Club
I would absolutely go with a home purchase, for a couple of reasons. First, you’re correct in saying that the difference in mortgage would be very little and that you wouldn’t build much equity by selling the condo after living in it for 2-3 years. In addition to that, a condo is harder to sell (typically, unless you are living in NYC or something of the like…), and that might pose a problem for you when you do look to sell. With your ability to stay afloat from one salary, I think that it would be a smarter investment choice to purchase a home. You never know, you may just find a wonderful home for UNDER 300k that can make both of you happy!
Good luck, and happy condo or home hunting!
Post # 3
- Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle
I hate moving with a passion, so I would be going for something more permanent. Really, the difference on mortgage payments between a $260K and $300K place is going to be negligible. And by the time you look at moving costs, closing costs etc etc, you could end up spending more if you sell and buy again in a few years. I’d definitely go for the forever home now.
Post # 4
- Wedding: July 2017 - The Lodge at Little Seneca Creek
I wanted to stop paying rent (and feeling like I’m just throwing money away), so I bought a condo for $160k. Fiance and I plan to upgrade to a townhouse in a few years as our forever home, which will cost $300-350k around here. If you’re able to find a single-family house that you can see yourselves living in for a long period of time for $300k (which isn’t that big of a difference from the condo/townhouse price you mentioned), DEFINITELY go for it!
Post # 5
winterbride07 : Honestly you never know what the market is going to do. You may make money and you may not. I’d go for the forever house, too, based on age and you say you already have good salaries. What would you be waiting for?
Post # 6
We’ve just been through the home buying process (completing next week fingers crossed after putting an offer in start of Sept). Buy the forever home so you don’t have to go through this process again. It is not fun buying a house! Hopefully worth it though 🙂
Post # 7
It all depends on where you live as well. We bought a house for @265k that needed a ton of work. We did a lot of it ourself, still need a lot more work but at least it’s now our taste, livable and definitely feels like home. If we sold it right now we’d prob make all our money back we put in so far (@10k) and maybe a bit more. But our market is hot!
I wouldn’t spend that much on a condo or townhouse though. They’re hard to sell.
Unless you live in a renters market and could rent it out in the future. We thought of doing that but in the end went with a house. Once you total in HOA fees and such on condos (ours were around $200 a month), we felt we rather put our money towards a house.
Post # 8
I would go for the house. We just bought a house, and all the different closing costs (cost that don’t go towards equity) was around 10k, and it is more expensive to sell a house. So relocation costs 25k that isn’t put towards anything you own. Plus, there is no telling how the realestate market will be when you are ready to sell- you may be stuck there. As long as you have the extra downpayment money, the extra month morgage will be a very small amount.
Post # 9
When I looked at houses with Darling Husband in the past, it was difficult to picture what our forever house would be like, which made the house hunting difficult. Who knows how many kids we’ll have, what kind of office space Darling Husband will need, whether a parent will need to move in with us.
Home ownership comes with its hassles, but so does owning a condo. You have limited freedom in certain things you can and can’t do to the property. Oftentimes, the condo comes with dues that you’ll have to pay, and that can get pretty hefty. As far as resale, there is oftentimes a smaller pool of interested buyers for condos than there are for single family homes, at least in the markets I’ve lived in.
Post # 10
This sounds like an emotional response on his part and not really a logical/evidence based one. Which is fine — we humans are complex emotional beings!! My reason for bringing it up is that in these sorts of emotional issues it’s better to fight fire with fire. Throwing a whole lot of numbers at him may not be very effective.
It sounds like the root of his fear is the commitment to that type of cost long term. I doubt it’s the marginal increase in monthly mortgage payment that has him preferring the condo over the house — more likely it’s the plan of easing into that type of financial commitment for 2-3 years. If it’s not working, there’s already a planned deadline at which point you can “get out” and re-evaluate. The condo provides a “trial” period of home ownership which is reassuring.
So, if you want the house (and can afford it easily), introduce some of that trial period. Don’t call it a forever home. Allow there to be the possibility or the option of moving or changing houses. Even set yourself a deadline of 2 years at which point you re-evaluate if this is the right house for you. Definitely check out how quickly the market moves, whether the style/type of houses you guys are interested in are popular in the market — basically looking at how easily you could sell the house if you chose to in the future. This will help reinforce for him that a house is not a “written in stone” committment — just like a condo you can sell and move on.
ALthough I’m sure once you guys actually go through the process of purchasing, paperwork, moving, etc he’ll be quite happy to stay long-term!! House buying is such a process!!
Post # 11
winterbride07 : As some other bees have stated in their replies – I hate moving with a damn passion!!!! So if you can move into something more permanent (a house) that is definitely what I would go for! Don’t refer to it as a “forever home” in case that is the thing that scares him…..call it something else. You can always move later in time if it is something you would rather shove under the rug. My fiance and I bought a house at the end of April and let me tell ya, it isn’t something I want to do again!
Post # 12
- Wedding: June 2018 - The Garrison, NY
Think about this, when you go to sell that condo in 2-3 years, not only will it NOT be worth more, but you’re going to have to pay an agent 6% to sell it. You’d be lucky to break even and not owe money. If you want something with equity, but a house that needs a little work. Minimal stuff, paint, hardwood floors, landscaping etc.
Post # 13
move once and go with the house
i bought a 3 bedroom for $300k, soon after i met dh. i was ready to buy a house, it was just the right timing for me.
this is not our forever home. my plan was to stay here 7-10 years then move to our forever home, if no job relocations.
we are mid/upper 30s with one baby and have lived here 4 years
Post # 14
So, our situation is a bit different because we’re in our mid twenties, and wanted to experience ‘city life’ before having kids and worrying about school districts. So take this with a grain of salt, but depending on your salaries/future plans/expenses, it might be feasible for you.
We bought a 2 family home, so I guess a townhouse. We live in one side and rent the other out. We’re using the rent to save up for a downpayment on our next house, which will likely be our “forever” house, and we plan to move in about 5 years. At that point, we won’t sell our current house – we’ll rent out both units.
I’ve always heard that if you’re going to sell in under 5 years it’s not really worth it to buy, but I guess it depends on the market. I guess what I’m saying is: would it be feasible to buy the condo now and to not sell it when you’re ready for a “forever” home?
Post # 15
I’d say get a forever home that you can customize to your life unless you can find a condo in an up and coming neighborhood that you can get for slightly below market. (mostly because moving costs are super expensive and doing a condo seems to mean that you will be baking in an additional move into your future).
additionally, make sure to find a condo with relaxed rental policies so that you have an option if you wanted to rent out the condo as an investment property down the road. additionally, remember that condos can sometimes have huge maintenance fees for the life of your ownership that you can’t control in the same way you could control/adjust maintenance costs to your own house.