Post # 1
My Fiance and I don’t quite see eye to eye on this. My Fiance thinks he can buy a house and thinks we should buy a house together before we get married. He works as an associate librarian near Cleveland, Ohio and he’s been at his job for a few years. He says that he has enough money saved up for a house since he’s been living with his parents while he goes to graduate school and working. He just graduated with his masters a couple weeks ago and is looking for librarian all over the country. He has an interview with one place near Columbus. Regardless of where he’s applying for jobs or staying at his current job, he’s looking at buying homes and often is sending me houses that he’s interested in buying.
I, on the other hand, don’t think buying a house is the right move for us at the moment. I worked at tutoring center a couple of years ago until my center closed. Since it closed, I’ve been looking for jobs and doing lots of freelance projects on the side as I live with my mom trying to pay off my student loans. Although living in a house is nice and I’d like it some day, I don’t think we are financially ready to buy a house due to our current financial situation. I instead want us to get an apartment and save up money to get a house when we can afford it. I talked to all my friends about their experiences buying homes and they all agreed with me on getting an apartment or renting before buying a house. Most importantly, I don’t think it is a wise financial move for us to buy a house when we don’t know where we will be in the next 5 years. Right now he’s looking for a better paying job as a librarian and I’m freelancing as well as looking for tech jobs. I don’t want us to buy a house now only to find out we’ll be moving for another job.
My Fiance disagrees with me and says he can afford it by himself. However, he also makes comments such as if I contribute an x amount of money we could afford a nicer place. His parents say he can afford a house and are pushing him to buy a house. Another big influence on why he wants to buy a house is because two of his friends just bought houses recently. I think that is a big influence on why he’s pushing the house idea right now more than anything. I love him, but I don’t think he’s thought through all the details that go into buying a house. When I asked him why we can’t rent or get an apartment, he said it would be much more expensive and we’d be wasting more money by renting vs. buying.
Right now, my Fiance still looking at houses and has started looking at houses before his interview. I told him to focus on his interview then wait and see what happens before we decide where we are going to live. For now we’re looking for jobs and see where we will be for the next few years We talk about this topic regularly and its clear we still don’t see eye to eye. I’d like to buy a house someday, but I think it will happen once we have more money saved up. Has anyone been in this situation before? How long did you and your SO save before buying a house? Any tips or advice are appeciated.
Post # 2
BritishPandaChick : have you guys decided how you will do finances after you’re married?
Post # 3
Well I’ve rented since I was 18 years old, and the hard part with renting is you are pretty much paying double what you would if you actually had a mortgage. It makes it almost a trap to get out of the cycle, since you are dumping so much money into pretty much a financial black hole. Kind of makes it hard to save up, pay bills and rent at the same time. At least in my area.
I can see both of your sides honestly. House = cheaper monthly payment but more responsibility. Rent = higher payments but you aren’t locked in.
If you did get a house and wanted to relocate, you could make money off renting your house out as well.
ETA I’d want to solidify the relationship before buying a house with someone.
Post # 4
I rented for a year, and bought my house about a year ago. I bought it all by myself – Boyfriend or Best Friend wasn’t even in the picture then, we met afterward – and it was the best thing I EVER did! I highly recommend it. My mortgage is $200 less than my rent was and for 2.5x the living space. Plus, as a PP mentioned, if I ever need to move, I can just sell or rent it.
If your Fiance is serious about buying, tell him to get in touch with a lender and get a pre-approval letter. That’ll tell you both how much the bank thinks he can afford or if he even qualifies, and then you can go from there. He may not qualify for anything that matters or even at all.
Post # 5
You guys aren’t married yet. But your debt is his debt, and his savings is your savings after you say your I dos.
I’m not saying you should make this decision together before you’re married.. but it wouldn’t hurt to make it later.
Darling Husband and I live in Cleveland. We pay $350 a month for our apartment. It’s a steal. But it’s giving us the opportunity to pay off student loan debt and then save cash for a house. It will take us longer to get there bc of the amount of debt, but we should be there in under two years.
Cleveland is a very affordable renters area.
Post # 6
Have you lived together before?
Post # 7
If you are already engaged I don’t really see the benefit of renting first if he has the money saved already.
I wouldn’t buy a house with someone I hadn’t lived with before, but I wouldn’t get engaged to them either.
Post # 8
I would get jobs first. Once you both have an offer (or at least the higher earner), then sure buy a house.
Post # 9
- Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle
I wouldn’t buy a house without a job – and mortgage lenders may well agree with me. He may find that without a job, he won’t get approval. Personally I do prefer owning to renting, but it’s not necessarily cheaper. If your hot water goes out, you can’t just call the landlord and get it fixed – that comes out of your pocket. Has he realised that the mortgage is not the start and finish of costs?
Post # 10
- Wedding: July 2017 - State Park
Here’s the thing. You’re both right. It’s not about him or you being “out there” in your thought process. But if you don’t agree before moving forward, you’re both wrong.
Why weren’t living/housing plans discussed before you got engaged?
Post # 11
I’m a risk taker and a real estate agent. So take my advice however you’d like. BUT
The interest rates are historically low right now!! Why wouldn’t you take advantage of that!?! If you can get approved, buy something below what you can afford. Get something that needs a little work (cosmetic work, ripping out carpets, re-painting etc). Who knows what will happen to the interest rates 5 years from now. If/when they go up even 1%, first of all you won’t be able to spend as much on a house and your payment will be hundreds more. Just think about that. And, if you qualify, you can get a conventional loan with 5% down. Lots of my clients are doing it.
And if you plan to move…rent it out. Like one of the above posters said, rent can sometimes be double what the mortgage payment is. You could potentially make money.
I really just hate to see people waste money on rent (you’re paying for someone else’s mortgage. Probably a full mortgage AND partial of their personal home). If you can swing it, home ownership is the way to go
Post # 12
With renting you are essentially paying someone else’s mortgage. That being said, renting has it’s place and is the normal solution for people at various stages of their life. There’s nothing “wrong” with renting. Yes, if you are someone who can afford to buy a home and plan to stay in an area for a long time renting is probably a waste of money.
Darling Husband and I rented a house for two years because we were living out of state for college. Once we moved back to our hometown, we rented a condo while house hunting. We could have taken the first house that came along for the sake of buying something – but we would have rather rented and gotten exactly what we wanted….and we did!
While we love being homeowners, owning isn’t the end all, be all. My brother owned his home for years, and upon moving for work struggled to sell it. He and his wife have been renting in their new city for like 3 years. Up until this year they didn’t see themsevles owning again because they had started to enjoy the freedom from homeowner reponsibilities that renting gave them. Now that they’re looking for some land they are back to wanting to own but for a long time after their first house sold they were perfectly happy renting.
It sounds to me like buying isn’t the right thing for you guys right now. Your fiance is applying for jobs, and who is to say he’ll even get a job in the area? Sure you could rent the house out, and there is certainly money to be made in rentals – but being a landlord (unless you’re able to work with a management company) is A LOT of work and renters are hell on a property. You don’t have a job right now, which means you aren’t going to reasonably be able to contribute.
Above all that, you guys just don’t seem to be on the same page with finances. How will you settle things like this once you’re married?
Post # 13
BritishPandaChick : I wouldn’t ever commit to a mortgage with someone I’m not married to because you don’t have the same financial protections you would in the event of a divorce. Don’t feel pressured or guilted into a situation you’re not comfortable with.
If your fiancé has sufficient funds for a 20% down payment and will still have a 6-12 month living cushion he has sufficient funds. Since he’s living at home he would need to be already saving the equivalent of the mortgage, plus utilities, and extra for a home maintenance fund monthly to know it’s easily affordable for him.
I don’t think it’s advisable to buy a home right after starting a new job or when you might be moving in the next 7 years (you lose a ton of money in closing costs and realtor fees.)
TLDR: I agree that it’s probably best to wait to buy a house. I wouldn’t co-sign on the mortgage before marriage. The unexpected home repairs and loss funds if you need to move in a few years aren’t things he’s considering. Ohio to my knowledge isn’t a hot property market so there isn’t the rush to buy like in Seattle or San Francisco.
Post # 14
BritishPandaChick : hmmm.. where I am has a huge property bubble atm and we believe that the prices will go down sometime next year so we’ve been renting for the past 1.5yrs or so although we have the money to buy- ends up being cheaper that way because prices could go down arouns 100k whereas renting =less than 25k a year. Unless you are in a situation like us, I would probably buy and if you end up moving, then rent it out! If you can afford a house, dont get an apartment. Land appreciates in value, apartments dont hold their values as much- unless the market goes up..
Post # 15
- Wedding: September 2005 - A Castle
Has he been pre-approved by a mortgage lender yet? Without that, everything else may be a moot point because I doubt he’d qualify anyway from all that you’ve said here. Is he looking at homes in Cleveland or Columbus?
Eta: we rented for about 5 years before we bought our house.