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Serevaetse's avatar

I am nineteen and looking into getting a house rather than renting- help?

Asked by Serevaetse (766points) January 6th, 2011

I am currently eighteen years old but will be turning nineteen on January 24th.
I have been living on my own in an apartment for about four months, and I am sick of seeing my money go out the window each month when I pay rent. I’d rather be investing my money into a house that is my own, rather than just a place to stay.
Is this a good idea or a bad one?
Would a roommate be a good asset, or should I do it alone?
I am thinking of waiting, but I want to see the pros and cons first.
What kind of bills will I have to pay, how hard is it to keep up with everything I’ll need to be doing, what do I need to know!?
Help from the experienced, please?!

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12 Answers

mammal's avatar

bit of a tie at your age, the pit falls are the risk of foreclosure if you don’t keep up with mortgage payments, you probably need to put down a hefty deposit too.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

How realistic is it that you could come up with a down payment and qualify for a mortgage? Do you have a good idea of housing prices in your area, and what kind of cash you’d need to make the initial purchase, and then to finance the thing going forward?

I’m not asking you to disclose any information regarding your finances in this public forum (and not in a PM, either), but you’re talking about a considerable investment that most 18-year-olds aren’t ready to make – and most lenders aren’t ready to make mortgages to 18-year-olds, either.

jaytkay's avatar

A lot of the cost is predictable – down payment, taxes, monthly mortgage payment, insurance, etc.

The big unpredictables are repairs. A new roof, plumbing problems, appliances breaking. Those can be mitigated by carefully inspecting the place before you buy.

A roommate as a renter is great idea.

Here’s a cost calculator to give you an idea of what it might entail

Serevaetse's avatar

Thank you to you guys so far- yeah, if I DID go through with this, it wouldn’t be for a few more months until my current lease is up. But you’re right; I don’t think I will have the funds to support me. And I never thought about upkeep- that’s a good point. It is something I’ll need to save up for and pursue before going forward into this decision.

Coloma's avatar

Right, I agree with @jaytkay

Can you afford the big ‘unpredictables?’

A new roof can cost upwards of 20k, a new fence, thousands, plumbing, improvements, landscaping, gardening, tree services, upgrades…they don’t call it ‘the money pit’ for no reason. haha

marinelife's avatar

What you might consider is saving up for a condominium. There your grounds up keep is taken care of. Major things like roofs are handled by the condominium association.

You would monthly association fees (they go toward upkeep and reserve funds).

glenjamin's avatar

A house is a big responsibility, not only is a mortgage more expensive than renting, but then there is a down payment and closing costs involved, which can be very costly. You will also need to pay homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, and other things. Not to mention the cost of maintaining the house. And also you must have a good amount of money stashed away for emergency renovations, which could crop up out of the blue even with a good home inspection report. The good thing about renting is that it is cheaper than owning a home, and you are not responsible for anything that might go wrong with the house. Also, while renting it exposes you to different aspects of a home and gives you ideas on how you want your home to be when you are ready to buy a house. If you are set on owning I definitely wouldn’t do it alone, but also know there are other alternatives, like condos. At least with them you don’t have to worry about the maintenance (though you will pay for it). Go to the bookstore or library and read up on all of these options before you make a choice.

gailcalled's avatar

Where do you live? In some areas, if you can afford the down payment and mortgage and have a slush fund for maintenace, prices are very low.

deni's avatar

If you know you want to live in the same place forever then it’s a fine idea. To me, that is terrifying which is why I don’t mind renting. I don’t want to be so tied down.

choreplay's avatar

Go for it. Bring in friends to rent out extra rooms. Count the cost, be responsible, be a hard arss on making your friends pay. You won’t regret this. At age 35 when all your friends are starting to pay on a house you’ll be free and clear. You have to buy at the right price to not get caught in a bad deal, do your research. I bought a house for 39 put another 15 in it and sold if for 89. That was before the market fell, but opportunities are even more now. You won’t regret this and you are way ahead of the game for thinking this way. Read Rags to Riches by Russ Whitley. Oh ya, don’t get into anything that you couldn’t cash flow for under $1,000. I can explain that more if you want, just ask.

zenvelo's avatar

a question to ask is how long you plan to live in the area. you need to be there for a few (4 or so) years to make it worthwhile, especially since the realty commission will eat up your equity if you sell too quickly.

Serevaetse's avatar

wow you guys are giving me so much to think about- thank you! I have a lot to consider and it isn’t something I’m going to jump into. I’m not sure that I want to rush into it at all…. Not sure what I wanna do yet! Haha

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