The lease is up on my apartment in April, and I have spent time over the last couple of months looking at buying a home. I have toured two condos and a duplex, which is just starting to get my feet wet in the local market. I am trying to get an idea of what is out there before I decide either way.
The biggest reason to buy today is a combination of historically low interest rates and real estate prices. If you are in the market to buy, this could be a great opportunity for you. Rates have come up a bit since their record low a few months back, but you can still find a killer deal. Bankrate can help you find low rates in your area.
While interest rates are low, so are home prices. The residential real estate market, as I am sure you know, has crashed over the last few years. Homes have come down tens of thousands of dollars. That sucks if you bought an expensive home before the bubble burst, but it leave great prices for those of us in the market to buy.
Where you live is a huge consideration for potential buyers. While you can rent an apartment or house for a year and decide to pick up and leave with no penalty, if you buy you are making a long-term decision.
I have decided that I would like to live in the Highland neighborhood, which would take me 30 minutes closer to work and put me in the middle of a fun, young neighborhood with a lot going on. It is a 15 minute walk from Lower Downtown and a 30 minute drive from work. That is about as good as it gets.
Like most people my age, I have been a renter since college. I have loved the portability of renting. I have enjoyed the benefits of being able to move around and the lack of responsibility. I don’t have to worry about a lawn, snow removal, or repairs.
While renting is often carefree, it also limits you. You can’t change much in your apartment. You are stuck under some else’s rules. You can’t control your rent for more than a year. You have to deal with a constant change in neighbors. There are certainly drawbacks.
At the end of the day, money is a big concern. I can keep paying someone hundreds of dollars a month indefinitely or I can make an effort to own a home outright and stop paying someone else. If I own a two bedroom or larger, as I am planning if I decide to buy, I can rent out the other room(s) to friends and their rent will help me with my mortgage payment.
The Big Decision
I have not made up my mind yet. Some people are advocates of owning a home. Others think it is a bad idea, particularly for a single guy in his 20s.
What do you all think? Should I rent or buy? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.
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