To Buy or Not to Buy?
I can’t decide whether to keep renting or whether to buy my first
home or townhouse. I keep going back and forth.
I currently rent a studio for $881, which is ridiculous I know.
What’s funny is that I qualified for subsidized rent because I make
less than $45,000 a year. Otherwise I would have to pay a $1,100.
That’s insane! But I LOVE my location. I’m right downtown and can
walk to work and to the bars, which is sweet b/c we get a parking
allowance of $115. I apply that to rent. I fill up my car once or
maybe twice a month. I get cheaper insurance because I don’t drive
much. I have a state-of-the-art workout room and each piece of
cardio equipment has a flat screen TV. So I don’t have to pay for a
gym. Plus, we get a health and wellness benefit for $350 each year
so I apply that for my cell phone bill instead of gym membership. My
heating, electricity and water bill is $50 a month because I only
have to heat a 610 sq. feet apartment. And they didn’t charge me for
the first 9 months. I love my apartment building. It’s super trendy
and full of super trendy people. (Which isn’t so good with my “sheep
syndrome.”) I covet the BMWs in my parking garage. And there are a
lot of them.
I want to stay close to downtown. I want a two-bedroom place. I want
granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. I want to pay
around $200,000. These wants aren’t very compatible. The only thing
I’m firm on is that I want to be close to downtown (cab ride close).
I’m thinking of looking around February 07 because I will have two
more reviews by that time (and hopefully two more raises), which
will make it easier to qualify for a mortgage. At my projected
salary in February 07, the finance calculators are telling me that
I’ll qualify for a $125,000 mortgage but I was only planning on
putting down $50,000. I’ll probably have to my pay off my car
($6,000 by Feb. 07) and possibly my student loans ($13,000ish by Feb
07) to qualify, which I would rather not do. I’ve thought about it
and could get a one-bedroom place but they don’t appreciate as fast
and have a harder time selling. I can go without the granite
countertops and upgrade later. I’m also torn between a house and
condo. I absolutely do not want to pay HOA dues (homeowner
association) because they can rise rapidly. But a house is a lot
more work and I’d have to get someone to mow my lawn (I know from
experience that I won’t do it.)
Any advice from others who have been is the same spot?