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Choosing to rent vs buy, need help explaining to wife

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Kubbster View Post
    Thank you all for the great responses. Great to get some different perspectives, will try to break down everything including taxes/maintenance for her and go from there. Appreciate it.
    Good luck - hope you’ll keep us posted!
    Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Kubbster View Post
      Hello everyone!

      My wife and I are currently in a situation where our opinions differ on whether to rent vs buy. For some background, we currently have 200k saved up (thanks papa Joe) due to loan forbearance, have 430k in combined student debt (all federal), no other debt, and 360k in annual income. As of now, we are planning to use our savings for our student loan debt once forbearance is up. We are currently paying 2800/month to rent a nice house which we like living in. Here's the problem - all of my wife's friends / family are telling her that she needs to buy a house now due to the fact we are "burning" money, this is something I disagree with. I have tried explaining to my wife the cost of buying a home now, would set us back on our student debt and potentially cost us more than the 33,600/year in rent. The tidal wave I am facing is her friends/family circle, who all seem to have bought into the FOMO of the housing market. I just want to clear our debt ASAP, any better way of explaining this to her? Am I completely wrong, should we be looking to buy?

      Thank you!
      Not all things can be boiled down to dollars and cents. You don't say if you have kids or not, but the fact that this is likely your forever city or at least a very long term city, makes me think you're not quite as big of a buyer risk as most people. If you can get a house with a mortgage comparable to the rent, sure you might have extra expenses on top, but your wife might be in the mood to "nest" and settle down. I think that's a happy wife situation that you should be considering. If it's simply peer pressure about throwing money away, no. If she wants to make a home, that's another thing.

      A lot will also depend on what prices are like where you are. I know prices are higher in a lot of places, houses are selling quickly, but my home state back in middle America, prices aren't so up so much that I would consider buying to be risky. The market is just slim and it's hard to find a house you might want. Here in CA no way would I buy at the moment, prices have almost doubled in 4 years.

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      • #18
        Yea, you can buy. Just don't listen to the critics about what house you "should" buy. Definitely don't listen to the bank.

        I'd still make it to year 2 at the new job before buying (or don't start looking until 18 months). It takes a minute for the sheen to rub off and for the cracks to show.

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        • #19
          While I'd generally ignore comments about wasting money renting vs buying, it depends. Right now is a terrible time to buy in most places. But ignoring that, you mentioned that you want to settle, that favors buying. You also didn't mention how much a house you'd want to buy would cost. Paying near $3k in rent where houses go for 250k, I'd lean towards buying. Buying a house in our HCOL vs renting is a wash, but buying fits our lifestyle and needs better so that's what we did.

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          • #20
            it's very unlikely that you're going to solve this problem with spreadsheets.

            sit down as a couple with a glass of wine, tell her you want to talk about this b/c it's important.
            ask about her feelings about this and listen.
            tell her your feelings (people can't argue that your feelings are invalid).
            if your students loans give you anxiety -- tell her that.
            if the idea of buying right now makes your scared or anxious -- tell her that.
            don't attack friends/family who are saying things you don't agree with.

            ask for a compromise -- can you wait 6 months and see what happens with the market while you continue to pay down debt?
            another compromise idea - you are working hard and sitting on a pile of money, can you spend $5-10k on something that would make the rental feel more homey to her? a new living room set? RH patio furniture? top of line bed for primary bedroom?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Kubbster View Post
              Ah yes, sorry forgot to mention how far out of training I am. Currently 4th year out, 2nd job. I have a feeling this is where we want to settle, and we both love our jobs so far.
              Some previously mentioned
              • Rent is the maximum, mortgage is the minimum.
              • Homes fall in 3 categories: need, afford, and want. Each one carries a significant monthly cost and a step up. Renting skips the “afford” category until you reach the point that the “want” is simply a choice. How much do we “want” to spend? All the other inputs are what they can “afford”. That’s not us dear. Let’s wait and buy what we “want”. She is comparing to the wrong benchmarks, the goal is what you folks want, not what others can “afford”. The goal is not a mortgage, it is a mortgage free forever home.
              Two years in a job isn’t “forever”.

              • In the end a Home is an expense. How much house does she and you want. Plan for that as your goal. That is your benchmark, not others what they can afford. Set your goal and make a plan. She needs to rent for a reason rather than live in a house others can afford. I guarantee you can afford what the others have, that is not what you and her want.

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              • #22
                I recently bought a home and we’ve spent 50K+ on repairs and updates in just a few months. Granted most were on expected updates to the home. But Every time a contractor, plumber, electrician etc walks into the home they find something new that needs to be fixed or else they claim it’ll be a catastrophe (just for fun you all should watch some YouTube videos of water heaters exploding…). I’ve learned that I now need to learn how to be a plumber, hvac expert, termite/pest control expert, and water heater expert myself or else I’m going to go broke or end up paying for a lot of things that I could fix myself or don’t really need fixing. I’ve been watching a ton of DIY YouTube videos lately (if anyone has any other good resources on home improvement/maintenance please let me know…)

                This is despite paying for a home pre-inspection. It will not help that in this market you need to waive home inspections.

                We haven’t even bought furniture yet.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Tim View Post
                  Some previously mentioned
                  • Rent is the maximum, mortgage is the minimum.
                  I didn’t see that post, but I love it!

                  Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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                  • #24
                    If you’re making 360k now, you’ll be debt free in 3 years and FIRE in 10-15. Life is for living and happy wife, happy life. Don’t wait for the final buzzer to sound to know you’ve won.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Dusn View Post
                      I recently bought a home and we’ve spent 50K+ on repairs and updates in just a few months. Granted most were on expected updates to the home. But Every time a contractor, plumber, electrician etc walks into the home they find something new that needs to be fixed or else they claim it’ll be a catastrophe (just for fun you all should watch some YouTube videos of water heaters exploding…). I’ve learned that I now need to learn how to be a plumber, hvac expert, termite/pest control expert, and water heater expert myself or else I’m going to go broke or end up paying for a lot of things that I could fix myself or don’t really need fixing. I’ve been watching a ton of DIY YouTube videos lately (if anyone has any other good resources on home improvement/maintenance please let me know…)

                      This is despite paying for a home pre-inspection. It will not help that in this market you need to waive home inspections.

                      We haven’t even bought furniture yet.
                      Serious business do not EVER wait for a hot water heater to stop working before you purchase a new one.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by pysibal View Post
                        All good advice. Run the numbers and be sure to include mortgage insurance (if applicable), property taxes, and a maintenance budget.

                        Tell her to prepare for all kinds of expenses and time consuming stuff in this brief list of things I've had to spend money / time on since I bought a house built in 2000 in July 2018: lawn treatments 5x/yr, spraying for pests biyearly, leaf removal, HVAC maintenance, water for the sprinklers, weed control, removal of trees that will die soon, replacing the water heater, replacing the oven, replacing faucets / handles, installing gutter guards, managing bizarre electrical problems, pipes freezing (installed incorrectly 20 yrs ago), expanding natural gas line to the house (installed incorrectly ? yrs ago), etc.
                        Hopefully you live in it long enough for it appreciate and be worth your hard earned dollars.

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