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Newish attending, not planning to buy a house for several years, re-assure me please

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  • Newish attending, not planning to buy a house for several years, re-assure me please

    Hello all,


    I am 2 years out of fellowship, in a surgical specialty, in a private practice group, in NW, MCOL. Job has gone great so far, better than expected, income a bit higher than expected, 550k first year, 700k-900k in years 2 and 3, and then 1000k+ in year 4 and onward (after partnership, which has been discussed and is planned, though I recognize there are no guarantees).

    Mid 30s couple, no kids, maybe in future, spouse volunteers full time. We are in same city as parents, which we love, plan to be here long term.

    We got extremely lucky that there was a great PP job in the town we wanted to be in. Super fortunate. Love working, love the group, city is great.

    We are renting a 3BR house, solid, nothing fancy, but suits our needs. 1.8k rent per month. We'd be fine here for another 2-3 years.

    We stick to the WCI tenets pretty faithfully. 20-25% of income goes to retirement accounts, paid off partners student loans of 15k, paid down my students loans from 220k to 150k, no other debts. Net worth roughly +300k (HSA+Roth+401k+taxable+minimal cash minus student loan). We do help out our parents financially somewhat.

    We are planning to rent for another 2-3 years, no interest in buying a house right now. I'd rather focus on investing and paying down student loans, getting a little nest egg going, enjoying life and traveling. Neither of us are interested in looking/buying/owning house right now.

    Our housing market is fairly "hot" like most of the country, but nothing out of the ordinary.

    Other docs/friends are endlessly talking about buying houses, and we are 99% confident in our decision to continue to rent. While there have been zero red flags about the job, I know the future is uncertain, and I'd feel more comfortable buying a house if/when I became partner. We also would rather buy one nice big "doctor" house in 2-4 years, maybe in the 7 figure range, and stay there, rather than plan to move twice in the next five years. Our rent is also very reasonable.

    I recognize there is no right answer here, and we'd probably be fine buying right now. Are we crazy/wrong for continuing to rent for 2-3 more years (given ideal job, ideal city, planning to be here forever)?

    Thank you very much.

  • #2
    Buy when you're ready. You're not ready to buy so renting is the right decision for you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Nothing wrong with your decision. Solid reasons and you're not following the crowd rushing ahead. You're using the earnings for other appropriate finances. Solid.

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      • #4
        Don’t be bullied by expectations. Take your time and buy when you want where you want. (If you want to)

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        • #5
          Actually, with your setup, you could rent for a very long time. Housing is to a large degree consumption. Once "Other docs/friends are endlessly talking about buying houses, and we are 99%". This might actually mean by renting you will be in the 1% category. Not a bad option.

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          • #6
            You're not wrong. You're uninterested and sounds like you have a good situation. I'd stay put.

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            • #7
              If the day comes when you decide you want to buy a house, I can assure you there will be many perfectly nice houses on the market you can choose from. You're not missing out on anything (except unanticipated appliance failures and emergency roof repairs). Your own personal residence (as opposed to a rental unit) is largely a consumption item - and a bigger headache than most first-time homeowners anticipate.

              Buy when YOU are ready to buy, and not before!

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              • #8
                And you might be able to take advantage of a future buyer's market. Real Estate is cyclical in most areas. Buying when it is a seller's market generally doesn't make sense to me.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by StateOfMyHead View Post
                  And you might be able to take advantage of a future buyer's market. Real Estate is cyclical in most areas. Buying when it is a seller's market generally doesn't make sense to me.
                  Yes. Trees don't grow to the sky, and neither do real estate prices. There IS a cap in all markets, and in most areas prices do go at least occasionally go down as well as up. I suspect the rising interest rates coming in the near future will cool the market off a bit in most areas.

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                  • #10
                    If you are in an ideal city near family and are pretty certain you will stay even if your job doesn’t work out, then that is a pretty good argument to go ahead and buy. Part of me sees the tax deductible mortgage interest you’re leaving on the table and winces.

                    However, I would trust your gut. Life is pretty unpredictable, especially at this point in your career. You’ll know when it’s time.

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                    • #11
                      Almost the same situation as you but a few more years out of training. Currently renting for 3.5% of our gross pay in VHCOL with no plans to buy in the near future. Median home sale in our zip code in January, 2022 was 1.8 million. Our net worth continues to grow and we’re doing fine without a huge doctor home (3-3.5 million here). I think your plan is solid. Buy when you are ready to buy.

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                      • #12
                        Live like resident for 5 years. Pay off student loan debt. Save for fat down payment.
                        There is no rush. Wait. And block out the noise

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                        • #13
                          The housing market is going crazy right now. This crazy market will end, we just don’t know when or how it will end. It could be a soft landing or a hard landing. Interest rates could go crazy if inflation gets out of control, or they could rise gently if inflation isn’t so bad. The next recession could be mild or severe.

                          Putting myself in your shoes, I like your plan. Wait until partnership. Build the net worth. You will be making a crazy high income, so you will have great options when the right time comes, no matter what the market does.

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                          • #14
                            I think waiting to make partner is very wise. Most posters are blinded by the desire to buy a house. There will always be a house.

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                            • #15
                              Have a plan and execute it.
                              Problems can arise if you have a plan to buy a house when you make partner, then don't.

                              Be aware that it may be easier or harder to pull the trigger depending on where house prices are in 4 years.
                              If say they doubled where you want to buy, then it could be harder to pull the trigger.

                              Due to leverage in RE, it is very possible that if you are on the wrong side of a boom, you may be saving less than the increase in house price over that period.

                              Although real rates may rise, it is possible that wages increases match or surpass this in the next 4 years. No one knows.

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