Real Estate Wrap-Up


  • Anonymous

    Why should I ever buy a house!?
    What are the so-called advantages of owning a house?

    1.) You build equity – true, but I rent for several hundred dollars less a month than the type of house I would want. I put that money directly into savings.

    2.) Income tax write off – first, this is about to go away. Trust me. It is. Secondly, this is at least partially offset on my end because if my AC breaks, not my problem. If my fridge breaks, not my problem. If the hot water heaters give out, not my problem.

    Advantages for renting

    1.) I currently rent in an area that I can walk to all the cool bars and restaurants. A nice condo or house in this area would be $750,000 or more.

    2.) Mobility – if I want to leave, I can. No problem.

    3.) I can never be upside down in an apartment.

    4.) Capital – whereas homeowners have a huge amount of capital wrapped up in real estate, all mine is cash and other liquid assets.

  • Huntsman

    Advantages in your situation clearly outweigh
    Tax write off – people don’t really fall for that (well some do)
    Give me $10,000 a year, I’ll gladly pay you only $2,500 back

    If you ever get married and have children, someday you may hear these words
    "honey, lets buy a big house with a yard"
    ^ be prepared for this
    References :

  • glenn

    Don’t ever buy anything that you don’t want to buy.

    The owner of the property you are renting believes they will make a profit by owning it- that is why they own it. I would never buy something because I get a tax break- but if I get a tax break I will not turn it down.

    A friend of mine is in a roughly similar situation. He has rented a rent controlled apartment for under $1000 in San Francisco for about 30 years (but part of the lease makes him responsible for repairs). If he had bought thirty years ago his payments would have been higher- but it would be now paid off and no payments at all and his place would be worth about a clear million dollars (even in this slow economy).

    But if he had moved every two years he would not have had the very low rent- and if he had bought- he would have had lots of costs in buying and selling.

    If you are thinking you may move pretty often, I would rent- if you think you will stay put for at least seven years, I would buy (in most areas of the country).
    References :

  • philospher77

    A lot of it comes down to lifestyle. For you, renting is probably better. I have two cats and a very large dog, which means I need a yard. And it severely limits the property available to rent. Most landlords won’t rent to some one with a 50 pound dog, so if I were renting every year I would face the possibility of having to find a new place in 30 days if the landlord changed their mind. Or face having to give up my pets to find a place I can afford. That’s a lot of stress to live with, and I am perfectly happy owning a house where I can relax instead.

    I also get the advantages of getting to fix the place to suit me. I’ve put in cherry trees and low-water landscaping, and am currently saving up the money to redo the kitchen. Neither of those are things that you are likely to get a landlord to agree to.

    And finally… there is the maintenance issue. You say "if the AC breaks, not my problem". If you read this board enough, you will see the many posts where it IS the tenant’s problem, when their landlord says that they aren’t going to fix the problem or take too long doing so. Yes, it’s painful sometimes paying for it, but at least I know when the repairs are being done and the quality of the work, and do not need to hound someone else for days/weeks/months to do it.
    References :

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