I think our quality of life would be higher in a home due to shorter commute time for my gf (about 5 mins more each way for me), a dog, a garden and living in a freestanding home.
avalpert wrote:This isn't really a financial decision it is a consumption/life style one. No one can tell you what the quality of life impact will be - you need to figure that out for yourself. It doesn't sound like you would be putting yourself into a financially precarious situation so my advice would be let:I think our quality of life would be higher in a home due to shorter commute time for my gf (about 5 mins more each way for me), a dog, a garden and living in a freestanding home.
be the controlling opinion
holycow2013 wrote:OP which city are you in?
I hate to say it as it may not sound good in your position but things cannot be taken for granted and I would definitely recommend considering only your financial situation for the new house. I think you bring more to the table anyways. I would recommend doing it. I live in a Condo and the SFH is a good investment IMHO.
I would recommend paying off the Car asap to improve your cash flow situation even if it means reducing investment as well as paying your current mortgage to the minimum required.
DoubleDraw wrote: I get paid bi-weekly and like the idea of making an extra full payment per year if only because it forces me to "save" the money.
DoubleDraw wrote:Thanks for your reply. I'd rather not say which city I'm in if that's ok. In terms of considering our financial situation together, we are thinking that within the next year or two she will become Mrs. DoubleDraw so we are making this decision together though the house may be purchased under my name since I will be providing the down payment and the bulk of the mortgage.
If we decide to start looking at homes I will consider all options including paying off the car to improve cash flow. At 0.9% interest, I prefer to keep the money in the market at the moment since I can afford to max out my 401k and IRA and still make the payment with no problem. I get paid bi-weekly and like the idea of making an extra full payment per year if only because it forces me to "save" the money.
avalpert wrote:DoubleDraw wrote: I get paid bi-weekly and like the idea of making an extra full payment per year if only because it forces me to "save" the money.
Since you will be looking to move again in a few years when you have kids you won't save any money in reduced interest by the extra payments so you are probably better off skipping them. If you really need that discipline of forced savings have part of your paycheck direct deposited into a second account that is targeted for investing/saving.
telemark wrote:Don't count on saving all of that $209 a month. A lot of it probably goes for things that you will have to pay for directly with a house: water and sewer connections, building maintenance, mowing and watering the yard, clearing snow off the sidewalks, etc.
telemark wrote:Neighbors can be the most important thing in a condo, and this is something you have little control over. You can have bad neighbors in a house too, of course, but at least you have some buffer space.
icefr wrote:It seems like this needs to be made as a lifestyle decision, not a financial one, as it sounds like the finances would work themselves out just fine.
Ignoring money, do *you* want to live in a house versus your current condo? Does your girlfriend? Do you want to have a yard? Do you want to mow the lawn? Do you want to care about replacing roofs and cleaning gutters and siding? Do you dislike the condo you're living in now? Do you guys want to move out of it? Are all the things you want about a house worth selling your place, looking for a house, AND moving for? Do you want these things THIS year? If not, would it make more sense to stay where you are and buy a non-starter house? Going from a condo, which is a starter property, to a starter house to a non-starter house seems a bit expensive to me.
I would ask those questions and other ones before looking at the numbers since they would likely work out. I can't believe your HOA is $209/month on a $160k condo! Mine isn't much more than that on a more expensive condo.
Call_Me_Op wrote:What are the downsides to living in a condo that you are trying to change?
Watty wrote:It was not clear if you would be buying the home together or if you would be buying it just in your name.
Buying a house with someone you are not married to can cause lots of problems if the relationship does not work out so it would be a good idea to not buy the house together if you are not ready to get married. Do not underestimate the chances of there being problem in the relationship, I can understand not being ready to get married yet but that should also be a clue that you are not ready to buy a house together.
If you do decide to buy the house together then you should have a lawyer draw up an agreement on how the house will be handled if you split up.
You have a lot more assets than she does so you should also talk to a lawyer about what sort of pre-nuptial agreement would be appropriate. You have enough in your taxable account so that you would have the option of buying the house for cash before you are married and that might be one way to help protect your assets if you get married then get divorced later.
Be sure to look at the PHD programs completion rate, there is a significant possibility that she will not finish the program. It would be good to wait until she has at least finished the first semester to see how she does in the program. If she drops out of the program after a semester or two it would be awkward if you bought a house to live in while she is in school.
Planning to live in the house more than four years is likely not realistic since once she graduates it is likely that her first job will be in a different city since PHD positions are sort of specialized. Even if she finds a job in the same city it might be across town and a terrible commute from the house you buy.
donall wrote:Sell the condo, rent a house close to GF's school. Advice on this was not asked, but GF should make sure she has a good advisor or someone who will help her in her career, so she is not just doing the lab work for a big name professor.
Breezy wrote:I second the advice to sell the condo and rent a house or condo in the neighborhood you like, and not buy until you can afford to buy the larger (non-starter) place you'll live in longer.
Or, sell the condo and buy a duplex in the neighborhood you like and live in one unit.
Or, rent your condo and rent in the neighborhood you like.
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