Author Topic: The Benefits of Home Ownership?  (Read 4861 times)

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Offline Skeever

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The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« on: April 07, 2015, 06:27:55 PM »
At the risk of sounding like a dumbass for bringing this up with a bunch of relative strangers, I've been thinking about this issue a lot lately and I'm looking for some third opinions.

I'm a guy in my late 20s, and I'm currently a renter. Ever since getting married a year ago, the idea of owning a home has continued to present itself. I've spent a lot of time looking a houses over the last year, and ultimately I've been disappointed by what I've seen, as well as a little bit intimidated by the idea of taking on a mortgage and 30 year loan. It's become obvious that I don't want to live in the houses and/or areas I can afford comfortably, so the next logical step is to look in areas where I'd be paying more.

My parents think I should buy a house, but they are also the type of people who worked 60 hour weeks their entire lives to pay a mortgage. Personally, I'm much happier knowing that I can pay for housing, pay bills, invest, and then still have a good amount of money to enjoy travel, concerts, hobbies, etc., maybe even go back to school. This idea seems completely foreign to the older generation, or at least blue collar folks like my parents. They seem to not understand why anyone wouldn't want to buy a house as soon as possible.

Does anyone care to share any insight on the topic? I'd like to start a family soon, but despite familial pressure I'm just not sure I see the value in purchasing a home. Seems like a ton of stress over nothing. If I have kids, wouldn't it be better and cheaper to just rent a larger apartment in area I wouldn't be able to afford to buy in? And, re: the home is an investment, even from that angle a house seems hard to justify, since my wife and I are priced out of the better areas anyway, why not just rent in them and put what I'm not paying taxes into an IRA or something?

Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2015, 06:39:35 PM »
Each areas housing market is different.  Some it is better to rent, some better to buy.  Some people have certain lifestyles that work better in one over the other.  But if you plan to stay in one area, owning is usually the smarter financial decision in the long run.

Some things to consider:
-Your fixed rate 30 year mortgage will have your payment stay the same over the next 30 years.  Your rent will increase constantly.
-We are in a historically low interest rate environment, meaning it is cheap to borrow money.
-You own the equity in your home.  You are leveraging the banks money to gain equity in the property.  The landlord owns the equity in the rental, and you are paying for it.
-You have the ability for capital improvements
-You can use the equity to use to move to a bigger and better home in the future.
-You can still contribute $ to retirement and travel as most mortgages are cheaper than rent.

Dont buy into the hype about people slaving countless hours to pay a mortgage.  You still have to work those hours to pay rent too.

My advice is to price out what you can get for a specific amount for a rental, and what you can get for that same amount with Mortgage/taxes/insurance.

I was renting a house for $2400 a month.  4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, pool.  I bought the SAME EXACT MODEL house, but on a LAKE in the same neighborhood....my morgtage/taxes/insurance/HOA is $1800.  Not only is it cheaper, but I own the equity.  To be fair, I did put 20% down, but it still would be cheaper (Maybe $2050 vs $2400) apples to apples.

Each area in the country is different, but do not discount the values of home ownership.

Its like leasing or buying a car.  You can get a nicer car if you lease as the payments are lower.   But you will always have a lease payment.
If you buy, you car is not as nice, but after 5 years your car payment goes away.  It is cheaper in the long run to buy a house or car, than to rent/lease, no question (at least in most areas).
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 06:51:07 PM by eric42434224 »
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Offline Skeever

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2015, 06:51:45 PM »
Each areas housing market is different.  Some it is better to rent, some better to buy.  Some people have certain lifestyles that work better in one over the other.  But if you plan to stay in one area, owning is usually the smarter financial decision in the long run.

Some things to consider:
-Your fixed rate 30 year mortgage will have your payment stay the same over the next 30 years.  Your rent will increase constantly.
-We are in a historically low interest rate environment, meaning it is cheap to borrow money.
-You own the equity in your home.  You are leveraging the banks money to gain equity in the property.  The landlord owns the equity in the rental, and you are paying for it.
-You have the ability for capital improvements
-You can use the equity to use to move to a bigger and better home in the future.
-You can still contribute $ to retirement and travel as most mortgages are cheaper than rent.

Dont buy into the hype about people slaving countless hours to pay a mortgage.  You still have to work those hours to pay rent too.

My advice is to price out what you can get for a specific amount for a rental, and what you can get for that same amount with Mortgage/taxes/insurance.

I was renting a house for $2400 a month.  4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, pool.  I bought the SAME EXACT MODEL house, but on a LAKE in the same neighborhood....my morgtage/taxes/insurance/HOA is $1800.  Not only is it cheaper, but I own the equity.

Each area in the country is different, but do not discount the values of homeownership.

Thanks for the comments. What you're noting has not been my experience at all, though. Right now I pay $900 in rent, and even houses priced as modestly as 130k seem to have me paying at least $1300 per month in mortgage/taxes/insurance/HOA. Not to mention that houses that affordable have not been easy to come by in my area, and get quickly snatched up, and often need a lot of work (something I know nothing about).

Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2015, 06:55:13 PM »
First, where do you live?

Second, your numbers seem a bit off to me.
I ran a mortgage calculator on 130k with taxes and insurance, and 1300 is WAAAAAAY too high
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Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2015, 06:58:17 PM »
$130k home price
5% down ($6500)
Interest rate 4.5%
30 year fixed loan
Property taxes 1.2%
Home owners Insurance $800 yr
Including PMI
HOA $50 mnth

Monthly payment $951

Obviously some variables will change, but damn, $1300 is way off.
Also, you dont need to buy a house...you can buy a condo.  You know that if you are paying $900 to rent your apartment, it is costing LESS to own it, or the owner wouldnt make any cabbage doing so.
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Offline Skeever

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2015, 07:01:58 PM »
First, where do you live?

Second, your numbers seem a bit off to me.
I ran a mortgage calculator on 130k with taxes and insurance, and 1300 is WAAAAAAY too high
I live in the Philly suburbs. A typical house costing 130k here will have anywhere between $4-7k annually in taxes. I think tax rate is something like 3-4% usually in Camden County, where I work. So even if that mortgages out to $600 a month or so, you're paying another 500 in taxes, then PMI, insurance, etc.

The sticking point for me has been that the 130k house is either a decent house in a below average area or a something that needs waaaaay too much TLC in a better area (and in that case flippers buy way before you can get your FHA bid in anyway).

Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2015, 07:02:47 PM »
what zip code or town?
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Offline Skeever

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2015, 07:04:47 PM »
what zip code or town?

We'd been looking at a number of towns, but this is the county that I work in: http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/pdf/lpt/gtr14cam.pdf

Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2015, 07:05:08 PM »
Skeever, I think you are misinformed about property tax rates.  The highest tax rate in Pensylvania is like 1.25% (Chester County)
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Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2015, 07:07:52 PM »
what zip code or town?

We'd been looking at a number of towns, but this is the county that I work in: http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/pdf/lpt/gtr14cam.pdf

Camnden is one of the highest in the country, but the property taxes there will be about 2.5% of fair market value of the house.
2.5% is about double the average.

I think what you showed me was state income tax
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Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2015, 07:14:57 PM »
First, where do you live?

Second, your numbers seem a bit off to me.
I ran a mortgage calculator on 130k with taxes and insurance, and 1300 is WAAAAAAY too high
I live in the Philly suburbs. A typical house costing 130k here will have anywhere between $4-7k annually in taxes. I think tax rate is something like 3-4% usually in Camden County, where I work. So even if that mortgages out to $600 a month or so, you're paying another 500 in taxes, then PMI, insurance, etc.

The sticking point for me has been that the 130k house is either a decent house in a below average area or a something that needs waaaaay too much TLC in a better area (and in that case flippers buy way before you can get your FHA bid in anyway).

Some areas arent great for home ownership.  Yours personal situation and area might be one.
But at least run the correct numbers before you make a decision.  Your info on taxes was double what it should be.  And dont discount that your mortgage stays the same while rent will increase, and you build equity.  It may be a scarafice for the first few years in what you can afford, but in the long term, home ownership has huge value.

Good luck on your decision!
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Offline El Barto

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2015, 07:17:24 PM »

Also, you dont need to buy a house...you can buy a condo.  You know that if you are paying $900 to rent your apartment, it is costing LESS to own it, or the owner wouldnt make any cabbage doing so.
Well, not necessarily. My landlady bought this condo back when it was new and moved out once it was paid for.  Aside from taxes and insurance it's all cabbage to her. A quick search tells me I couldn't rent a smaller and generally crappy apartment in this zip for less than $50 more than I'm paying her. Add to that, I've had two rent increases in 5 years, the latest being a whopping $15. If something breaks (that I don't want to fix myself) it's done. She has her HVAC guy and chimney sweep come out regularly, and other than that I almost never hear from her.

Now, that said, I'm pretty interested in what you have to say, so keep it up.

As for what I might suggest to Skeever, from my perspective I only want to buy a house if it's where I want to retire. It's the mortgage free ownership at the end of the rainbow that's the selling point for me. Yet, I can't think of any place in Dallas that I'd want to run out the clock (assuming I even outlive a mortgage). Neighborhoods can change pretty quickly, as well. The house my mom bought for us when I was about 15 was in a nice neighborhood and now it's just terrible, in a terrible subburb that I can't even stand driving into.
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Offline TempusVox

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2015, 07:20:05 PM »
Never give money to someone else so that they can build equity in their own property. If you can build your own equity. And look around for the best deal you can. Maybe that means moving over a zip code or two.

I nearly fell out of my chair even with 1300 monthly mortgage payment. We pay 14,600 each month.  :lol
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Offline Skeever

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2015, 07:24:10 PM »
I may be a bit confused about the rate (not a numbers guy), but I'm certainly not confused about the monthly cost since we've had to think about that a lot in the last few months. The typical house we see for 130-150K here has anywhere from 4k-6k in taxes per year. Here's what I just ran on Zillow (note the small print):



Keep in mind these areas aren't really that great, have schools that are "approaching standard", etc. Also keep in mind this isn't even considering the PMI we'd have to pay with FHA.

Thanks for your patience, though. Your response is basically what we're getting everywhere, i.e., people can't believe buying is so expensive.

As for what I might suggest to Skeever, from my perspective I only want to buy a house if it's where I want to retire. It's the mortgage free ownership at the end of the rainbow that's the selling point for me. Yet, I can't think of any place in Dallas that I'd want to run out the clock (assuming I even outlive a mortgage). Neighborhoods can change pretty quickly, as well. The house my mom bought for us when I was about 15 was in a nice neighborhood and now it's just terrible, in a terrible subburb that I can't even stand driving into.

Yeah, that's an issue for me. Where I live and work (Camden county, NJ, ten miles outside of THE Camden), it seems like all the typical middle class neighborhoods are pretty stagnant, right on the cusp between areas that are doing OK and neighborhoods that are the first to disappear as the working middle class go to hell.

Never give money to someone else so that they can build equity in their own property. If you can build your own equity. And look around for the best deal you can. Maybe that means moving over a zip code or two.

I nearly fell out of my chair even with 1300 monthly mortgage payment. We pay 14,600 each month.  :lol
Well don't I feel even more shitty now  ???

Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2015, 07:29:17 PM »

Also, you dont need to buy a house...you can buy a condo.  You know that if you are paying $900 to rent your apartment, it is costing LESS to own it, or the owner wouldnt make any cabbage doing so.
Well, not necessarily. My landlady bought this condo back when it was new and moved out once it was paid for.  Aside from taxes and insurance it's all cabbage to her. A quick search tells me I couldn't rent a smaller and generally crappy apartment in this zip for less than $50 more than I'm paying her. Add to that, I've had two rent increases in 5 years, the latest being a whopping $15. If something breaks (that I don't want to fix myself) it's done. She has her HVAC guy and chimney sweep come out regularly, and other than that I almost never hear from her.

Now, that said, I'm pretty interested in what you have to say, so keep it up.

As for what I might suggest to Skeever, from my perspective I only want to buy a house if it's where I want to retire. It's the mortgage free ownership at the end of the rainbow that's the selling point for me. Yet, I can't think of any place in Dallas that I'd want to run out the clock (assuming I even outlive a mortgage). Neighborhoods can change pretty quickly, as well. The house my mom bought for us when I was about 15 was in a nice neighborhood and now it's just terrible, in a terrible subburb that I can't even stand driving into.

I think your rental experience is the exception rather than the rule.  Almost every rental I have lived in had yearly increases.

And I think your opinion on buying a house to retire in is misguided.  Most people dont do that.  Your LOAN is 30 years, and it is not a requirement to stay there.  If you want to move, you can move, and use equity to leverage the next home.
And if you always rent, the only way you can buy your retirement home mortgage free is to pay cash when you are ready to retire.
Most people that rent cant put away enough money for retirement funds AND a cash home purchase.

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Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2015, 07:31:23 PM »
I may be a bit confused about the rate (not a numbers guy), but I'm certainly not confused about the monthly cost since we've had to think about that a lot in the last few months. The typical house we see for 130-150K here has anywhere from 4k-6k in taxes per year. Here's what I just ran on Zillow (note the small print):




That shows nothing about taxes, PMI, insurance, or HOA.
That only shows Principal and Interest on the loan

The taxes in that county are 2.5% of the fair market value of the house.  That is fact and is on the NJ website.  That is VERY high, double the average. 
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Offline Skeever

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2015, 07:32:25 PM »
Note the small print (estimated taxes and insurance).

Offline TempusVox

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2015, 07:34:55 PM »

Well don't I feel even more shitty now  ???

Why would you? It's all relative to your experience. I've lived in 130,000 homes and loved them. I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. You might hate my houses. My mortgage payment doesn't make anyone elses house any less a home. Besides, try cutting my grass sometime. It's a pain in the ass.
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Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2015, 07:35:36 PM »
Note the small print (estimated taxes and insurance).

That means NOTHING.  It is estimated.  Before you make a decision, use real numbers.  Use a more detailed calculator that shows more accurate numbers like property tax rates.
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Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2015, 07:41:37 PM »
http://www.zillow.com/mortgage-calculator/


Use this calculator and click "advanced" below it.
Use 2.5% for property taxes.
That will actually be higher than you will pay as you will not be taxed on the 130., depending on homestead expemptions etc.
But it will show you worst case scenario for taxes.
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Offline lordxizor

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2015, 07:45:01 PM »
One thing you have to keep in mind is maintenance on a home you own. If you rent, you just call the landlord to fix the furnace or fridge. If you own the home, you have to pay to fix it. The general rule is to assume 2+% of the value of the home per year in maintenance.

In general, I think home ownership is overrated. There are benefits to owning your own home, but there are benefits to renting as well. The flexibility to move when you want to at the end of your lease instead of having to sell a home may be worth something to you. Increasing home values are not guaranteed and historically only barely outpace inflation.

All that said, I am moving into a house we're buying in a few weeks because we want some stability for our family and interest rates are ridiculously low right now. We are going to be paying 3.375%. Plus we want to be able to make the house our own which is difficult to do in a rental.

Don't let anyone tell you that you should buy a house if you don't feel strongly that you want to. There's nothing wrong with renting. You are not "throwing money away" as people like to say. You are paying money for a roof over your head. That getting value for your money. When you buy you throw away absurd amounts of money to the interest, so it's not like you're getting something beneficial out of everything you're paying.

Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2015, 07:48:49 PM »
From the Zillow calculator:


130k home price
4% down payment $5200
Interest rate 4.3%
30 year fixed

P & I  618 / mnth
Taxes $271 / mnth
Home owners insurance $67 / mth
PMI $102 a month (this goes away after you have 20% equity)

$1057 monthly payment all in.


Not saying home ownership is for you, but at least make sure your arguments against it are sound.
Dont use the "working x hours to pay a mortgage", as you have to work x hours to pay rent too.
Dont use incorrect tax info either.

My advice is to take the emotion out of it and run the CORRECT numbers, and consider the pros and cons, and make an informed and logical decision for you and your family.
Good luck man.
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Offline TempusVox

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2015, 07:51:35 PM »
The biggest factor you should use is do you plan on staying put for more than the next 4 or 5 years? If you plan on moving from the area, then renting is probably the way to go. But if your roots are semi permanent my advice would be to buy a home your family could grow with somewhat. It doesn't need to be your forever home, but it should be something that allows you room if you plan on having kids soon.
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Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2015, 07:51:54 PM »
One thing you have to keep in mind is maintenance on a home you own. If you rent, you just call the landlord to fix the furnace or fridge. If you own the home, you have to pay to fix it. The general rule is to assume 2+% of the value of the home per year in maintenance.

In general, I think home ownership is overrated. There are benefits to owning your own home, but there are benefits to renting as well. The flexibility to move when you want to at the end of your lease instead of having to sell a home may be worth something to you. Increasing home values are not guaranteed and historically only barely outpace inflation.

All that said, I am moving into a house we're buying in a few weeks because we want some stability for our family and interest rates are ridiculously low right now. We are going to be paying 3.375%. Plus we want to be able to make the house our own which is difficult to do in a rental.

Don't let anyone tell you that you should buy a house if you don't feel strongly that you want to. There's nothing wrong with renting. You are not "throwing money away" as people like to say. You are paying money for a roof over your head. That getting value for your money. When you buy you throw away absurd amounts of money to the interest, so it's not like you're getting something beneficial out of everything you're paying.

Agreed.  It depends a LOT on the area they live in (that particular housing market), and what lifestyle and future plans they have.  Sometimes renting is the logical choice.
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Offline lordxizor

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2015, 07:51:54 PM »
PMI $102 a month (this goes away after you have 20% equity)
Not sure about conventional mortgages, but if it's an FHA mortgage, the PMI does not go away unless you refinance and have 20% equity. The rules recently changed on that. I'm likely going to be stuck paying $160 a month for the next 30 years since I'm getting such a low interest rate it may never make sense to refinance.

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2015, 07:52:54 PM »
PMI $102 a month (this goes away after you have 20% equity)
Not sure about conventional mortgages, but if it's an FHA mortgage, the PMI does not go away unless you refinance and have 20% equity. The rules recently changed on that. I'm likely going to be stuck paying $160 a month for the next 30 years since I'm getting such a low interest rate it may never make sense to refinance.

You cant pay to get get an appraisal and show you have the equity?
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Offline lordxizor

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2015, 07:53:26 PM »
PMI $102 a month (this goes away after you have 20% equity)
Not sure about conventional mortgages, but if it's an FHA mortgage, the PMI does not go away unless you refinance and have 20% equity. The rules recently changed on that. I'm likely going to be stuck paying $160 a month for the next 30 years since I'm getting such a low interest rate it may never make sense to refinance.

You cant pay to get get an appraisal and show you have the equity?
Nope. You need to refinance to get rid of the PMI.

Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #27 on: April 07, 2015, 07:55:18 PM »
PMI $102 a month (this goes away after you have 20% equity)
Not sure about conventional mortgages, but if it's an FHA mortgage, the PMI does not go away unless you refinance and have 20% equity. The rules recently changed on that. I'm likely going to be stuck paying $160 a month for the next 30 years since I'm getting such a low interest rate it may never make sense to refinance.

You cant pay to get get an appraisal and show you have the equity?
Nope. You need to refinance to get rid of the PMI.

Well that just sucks.  But I guess it is part of the deal to get a loan with such a low down payment.

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Offline lordxizor

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2015, 08:01:48 PM »
PMI $102 a month (this goes away after you have 20% equity)
Not sure about conventional mortgages, but if it's an FHA mortgage, the PMI does not go away unless you refinance and have 20% equity. The rules recently changed on that. I'm likely going to be stuck paying $160 a month for the next 30 years since I'm getting such a low interest rate it may never make sense to refinance.

You cant pay to get get an appraisal and show you have the equity?
Nope. You need to refinance to get rid of the PMI.

Well that just sucks.  But I guess it is part of the deal to get a loan with such a low down payment.


It does indeed suck, but to balance it out they dropped the PMI % payment by half.

Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2015, 08:10:37 PM »
Increasing home values are not guaranteed and historically only barely outpace inflation.



Even if it just outpaced inflation, at least in appreciated.  And the payment is fixed.

A rental has no appreciation, and the problem also is that rent increases just over inflation as well.


------


Home equity goes up and payment stays the same.

Rental equity stays at zero and payment goes up.

Yes there are a myriad of other factors (area, lifestyle, taxes, insurance, future plans).

Just run the numbers, ask yourself the hard questions about your needs and future, and do a comparison.... and your decision will be apparent

Oh shit, you're right!

rumborak

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Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #30 on: April 07, 2015, 08:10:51 PM »
double post
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rumborak

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Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #31 on: April 07, 2015, 08:11:27 PM »
PMI $102 a month (this goes away after you have 20% equity)
Not sure about conventional mortgages, but if it's an FHA mortgage, the PMI does not go away unless you refinance and have 20% equity. The rules recently changed on that. I'm likely going to be stuck paying $160 a month for the next 30 years since I'm getting such a low interest rate it may never make sense to refinance.

You cant pay to get get an appraisal and show you have the equity?
Nope. You need to refinance to get rid of the PMI.

Well that just sucks.  But I guess it is part of the deal to get a loan with such a low down payment.


It does indeed suck, but to balance it out they dropped the PMI % payment by half.

Well then that sucks only half as much as I thought!  Good luck with the house!
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rumborak

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Offline Skeever

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #32 on: April 07, 2015, 08:29:29 PM »
I will admit that a lot of my hesitation toward home owning may stem from a lack of education on personal finance issues. I know how to balance my own budget, but I'm certainly not very knowledgeable on what I should pay for things, how I should go about getting loan, what kind of loan I should get, what I should put down, etc. I guess I should get educated. Easier said than done, though. Part of what's so scary to me is the risk of it all. As a first time home buyer who's also on his first real job, I don't want to make a mistake and I don't want to get ripped off, and I definitely don't want to get in over my head. Unfortunately those are all things which realtors don't seem to care much about. Oh well. I guess I'll figure it out. Slow and steady wins the race, I suppose, and it won't kill me to rent while I try and figure out what's best for me. 

Offline eric42434224

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #33 on: April 07, 2015, 08:32:43 PM »
Excellent
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rumborak

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Re: The Benefits of Home Ownership?
« Reply #34 on: April 08, 2015, 06:10:50 AM »
Keep in mind the following post is coming from a 26 year old CT resident who has only been a home owner for 6 months.

If you want to rent anywhere in CT, you are going to have to share a wall, a ceiling, or a floor. Often times it's more than just one of those things. I hate sharing any face of my living space. Even if I bought a condo, that would have still been an issue. I got a fixed 30 year loan at the stupid low interest rate of 3.25% and I only had to put 3.5% down. After taxes, insurance, PMI, and the bank payment, I'm paying $1282 per month before utilities. My house is 1650 square feet, not counting the finished basement. It has three bed rooms and two full baths. That kind of space rented in this area would be at least $1700 per month (most likely more).

The biggest defense for owning a home (imo) is that if I lived in an apartment for five years at $1500 per month, I'd have spent $90k. I'd then need to find a new place to live with whatever is in my bank account. That $90k would completely disappear from my life forever. WIth the house, even if my property value goes down, I still have an asset I can sell. I have something worth real money. If the housing market picks up, I could actually make money off of the house.

There are some shitty things about owning a house though. Having to maintain the property can be a pain in the ass. I envy my friends in condo complexes that never have to touch a shovel during the winter months. Also, if a major appliance goes, it's on you to replace it. Most apartment complexes take care of that kind of thing (I think).

All I know is, I wouldn't want to have it any other way. It's definitely a little more expensive to own a home vs renting somewhere, but I think the positives outweight the negatives.