With the economy taking a hit, houses being foreclosed on, and interest rates down, now seems like a great time to buy a house.
You’d be able to lock in at a low interest rate, and you’d be able to get a great deal on a house. It’s a buyer’s market, for sure.
It’s a great time to buy a house IFF (if and only if) you have the money to do so, plan to be in that house for at least five years, and want to move to a new house in the first place.
If you’re in debt up to your eyeballs, you probably don’t have 10 to 20 percent to put down on a house. So, forget about it for now. Keep working at your debt and savings, and be content where you are living.
If you think you’ll be moving out of the area soon, or you can’t find a house that will work for your family for at least a few years, then you shouldn’t buy a house right now.
Take heart, though. You can be a content renter like us!
Right now, we’re building an emergency fund. So, that means we have $0 saved for a down payment and closing costs. Shame on us if we even think about applying for a mortgage right now.
Second, it’s looking like it is 70 percent (or more) likely that we’ll be moving away from Pittsburgh this summer. When or where, I have no idea. Shane knew that when he accepted his job here, he’d be relocating within a year’s time or so. Please pray that we’ll go exactly where we’re needed, and we’ll be happy where we’re sent. We’re really hoping it’s somewhere closer to Indiana!
So, we’re going to be renters for awhile longer, no matter what’s happening to the economy.
I’d like to point out some great benefits of renting an apartment or house, so that if you’re feeling the “buy a house bug” right now but aren’t ready for it, you can have some encouragement to stay where you are.
- Our monthly payment includes quite a bit. With our $750/month, we have a place to stay, a small storage locker, and paid-for water and garbage removal.
- Our electric bill is likely a lot lower than it would be if we were in a house. We share three walls with other apartments or an interior stairwell, and we’re on the third floor. Heat rises, after all. I’m certain that we’re benefitting from our neighbor’s heat.
- Property taxes are included in the rent somewhere, so we don’t have to worry about paying for those.
- Renter’s insurance no doubt costs less than homeowner’s insurance. Our policy cost $120 for a year.
- Tax benefits: In Indiana, you could deduct the amount of rent you paid, up to $2,500 for the year, I believe.
- We have a mailbox that’s only accessible if you have a key. I like it because I know my mail is more secure this way. Less chance of identity theft!
- When it snows, we don’t have to shovel the sidewalks or the parking lot. We don’t have to put salt on the walks. We don’t have to buy and store shovels or snowblowers.
- In the summer, we don’t have to mow the grass or trim the hedges. We don’t have to pay for a lawnmower or other yard equipment.
- When something breaks, the maintenance man comes and fixes it promptly. We don’t have to pay him extra for it, and we don’t have to pay for replacement parts. We don’t have to buy an assortment of tools and fix-it equipment, and we certainly don’t have to take the time to do it ourselves.
- Included in our rent is access to a modest exercise room, complete with treadmill, stationary bike, and a weight machine. Some apartments have swimming pools.
- When we move out, finding another tenant isn’t our problem. We just pack up, leave, and get our security deposit back. If we were in a house, we’d have to keep it super clean and try to sell it for a fair price.
What are some other benefits to renting?