Dinks Dilemma: Buy or Rent our new home?

by Kristina on August 4, 2014 · 5 comments

buy or rent

Good morning Dinks.  We are moving.  Yes that’s right after six years of living in the same apartment Nick and I are moving.  Come October 1st we will be starting the next phase of our lives, but there’s just one little glitch – we haven’t found a new place to live.

Should we buy or rent our next home?

As you know we love renting our apartment.  However as we get older our list of home must haves is growing and so far we can’t find an apartment to rent that has everything we want.  I’m sad to say we might just have to buy a home come fall.

I know the finance geek inside you (PS it’s not a bad thing) is saying “Kristina buy a home already.  It’s a good investment and renting an apartment is just a waste of money.”  I know I’ve heard it all and I’ve actually had the same conversation in my head with myself several times.  However renting is just so convenient.  It’s carefree and there is not the added stress of all the maintenance that comes with buying a home.

Finding a balance between price and luxury

I know the two sound like an oxymoron right?  How can we find a spacious apartment with all the amenities we want at a great price.  Some of the things we don’t want to compromise on are the size because we really need more space, the location because we still want to live downtown or close to downtown and the noise because we definitely want to live somewhere that’s quiet.

Some of the items that we really want but are willing to compromise on are the ability to put a washer and dryer in our apartment and having two bedrooms, we would be OK with one really big bedroom in the new apartment.   Oh and did I mention we want to find all this for under $1,500 per month – all included.  What do you think, is that possible?

This move can be a turning point in our lives

We do definitely want to continue living downtown because it’s convenient and it’s close to both our offices.  As our list of must haves grows bigger I’m started to think maybe it’s time to make a change and move to the suburbs.  I can’t actually picture either of us living in the suburbs but it will have one thing on our list of must haves – it will be quiet.

Living in a house in the suburbs won’t be convenient and I picture it being very boring but it will give us the peace and quiet we are so desperately craving.  It will also give us the space (aka square footage) we want as well as the in house washer and dryer.  But living in the suburbs comes with additional costs such as buying a car and buying furniture to fill a house.

Then there’s the work involved with owning a house.  I don’t really have a green thumb – but it’s not for lack of trying.   I would love to have beautiful gardens but I wouldn’t even know where to start.  So now you are in my head – it’s total chaos and preoccupied with our apartment hunting.  I can use any and all advice.  Please help us.

If you could have only two new home qualities what would they be?

Photo from Flickr

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kemkem August 4, 2014 at 7:10 am

How about renting for a year? See how you like it. Then you can decide if the surburbs are for you. Being a homeowner is tough, and expensive. Apart from the P&I, you have property taxes, HOA fees, lawn maintenance, hazard insurance,maybe flood insurance. It’s a lot easier to call the landlord to fix things. We have had our primary residence rented for the past year. Had to replace the dishwasher, fix a roof leak after major rain, fix the a/c, in addition to the pool maintenance. Good luck with your decision.

2 Brock @CleverDude August 4, 2014 at 9:03 am

I personally don’t understand the “renting is carefree” perspective. For example: Let’s say you have an issue with your refrigerator.

As a homeowner you have to deal with the fact that your appliance is busted, find a home for all your stuff that needs to be chilled, call your landlord and wait for the repair person to come out and fix it (which, of course, you’re at the mercy of your landlord to actually take action).

As a Renter, you have to deal with the fact that your appliance is busted, find a home for all your stuff that needs to be chilled, call and wait for the repair person to come out and fix it – which you take care of yourself, and being the responsible and motivated person you are it gets done immediately using the repair person of your choice.

Hmmmm, not sure how choice A is any better. But, that’s just my opinion. :)

3 Kathy August 4, 2014 at 9:42 am

The money you pay in rent is not wasted. It purchases you a dwelling for that month and every month you make your payment. Yes, it goes into a landlord’s pocket instead of your equity but the fact remains It provides you a home. Remember, not every house you buy will immediately have everything on your wish list either, unless you build a custom home. And even then you probably have to pick and choose what is most important for you to have. I’d advise you to just go with what you feel is right for you now. If renting is your choice, just stay where you are on a month to month lease if the landlord will let you. Then when the perfect place comes up, jump on it.

4 Alex August 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm

The JLCollins post “why-your-house-is-a-terrible-investment” covers it best. To summarize – owning a home is not really a good investment, and renting is not throwing money away. I believe you should buy a house because you want to live there for a long time and value some of the freedoms that come with ownership.

5 Mrs. Frugalwoods August 5, 2014 at 9:43 am

A plus to buying a house downtown is the possibility of turning it into a rental property down the line. That (plus the proximity to our jobs, etc) is why we bought in the city as opposed to the suburbs. If you’re interested in going that route, house hunt with that in the forefront of your minds and be sure to check condo docs for rules about renting (if you’re looking at condos). Good luck!

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