When Did You Buy Your First House?

T1000

Legend
I'm 24 and looking to get one now since I have enough saved up and mortgages are cheap (also they're tax deductible rent isn't). A mortgage on a 200k home is also a lot cheaper than rent here too. Just wondering how old the rest of you guys were since all of my friends rent or live at home and only one is looking to buy but he also has his girl helping with the purchase.
 
Subtext is everything: you don't really care when we bought houses, you care whether it's a good idea for YOU. Things to consider:
1) do you expect to stay where you are at least a few years, or will work require you to relocate. Unless the market is extraordinary, it doesn't usually pay to buy unless you'll be there a few years, what with closing costs, potential delays in being able to sell.
2) any relationships with someone who might want to get a place that's both of yours?
3) steady predictable income?
4) opportunity costs -- would your downpayment be better invested somewhere else?
5) upkeep -- last time I looked 200k doesn't buy you a palace in Connecticut. WIll you need to invest alot in the place?
 

hollywood9826

Hall of Fame
I bought my house early 2009 (Jan of Feb) I turned 29 that April. Also single.

Just be ready for anything imaginable to go wrong and need fixing. You are on the hook for all that once you buy it. AC, Heat, roof, windows, electrical. Property taxes, appliances, and whatever else you can think of.

I'm not sure the situation in your area, but around my area right now it wouldn't be that easy for me to sell the place. So plan on it being a home and not a shot term investment.
 

DRII

G.O.A.T.
good advice from the first two posts...

also to the OP, your mortgage is not tax deductible, mortgage interest paid is...
 

Mr.Lob

Legend
26 years old. Rented out part of house to cousin and then a coworker. Cousin was often late with rent, turned a/c to "arctic", never helped clean, and got a cat that climbed all over my drapes. Drove home drunk one day and crashed into my car, knocking it out of park and sending it thru my garage door.The coworker was no problem at all. So if you are looking to get a roommate to help with expenses, proceed with caution. :D
 

DRII

G.O.A.T.
Did you buy a new place, or go through a realtor? Any good realtor should have told you the HOA fees.
Went thru a relator, but they want to get paid just like the seller does.

I knew about the HOA fee, but I should have researched the Assoc further before deciding to go ahead with the purchase.

they made the deal look sweet (less than $200/month for lawn care, cable, internet, phone, and security, plus pool - summer house - multiple parks - etc, plus they said they were planning to build lighted tennis courts at some point) at first and then after 1 yr they increased the price ($300). which is probably still a decent deal, but I have no choice over my cable/internet provider! and they make me get the highest tier plan!

plus we pay more property tax than other city residents even though the community is not gated so everything 'extra' we have is really open to the public (the open areas like the parks and lake)!

its just been very frustrating. we all are trying to get representation. we've held multiple meetings with the home builder/assoc company, but we really haven't gotten anywhere.

if I had known, I probably would not have purchased even though I got a very good deal. brought after the bubble burst, in 2009, for half as much as the house sold for 2 years earlier.
 

T1000

Legend
Subtext is everything: you don't really care when we bought houses, you care whether it's a good idea for YOU. Things to consider:
1) do you expect to stay where you are at least a few years, or will work require you to relocate. Unless the market is extraordinary, it doesn't usually pay to buy unless you'll be there a few years, what with closing costs, potential delays in being able to sell.
2) any relationships with someone who might want to get a place that's both of yours?
3) steady predictable income?
4) opportunity costs -- would your downpayment be better invested somewhere else?
5) upkeep -- last time I looked 200k doesn't buy you a palace in Connecticut. WIll you need to invest alot in the place?
Not really I'm more interested in when people bought their first house since it seems abnormal with my friends or people my age in my area. My two main reasons for choosing buying over rent are (1) lock in a low rate on the mortgage (2) I know I'll be in ct for a long time (at least 10 years). But to answer your questions

1. Yes I expect to be here pretty much forever. Work in IT so can pretty much get a job anywhere
2. Single
3. Yes will always have a job unless I get fired and my fathers business (backup plan) fail at the same time ( I got lucky in this situation)
4. Not really. No debt bought my car in full and don't need a new one. Already have money going to a 401k, a Roth IRA and a brokerage account. Not sure what else i could use ~40k on
5. I don't need a palace I currently live in Fairfield county (which is ridiculously expensive) and I'm looking at the northern part of new haven county. Found some nice options that don't need a lot of work. 200k can get me a decent 3 bedroom 1.5 bath with an ok size yard if I ever have kids (if want 2-4). I know how to do pretty much everything but plumbing and have plenty of connections for contractor work from my fathers business

Fwiw rent for a one bedroom in Fairfield county is 1500-2500 and in the area I'm looking at best deal I could find is 850 (most are still 1000+ and the apartments are nothing special) a mortgage would be around 750 with rate being low for now.

@hollywood9826

I'm not worried about repairs can pretty much figure all of those out on my own and through my fathers business I have connections to get material and parts at contractors pricing. Also probably gonna be stuck here forever so not worried about reselling. If I had to resell I'd be screwed market isn't great where I'm looking.

@Mr.Lob

That sound horrible. Have had plenty of bad roommates in college so going to be living by myself. Much less stressful that way
 

DRII

G.O.A.T.
Not really I'm more interested in when people bought their first house since it seems abnormal with my friends or people my age in my area. My two main reasons for choosing buying over rent are (1) lock in a low rate on the mortgage (2) I know I'll be in ct for a long time (at least 10 years). But to answer your questions

1. Yes I expect to be here pretty much forever. Work in IT so can pretty much get a job anywhere
2. Single
3. Yes will always have a job unless I get fired and my fathers business (backup plan) fail at the same time ( I got lucky in this situation)
4. Not really. No debt bought my car in full and don't need a new one. Already have money going to a 401k, a Roth IRA and a brokerage account. Not sure what else i could use ~40k on
5. I don't need a palace I currently live in Fairfield county (which is ridiculously expensive) and I'm looking at the northern part of new haven county. Found some nice options that don't need a lot of work. 200k can get me a decent 3 bedroom 1.5 bath with an ok size yard if I ever have kids (if want 2-4). I know how to do pretty much everything but plumbing and have plenty of connections for contractor work from my fathers business

Fwiw rent for a one bedroom in Fairfield county is 1500-2500 and in the area I'm looking at best deal I could find is 850 (most are still 1000+ and the apartments are nothing special) a mortgage would be around 750 with rate being low for now.

@hollywood9826

I'm not worried about repairs can pretty much figure all of those out on my own and through my fathers business I have connections to get material and parts at contractors pricing. Also probably gonna be stuck here forever so not worried about reselling. If I had to resell I'd be screwed market isn't great where I'm looking.

@Mr.Lob

That sound horrible. Have had plenty of bad roommates in college so going to be living by myself. Much less stressful that way
OK, just to let you know: you probably shouldn't go out and buy a home in a depressed (or semi depressed) area for what seems like a social experiment.

its great (I guess :rolleyes:) that you're independent at your age (with the caveat that you have your dad to fall back on if something goes wrong - makes it easier to take risks) and do not have any debt (that's very good!).

but IMO, its really not time for you to buy a home, especially since you don't seem to be thinking about it as an investment.

Also, that mortgage price you keep quoting does not include insurance or property taxes; so its certainly going to be higher than that at the end of the day.

if rents are way too high in your area, and you're intent on buying, best bet is to get a smallish, nice condo for yourself with a decent condo association. that way you'll have equity in your property but you won't have to start acting like a middle aged man already (repairs, maintenance, yard work, etc).
 

mmk

Hall of Fame
I bought a townhouse when I was 24, a condo as an investment at 25, and house when I was 27, rented out the townhouse. The industry I was in crashed a few years later, and as a consequence so did the housing market in that area. Sold the house and townhouse for a loss, since I had to move. Was able to wait long enough on the condo to break even. Houses can be an investment, or a financial burden. The good news for the OP is that interest rates aren't double digit like they were for my first four properties.
 

Booger

Hall of Fame
Where are you finding a decent house for 200k anywhere near a major city? It's 3x-4x that in most places.
 

jhick

Hall of Fame
My wife and I bought our first home at age 26 in 2000. It was a new construction home. We paid $190k for about 3,000 sq ft, with a full unfinished basement, a partially unfinished main level (laundry and office), modified 2 story home in an outer suburb of Minneapolis. During the housing boom/crash it skyrocketed and then plummeted. We sold in 2010, for $255k I think, but had finished the main level, done some landscaping work, added trees, added a deck, and a hot tub/gazebo.

Living in the midw3st has its perks. House prices are pretty reasonable.
 

Booger

Hall of Fame
Living in the midw3st has its perks. House prices are pretty reasonable.
Serious question - how hard is it to find tennis players in the *******? I'm so tired of the city in so many ways, but I imagine I'd have to pretty much give up on 5.0+ level tennis if I ever move to Podunkville.
 

jhick

Hall of Fame
Serious question - how hard is it to find tennis players in the *******? I'm so tired of the city in so many ways, but I imagine I'd have to pretty much give up on 5.0+ level tennis if I ever move to Podunkville.
5.0+ is quite active in the Twin Cities area. Here in Rochester there are a number of pros 5.0+ and a few higher level tournaments in the summer, but not enough players for USTA leagues. Some of the very committed 5.0s will travel 1.5 hours to the twin cities to play in leagues. Outside of those two cities, you'll find very few players at that level, maybe some college or higher level HS players.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I'm 24 and looking to get one now since I have enough saved up and mortgages are cheap (also they're tax deductible rent isn't). A mortgage on a 200k home is also a lot cheaper than rent here too. Just wondering how old the rest of you guys were since all of my friends rent or live at home and only one is looking to buy but he also has his girl helping with the purchase.
28 after being married for a year.

Best time to buy a home is when interest rates are sky-high or maybe a year afterwards as there's a lag effect on high interest rates. Rising interest rates mean that sellers have to lower their asking prices so that buyers can afford the PITI payments. Then refinance as rates go down.
 

Midaso240

Hall of Fame
Last year at 29,got it for just under $200k,my deposit was $140k. I know this wouldn't make financial sense for most people but it did for me since I'm in low paid employment and am unable to borrow a large amount
 

SoBad

G.O.A.T.
I'm 24 and looking to get one now since I have enough saved up and mortgages are cheap (also they're tax deductible rent isn't). A mortgage on a 200k home is also a lot cheaper than rent here too. Just wondering how old the rest of you guys were since all of my friends rent or live at home and only one is looking to buy but he also has his girl helping with the purchase.
When I was your age I lived on Chestnut St downtown Philly. I was an intellectual type, weak white boy. But the realtor was a strong man same age. And instead of selling me the house, he did something different.
 

Feña14

Legend
Still can't afford it, and I'm coming up to 28.

Most people I know who have managed it either bought with someone else (sibling, partner, friend) or have had a lot of help from family (parents or inheritance).
 

hollywood9826

Hall of Fame
Where are you finding a decent house for 200k anywhere near a major city? It's 3x-4x that in most places.
20-30 minutes from Baltimore and 45-60 from Philly is my area. I paid 228k in 2009 for my home the seller paid 10 back to cover closing costs and half of the roof replacement. Turn keys single family home run about 250ish on the low end. 600-800 and you are in baller status. Or a ton of land.

This hear is 4 bed 3.5 bath 2 car garage with another 3 car garage around it. and 24 acres. Listed at 695.

 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
20-30 minutes from Baltimore and 45-60 from Philly is my area. I paid 228k in 2009 for my home the seller paid 10 back to cover closing costs and half of the roof replacement. Turn keys single family home run about 250ish on the low end. 600-800 and you are in baller status. Or a ton of land.

This hear is 4 bed 3.5 bath 2 car garage with another 3 car garage around it. and 24 acres. Listed at 695.

$200K in my area gets you a condo in my area. But go west about 20 miles and you can get lots of land and lots of space for not too much. Go out 40 miles and it really gets cheap. There's no major highway going out there though and very little in the way of businesses.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
I don't mind owning a home when I live there so much as trying to sell it to move.

Too many leeches in the real estate industry. Too many expenses and risks in the buying and selling process for me. Folks have different advice on how long one usually needs to live in a house to make it worthwhile. For me, it's a decade or more in most markets. Shorter than that, and it is not likely worth the headache.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I don't mind owning a home when I live there so much as trying to sell it to move.

Too many leeches in the real estate industry. Too many expenses and risks in the buying and selling process for me. Folks have different advice on how long one usually needs to live in a house to make it worthwhile. For me, it's a decade or more in most markets. Shorter than that, and it is not likely worth the headache.
Sometimes you get the three or four times in a lifetime deal - when you're renting and looking for a place to buy in a market trough. I've seen it twice in my lifetime and I expect to see it at least twice more.

Search for Cities With Good Jobs, Affordable Housing Proves Tricky
Challenges arise when housing market takes off and salaries don’t keep pace
Workers searching for a place to live that offers a good combination of career opportunities and affordable housing are finding the best options aren’t always the most obvious.

Over the last six years, cities have boomed with young workers flocking to downtown areas seeking better career and entertainment options.

That has altered some of the traditional relationships between job availability and housing affordability.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/search...s-affordable-housing-proves-tricky-1489669203
 

haqq777

Legend
I was 30 years old and had been married for a year. My first home was a newly built 2 bed 1500 sq condo near a private lake, very serene and peaceful. Bought it for 200k and I paid 20K down to avoid mortgage insurance. Got it for 30 years fixed at 3.75% APR. The one good thing I did was made hefty payments towards the capital every time mortgage payment was due since my wife and I were financially very stable. Paid off the entire house early this year. Now we're looking for a bigger house and looking to move to a house in a nice neighborhood and community since we'll be a family of 4 very soon.

For me right now, the most annoying things is the home owners association fee (which they keep raising every year). Also the fact that with a house you have more control and owning a condo, you are mostly at the mercy of the management company. They have locks on the club house, swimming pool and tennis courts, have designated timings to use them etc. You get notices every now and then asking us to make sure to "do this and do that" etc.

Other than that, the one plus I feel living in a condo is that everything outside my door is taken care of - snow plowing, landscaping, cleaning etc. My property taxes are paid through an escrow account which gets money as part of my mortgage payment and so I don't have to worry about paying taxes myself. They get deducted from that escrow account automatically when it's time.

The one advice I can give you is do not get bogged down with the initial paperwork and costs (closing costs, down payments, inspection costs etc) regardless of if you buy a condo or a house. Once everything settles in and you move in the house, it gets better (well, depending on the condition of the house obviously - things break down, a lot in older homes). I know that buying my first house was a major milestone in my life. To me, the fact that you are thinking about it shows you are on your way to being a responsible person.
 
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DRII

G.O.A.T.
When I was your age I lived on Chestnut St downtown Philly. I was an intellectual type, weak white boy. But the realtor was a strong man same age. And instead of selling me the house, he did something different.
:confused::eek:

I won't even guess of what you're talking about.
 

DRII

G.O.A.T.
Last year at 29,got it for just under $200k,my deposit was $140k. I know this wouldn't make financial sense for most people but it did for me since I'm in low paid employment and am unable to borrow a large amount
so how did you gather up/have a down payment that large?
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
What about this Tiny House movement? Any good?
That goes to the question of why you're buying a house.

The OP is young and getting started. One of the big reasons for buying a home is the quality of the school district and this can sustain property values for a very long time. Other reasons might be access to jobs (as in a company in town or the presence of commuter rail to a city with lots of jobs. I have seen Tiny House implementations where a builder or owner is just trying to squeeze as much house or rent out of people as possible in a tiny space and some where it's in the woods and you have lots of land - so small house but big space.

There's also the mobile home approach for people that like to travel. We had one person at work that traveled around the South during the winter and worked remotely from campsites. So there are lots of possibilities out there. But you have to define your needs and projected needs.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
If you have a stable job/career that will not have you move around, like the city you live in, and a lifestyle that is compatible with the tons of maintenance work that home ownership will incur, then home ownership is not a bad option.
 

Crocodile

Legend
I bought my first property in Sydney Australia when I was 24, when interest rates here were 17 percent. What I did was stay at home with my parents for a few years and rented it out. The rent plus negative gearing paid it off and allowed me to sell it and buy a better house.
The key is to get into the market, by in cities with good economic drivers and population growth and pick a suburb where incomes are rising and the suburb us undergoing gentrification.
 

chikoo

Hall of Fame
Unless the property prices are expected to rise, it is just as good as buying gold. Maybe even worse for all the reasons listed above.

If the property prices stay steady for the next 10'years, all you have done is pay rent to live in your own house via mortgage interest and property taxes. Work thoses numbers. Find you break even point when it is good to buy or rent.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Unless the property prices are expected to rise, it is just as good as buying gold. Maybe even worse for all the reasons listed above.

If the property prices stay steady for the next 10'years, all you have done is pay rent to live in your own house via mortgage interest and property taxes. Work thoses numbers. Find you break even point when it is good to buy or rent.
How would you know that property prices are expected to rise?

And gold is usually in a portfolio as insurance in case really bad stuff happens. If the bad stuff doesn't happen, then it goes to hour heirs. Gold was a great buy in 2000. So was silver. Many of the precious metal miners went up 1,000%, and, of course, came back down again.

The difference between owning and renting is that you are less at the mercy of having to make the decision to negotiate, leave or stay when the landlord raises the rent every year. At least you theoretically have some say over property taxes. I own a couple of REITs and at least one BDC that owns a lot of apartment buildings and the returns on those things has been great. I think that rents have peaked at the high end but that they are still rising at the low-end and the middle. You can see this by looking at a chart of Equity Residential (EQR). They usually do high-end apartment buildings in big cities. They have a broad topping pattern on the two-year chart.
 

onehandbh

Legend
IMO, location is usually the most important item on the list of considerations.

Years ago in california, a lot of people were buying second and third homes like speculative stocks because the market was going up, interest rates were low, and banks were giving out loans left and right. People started blindly buying "investment" properties in areas like Riverside because it was in an area they could afford.

A doghouse by the beach might be a better investment than a mansion in the desert.
 

chikoo

Hall of Fame
The difference between owning and renting is that you are less at the mercy of having to make the decision to negotiate, leave or stay when the landlord raises the rent every year. At least you theoretically have some say over property taxes. I own a couple of REITs and at least one BDC that owns a lot of apartment buildings and the returns on those things has been great. I think that rents have peaked at the high end but that they are still rising at the low-end and the middle. You can see this by looking at a chart of Equity Residential (EQR). They usually do high-end apartment buildings in big cities. They have a broad topping pattern on the two-year chart.
and when you lose your job, or want to move within 5 years, as a homeowner you will take a good hit.
 

onehandbh

Legend
and when you lose your job, or want to move within 5 years, as a homeowner you will take a good hit.
Not necessarily true. Depends on a lot of factors like:

- amount of down payment you put down
- current interest rates
- rental market of your area vs your mortgage+property tax+(HOA if any)

It is difficult for a prospective single home owner to find a place with positive income flow as the market usually balances things out in terms of price.

If you are on a budget, you could try and take over a vacant property via adverse possession or buy a tiny property next to large, vacant property and "take over" his yard/land by moving your fence to include his land. I don't recommend either of these methods as it takes years to establish and you also have to look into the specific laws in each state.
 

chikoo

Hall of Fame
If one has more than 20% money, should one put more down or invest in a better stock portfolio?

Too many factors. Depends on ones one risk profile.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Million dollar question. If i knew how, when & where, I'd be chatting @ the billionaires of the world chatroom - by invitation only
There's a place called The Housing Bubble Blog. It was started around 2002 as people noticed that prices were getting frothy, even back then. More and more people joined on and the excesses of the real estate market were shared there. People started selling their homes around 2005 to rent for a while - quite early. People shorted homebuilders too early. The bubble went further and longer than we expected. But we all expected it. Some of us have been through them before so we know what they look like. And they present the biggest in opportunities to get a house at a great price or buy a bunch of rentals for income purposes.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
and when you lose your job, or want to move within 5 years, as a homeowner you will take a good hit.
There's an old financial mantra that says that you should have six-months of living expenses saved up as losing your job, whether you rent or own, puts a lot of financial stress on you. I know many people that lost their jobs or where their spouses lost their jobs and it's often a rough time if you run your numbers to the max. In some cases, you take in renters (or BnBers today) or you move to smaller digs and rent your house out. If you have to move, you might leave one spouse to sell the home while you start work in the new city and travel back and forth on the weekends. There was a huge amount of this stuff going on after the crash and there were lots of tragic stories out there. How'd you like to tell your child in college that you lost your job and that they won't be returning next semester?
 
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