Wednesday, August 18, 2010

BUY OR RENT?

So as I begin preparing to move on from my cushy home in undergrad to my uncharted graduate studies program. I decided to put on my big girl thinking cap and start fashioning a way to build myself a life. I thought of investments, credit, and time. So I thought versus pouring my money into a rental for two years, why don’t I just buy a foreclosure? Ehh… maybe not. After searching the internet, talking to a realtor and checking my credit score (Surprisingly good, even though I don’t have much credit history, I’m not starting off bad.) I’m still unsure. I was in a dorm for all four years of undergrad which means I never bought any furnishings. I also need a car. L So that means I would have to pay for:
·          my mortgage
·          a car note
·         house/car/health insurance
·         for all my furnishings (even though I could spread this out)
·         regular bills (gas, water, electric)
·         whatever needs done to the house plus regular maintenance (like cutting the grass)
·         life (food, clothes, etc)
·         property taxes L
·         etc…
Granted, I have an assistantship.  I don’t have to pay tuition, but I don’t want to have to take out an abundance of loans, and it would take me back to ONE if something seriously happened.
So here’s my advice, even as I’m deciding. Seriously contemplate all the options. Yes, it would help to establish financial security and it would be a great investment property later, but can I really afford to fix the house if it has major problems? Do I have time to own a home? All the responsibility for upkeep would be on my shoulders, and I hate cutting the grass. Do I have time? The process of applying for a loan and closing on a house takes time, do I have it? You may also want to check your credit and talk to a loan officer to determine the amount of interest you will be charged. This can greatly affect the cost of the house.  Also, I think the realtor gave me the greatest advice when buying a foreclosure: GET IT INSPECTED. I can’t say it enough; know what you’re getting into. You may find yourself in a money sinkhole, and that’s not a good idea for a graduate student. The cost upfront may not be worth the pay off later.

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