Buying a house ? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 05-02-2007, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Has anyone bought a house before/after a divorce? I am paying 600.00 a month in rent and i was just wondering if it would be better for me to buy a house myself? What are you thoughts? Thanks
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#2 of 13 Old 05-02-2007, 03:26 PM
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I separated from stbx in September, and bought a house in November.

I have spoken about this at length with my financial planner (he started helping me AFTER I bought the house). He feels that buying a house is not generally going to save people much money. It might be a good decision if someone does it for other reasons (wanting to be able to do what you want, etc.) but just for financial reasons it doesn't usually save much.

I would be paying $800 in rent for the house I bought, and my house payment is only $637 including taxes/insurance. that seems like a really great deal. But, my house needs all of these freaking endless repairs! I have spent a fair amount doing stuff that needs to be done since I moved in, and there is a lot more to do. Then there's the improvements I would LIKE to make. And lawn care and all of that.

Don't get me wrong - I love my little house! I love it. But I can definitely see his point about houses being money pits!

When I move in a few years, I'll be getting a new or almost new house, so I won't have as many maintenance issues, BUT I will also be paying a lot more.

Buying a house was, for me, a VERY liberating experience and i'm glad I did it - it was definitely outside of my comfort zone but it was so wonderful to know that I made the decision myself and I'm all grown up now and independent.

So, what I'm saying is I think there are various emotional and lifestyle reasons you might want to own a home, that you will want to think about. And, home prices in your area is a factor as well.

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#3 of 13 Old 05-02-2007, 03:35 PM
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I moved to a cheaper area, and I was fortunate that XH gave me the profits from the house we sold, and a generous friend of a friend gave me his "friend price" on the rental he was selling, so I was able to put down a hefty down payment for my little house. My house payment is only $250 a month, and beats any rental I could ever get.
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#4 of 13 Old 05-02-2007, 05:30 PM
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I bought a mobile home when I moved out of my ex's. I still have to pay lot fees every month, but it is MUCH lower than rent in my area, and I honestly don't think I could have afforded to live in this area otherwise.
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#5 of 13 Old 05-02-2007, 06:21 PM
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I've thought about buying a condo I could get a small shoebox 2 bedroom for what I am paying for a four bedroom house... Emmotionally I like the thought of buying my own little place that no one can make me move out of..but I'd need stbxh help on that one, he'll probably end up owing me enough for downpayment, taxes, lawyer stuff to buy one... but I am not sure if he'll really see the value in it. I think atleast my spousal wouldn't be going down the tubes in rent and if I meet mister wonderful in a few years I could sell the condo to stbxh for a good deal ..... sigh.....

8 might be enough?
Or maybe 9 will be?
EDD September 18, 2015
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#6 of 13 Old 05-02-2007, 06:41 PM
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well, your money will go down the tubes in bank interest instead, unless you're either going to hold the house for a long time (and the property appreciates considerably) or buying it outright. I love owning, but it's definitely not cheap, and I'm working enough to support it that I'm hiding from my inbox right now.
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#7 of 13 Old 05-02-2007, 10:08 PM
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I bought a house a little over a year after seperating from ex. It was a good investment in my case because owning was the same price as renting, but as a homeowner I was entitled to some tax deductions. Just keep in mind that if you own a home you need to have some savings put away in case something breaks. Home ownership can get expensive quick and it's also a lot of maintenance.

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#8 of 13 Old 05-03-2007, 12:09 AM
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I have been a single mom for 20 years. Never married, so no divorce settlements of any kind. A total of $100 in child support in 20 yrs for my son.

18 yrs ago when I could somewhat afford a house in my area,
I didn't have a down payment so couldn't get in.
My rent was $625 a month and child care was $260 a month.
Money was real tight back then. I only brought home $1000 a month.

Fast forward to today... I still work for the same company.
My salary is over double what it was then. I *had* a
down payment saved but housing prices are so far out of reach, I could NEVER afford to own here now.
My Rent is now $1625 a month for a 2 bedroom duplex(with a nice yard/no garage)
So all those raises really only covered cost of living for the area I live in.
(luckily I have no day care expense now, cause I would be in BIG trouble
@ the going rate of $1200 a month in this area)

I spent the down payment I had saved by taking a 13 1/2 month unpaid maternity leave with dd who is now 2yrs old.

It was one of THE BEST YEARs OF MY LIFE!

I dream of owning a home someday.. at times I get depressed about it,
but try to not dwell on it too much. Instead I started saving for another
year off with my 3rd child as a single mom! *wink*

~Single Working Mama of two
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#9 of 13 Old 05-03-2007, 12:12 AM
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Just a sample of the expenses for this new house (less than 10 years old) in the last couple of months:

Central air conditioner checkup: not sure yet, will get the bill tomorrow
Handyman (fixing roof trim that blew off in a storm, cleaning gutters, fixing a noisy bathroom fan, fixing closet door, cleaning lint out of dryer vent, sundry other repairs I don't have time or tools for): $212
Lawnmower: $170
Annuals: $15
(am still using other gardening supplies in garage, but they all got bought at some point, as did the composter in the backyard)
Need carpet cleaning, which will run about $200
Minimal lawn care (weed suppressor, fertilizer, aerating): $146 for the spring/summer

Oh, and the new assessment's come; the property taxes are going up pretty substantially. And the drain lever's not working right in the tub, will have to get that fixed. The shrubbery around the sides of the house went to hell in the last two years and I've pulled it out; will have to put something else in there, now, and I expect to spend around $150 on that.

The carpeting is now 9 years old and will need replacing someday; when it does I'd like to put in a wood floor instead. Last I checked that runs around $7-10K just for one floor of the house. I'm passing on getting the deck stained this summer, even though it really needs it; it'd run about $750. I paid $500 to get the front stairs stained last year.

This house works pretty well, on the whole. Have had no major problems. Did replace the front door. Even so, no, it's not like you write the mortgage check and forget it. Oh yeah, and umbrella insurance, in case someone has an accident while in your house and sues you.
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#10 of 13 Old 05-03-2007, 11:17 AM
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I think owning a house is more expensive in the short term, but you can get creative about the expenses. I moved into a place that has a second suite I rent out. I plan to xeriscape the yard so I don't have to get a lawnmower (in the meantime, I borrow the neighbours). I also moved into a slightly stetchy neighbourhood (but do have great neighbours).

Unless you buy in a total boom market that is going to crash, the property value will always increase. Even if I was forced to move out right now, I would still have a couple 1000 in "savings".

And most importantly - thinking long term - when I retire (from what, I don't know!) I will have a house I own and my monthly living expenses will be much lower than if I had rented all my life and still needed to rent later.

Rent just goes straight down the drain.

I wish I would have known all this back when I could have got a mortgage for $600/month.
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#11 of 13 Old 05-03-2007, 12:12 PM
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I own my home.

Yes, there can be other expenses and those MUST be taken into consideration when buying, but there are also many benefit to owning vs. renting.

I have been very fortunate because I bought when the market was low and my house has actually doubled in price since I bought it. My mortgage is actually about $800 less than rent (we're in an insane housing market and there is virtually nothing to rent), so it's been a bonus for me.

Things do happen. I've had to repair a furnace in the middle of -20 degrees and had to pay a hefty price. So things like that do crop up...but overall, I think in the long term, most people come out ahead.
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#12 of 13 Old 05-03-2007, 01:10 PM
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I am in the process of buying a house. It's fairly important to me, but the main reason is because it's very important to my children (boys, ages 9 and 11 and they need a yard!). It's a good investment for college or retirement. You can deduct the mortgage interest. You don't have to worry about being evicted. Areas with fewer rentals tend to have better neighborhoods.

But you do have to make that payment, including property taxes, which increase all the time. Repairs can be expensive (although with the right friends, family members and community classes, you may be able to learn how to do some yourself). You will have to have money saved/set aside for those things that come up.

It can't hurt to just talk to a mortgage broker and have her/him run the numbers to see if it makes sense for you financially. Good luck with your decision!
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#13 of 13 Old 05-03-2007, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your advice.
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