Author Topic: Continue to rent or Buy a house to avoid 7th move  (Read 2128 times)

MMMintraining

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Continue to rent or Buy a house to avoid 7th move
« on: May 16, 2013, 04:47:23 PM »
Hi Fellow Mustachians,

My husband and I have followed this blog for a few months now and have learned a ton. We didn't start out in the Mustachian ways but we are trying to get there now....early retirement and debt free? YES PLEASE! We have been married four years and have two kids ages 2 and 3 with plans to expand our family soon.

My hubby is 26 and unfortunately ended up with three degrees before figuring out that he is indeed a computer science lover. He is finally graduating in December with a Masters in Computer Science and his work recently converted him to full time status. The first two years of our marriage I worked and he stayed at home with our son and finished his second Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering. When he finished he was not able to find a job with just a Bachelors degree but was able to find a job as a graduate intern doing computer programming. We decided this was always his first love so he should go to grad school and take the job. This job would mean a HUGE pay cut from my job BUT it let me stay at home with our children which is what we both wanted since we first were married. It would also mean that his hours were capped at 30 per week (though we quickly learned he would only be able to work 25 to maintain the 3.5 GPA required to be employed at his job). After he graduated, the plan was for him to convert to full time status and get about $80k-which he did.
 During this time, we accumulated $60k in student loans and moved 5 times around town. We lived in a small 650 sq ft place down town but then I became pregnant and we realized the area was less than safe. Then we moved 25 miles from where I worked because we had grandparents helping with caring for our child. Two years later my hubby finished the degree and got the intern job which was even further than our house. At the same time our second child was born and then became very ill in the NICU for 10 days-we asked our Landlord for an extra month to have time to find a house on the East side of town (a long-term rental) but he declined so we kind of rushed into a nice house that was too much. It also turns out that the owner wanted to sell it and we knew we didn't qualify nor want a mortgage at this time. So after this way too expensive home we looked for something in our budget (with a part time income only) and moved to a small 1450 sq ft 3 bedroom in a not-so-great area. We had planned to stay but after a year of many problems and no backyard and massive amounts of black widows with two small kids-we decided to move again.
At this point, we figured that we would find a long term rental planning to stay at least three years-when my hubby's  contract is up. We are spending quite a bit more than our previous home but still within the low end of housing (23% of monthly income) and LOVE the neighborhood, house, etc. We have not even lived in it yet (still moving, painting, etc) and the owner forgot to mention that they might sell it someday. He says as of now, he is fine renting it to us but he would love it if we bought it. Great. We can hope he likes us and keeps us but we just don't know for certain past our year contract.
Sorry for the extensive background but I wanted to paint a picture of why I feel the way I do-I think we should be prepared to BUY the house if the owner sells it. Yes, this means delaying debt payoff in order to pay for a down payment and yes we would be further tied to this city BUT it is likely my husband can get a job here at his same work as Staff or another place in town. If we stayed, this is THE house for us and we looked at mortgage estimates and it is likely to be lower than our rent payment as the owner bought at the top of the bubble. I don't want to move a 7th time! I think the kids are of the age where moving so often is bad for them. The hubby does not want to buy because it delays debt payment and he is not sure where/what he wants to work in/at specifically. While this is true and the reason we planned on renting for the three years, I think it is absurd to keep moving because we are not sure of everything. At what point will we find a job/city/home that is a FOREVER place? Shall we keep moving every year or other year because we don't know. The cost of living in our city is low and yet great housing can be found (it was even recommended my MMM).
What is the best financial decision here? Am I just being emotional about this? Should we just suck it up and keep moving? Obviously, this whole question is hypothetical because we could luck out and rent for three years BUT we need to make the decision of should we be prepared to BUY this house if the owner says he is going to sell so we can save for the down now.

Thanks for your input and help!

 

CrochetStache

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Re: Continue to rent or Buy a house to avoid 7th move
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2013, 05:33:26 PM »
Hi MMMinTraining!

I do understand your concerns, stress and exhaustion regarding moving as much as you have. One thing that may allay your concerns is that your current home may be simply sold to another landlord looking for an investment. Placing yourselves as excellent tenants may be your best option at this point.

Job prospects are much greater if your husband & the family are flexible. Very flexible. Being tied down to a home/mortgage can make that much more difficult. While owning a home was conventionally the smart option in the long run financially, it may no longer be the best idea. Especially if quick debt payoff is your plan towards MMM lifestyle.

We have done very well(knock on wood) by renting reasonable places and this flexibility is allowing for my husband to have good steady employment within the industry he prefers. We just received word that we will be again moving in about 10 days...this will be move #27 in my lifetime.

Christiana

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Re: Continue to rent or Buy a house to avoid 7th move
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2013, 06:02:03 AM »
I'd finish up this move and live in the house for a while before deciding (no place is 100% perfect), and in the meantime pay down debt aggressively.

We're in our mid-to-late-thirties and still haven't found our "forever" career/home niches.  It does feel wrong to still be so unsettled with a family, but we need the flexibility as our family is still growing and we're changing jobs every few years.  The thirty-year mortgage went well with the thirty-year job, but times have changed.

Christiana

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Re: Continue to rent or Buy a house to avoid 7th move
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2013, 06:39:27 AM »
Also, my immigrant great-grandparents didn't buy their land and build their forever home until they were in their forties.  I think they both lived at least into their seventies, so they had a good thirty settled years there, and they certainly accomplished a great deal with their homestead.