Author Topic: Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Decision to keep FIRE on track.  (Read 1715 times)

Late_Bloomer

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I debated with myself about posting regarding a huge decision I have to make by February, but for what it's worth, someones opinion might shine light in a window of opportunity. I'll keep the rant down to a minimum.

My FIRE plan requires a paid off mortgage, which is going to be acquired by either buying a home now and having it paid off by the FIRE date, or, rent and save the surplus for purchasing a home in cash at time of FIRE. I'm in a rental that I have to move out of by the lease end in February, or soon thereafter once it rolls into a month to month. Before I get into the long version, I'll just ask here...What savings vehicle do you suggest I put my money in for a cash buy option at time of FIRE? If I go this route, I'll be saving 400/mo for the next 15 years. I don't want to throw it in something where I won't have access to it for X amount of years. It would be combined in with my emergency fund, which at the moment, is just sitting in the credit union collecting dust (35k).

...I had been on track with the mortgage now option. I had a house for the past two years, but recently sold it due to structural issues costing upwards of 60k. I didn't think issues of that nature were worth the cash drain. I did, however, make about 15k on the sale, so at least it wasn't a loss. Ok, so just buy another one, right? Well, I'm in Central Texas and the soil here is about as shit as any you can imagine concerning shifting foundations and all the problems associated with them.  I didn't fully understand that when I bought the first house because I had just moved here from out of state and didn't do my research.

To some extent, I'm just bummed out because if I had a choice, I'd prefer the buy now option. However, the homes I've been looking at for the past couple months all have either fucked up foundations needing costly repair, or have already been repaired, in which they turn into a costly maintenance hole. As an example, the home I bought had 14 piers put in in 2012 with a lifetime transferable warranty. That warranty is what settled me on taking a chance. Well, ended up being about a year into it and the house needed the piers already in place adjusted (covered by warranty) but additional piers costing 5,300.00. The 60k I mentioned earlier included this, but also a slew of other defects caused by the first re leveling, namely a 25k minimum complete  house plumb due to broken/fractured pipes from the foundation shifting so much. Personally, I don't want to get put in that situation again. And the homes I've been looking at recently aren't old homes from the 50's and 60's, I'm looking at homes from the 80's up to 2000 thus far, and all of them have serious foundation issues.

Regarding the rent and buy later option, I apologize if this is where I sound complainypants, but I'm not all that thrilled to think about what I have to downsize to. My current rental is comfortable, but at 1,200.00 mo, it doesn't allow for the increased savings I would need for buying later. I have to stay in the 600-700 mo range, and in the area of DFW where I work, these can be downright shady places. I could pay similar elsewhere, but I'm not going to put myself in a 45 minute commute camp. I can rent close enough to bike to the train station at that price, but as I mentioned, these are shitty 585-650 sq. ft. hovels in the not so good complexes. Not shoot 'em up ghetto's, but filthy, noisy places. And to think it would be for 15 years is saddening.

So what do you all think?
Stay where I'm at, while not being able to save that extra cash?
Suck it up and take the rental knowing it most likely will be a crap shoot with neighbors and the shenanigans that come with the territory?
Keep looking for a house and the possibility of taking my chances with a foundation money pit?

And if I do rent and save up to buy at FIRE, it won't be in Texas. Anyway, thanks for listening.

 


ender

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Uh, what I would do is keep maxing out retirement accounts for the next 15 years and reevaluate when you are closer to actually buying a house?

You can't be serious that you are 100.000% going to do this when you are 15 years older... are you? Your life is so planned out you know exactly what your future plans are that far out?

Anyways, you sound like the type of person who wants to be a renter for life. This isn't necessarily bad. You don't lose your man card or status symbol card or whatever else makes you think you absolutely HAVE to buy a house again.

But seriously? Your attitude about this is poor. I've rented for most of my life and had... approximately zero issues with neighbors.

Bicycle_B

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Longtime Texas resident, homeowner 20+ years, sound foundation.  Home built in 1960s.

Friend in Plano owns 2 single family homes, no foundation issues.  One is near DART.

Keep looking!  And good luck.

PS.  Cost wise, is duplex a good solution?  Others have found duplexes profitable.


Late_Bloomer

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You can't be serious that you are 100.000% going to do this when you are 15 years older... are you? Your life is so planned out you know exactly what your future plans are that far out?

You sound facetious here. I have a well defined road map, and yes it's clearly laid out. Guess I don't understand why you think 15 years is so far out in time that planning for the future becomes arbitrary.

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Anyways, you sound like the type of person who wants to be a renter for life. This isn't necessarily bad. You don't lose your man card or status symbol card or whatever else makes you think you absolutely HAVE to buy a house again.

Again, hard to interpret you here, but my plan, based on my individual circumstances, leads me toward owning over renting. Certainly no man cards need to be pulled for this discussion. I've dissected the various buying vs. renting arguments and concluded owning is more favorable to my economic and emotional goals.

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But seriously? Your attitude about this is poor. I've rented for most of my life and had... approximately zero issues with neighbors.

SMH. I don't even know how to respond to this one friend. I've rented the whole gambit from areas where I've almost gotten mugged on the street outside my apartment, to gated communities with zero issues with neighbors, and I know what I'm talking about. Yes, my attitude is poor when I look toward the rental path that would make the most positive impact on my goal. Lets not forget, I mentioned I am not apposed to staying in my nice neighborhood friendly community, just that I couldn't save the extra funds. And that's the overarching theme here, Not that it is "strictly" for a house.


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Longtime Texas resident, homeowner 20+ years, sound foundation.  Home built in 1960s.

Friend in Plano owns 2 single family homes, no foundation issues.  One is near DART.

Keep looking!  And good luck.

PS.  Cost wise, is duplex a good solution?  Others have found duplexes profitable.

Yea, I'm planning on continuing the search. I ultimately have all the time I want to buy, I just rather get it done by February if possible. Plano is nice, I know. Sadly, The homes in that area are outside of my price range. My real estate agent has that area on search. I'm sure you already know, the whole sector from north DFW down to highway 20 has a bad history of foundations shifting. In that regard, I'm sort of stuck by the geography because I know certain areas are less prone to soil shifting. Unfortunately, they are 45+ min commutes from work. I used to do similar in eastern NJ and never again.








Choices

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It sounds like you'll have a reason why every suggestion won't work, but for anyone else who might be following with a similar situation, don't give up finding a good rental. There might be a mother-in-law cottage or housesitting opportunity that will fall into your lap if you keep your eyes and ears open and let your friends know so they can send you any good leads.