The Money Mustache Community

Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: jamesbond007 on April 12, 2019, 01:00:15 PM

Title: Hold on to cash in investments or buy a house
Post by: jamesbond007 on April 12, 2019, 01:00:15 PM

Background: I already live in a townhome. 2 bed 1 bath. It is enough for 3 of us. But DW would like another bath for when DD grows up. Makes sense. I went full mustachian 4 years ago and bought this townhome. So far so good. Our HOA is good and no concerns whatsoever.

Present: Invested 100% in VTSAX (except retirement accounts) and have about 300K in vanguard. Planning to buy a Single Family Home. I posted about this last week and got some good feedback. My main motivation is good schools for the DD. Either buy one near good schools and be done with it. Or live in my current house until she finishes elementary and then rent near good schools for about 6 years and ten come back here and be done with it. Keep the cash. I am on track to FI by 2025. Purchasing a house would definitely set this back unless. How much depends on whether I sell my current or keep it. I decided to sell as I don't want a landlord overhead.

Now the question is whether to buy an SFH built in 1954 or a brand new townhome style condo. SFH is nice but less storage and closet space (built in 1954). 3 bed 2 bath, has solar paid for. Huge backyard. Probably has a $75-$100/month landscape maintenance for upkeep. I am not a person who would like to spend maintaining landscape but I enjoy a big yard. Asking price $890K may end up selling at $930K

New condo 2ned 2.5 bath spacious open. Built in 2019. No yard obviously. lots of storage. $300 HOA. New builder. Upside is I don't have to worry about any maintenance whatsoever. Downside is would have 2 neighbors which doesn't really bother us. Everything is brand new, energy efficient etc. Askig price is $840K may get it down to $830K OR get some good upgrades or have them cover closing costs. Let's say $840K.

Both have great schools. Emotional factor: Never lived in a new house my entire life. Never lived in a own house to begin with. My current is my first. So going for a brand new is tempting.

Downside: HOA. I got lucked out by having our current HOA which operates very well. But no guarantee on the new one. I could be part of the board to make sure but really depends on the community. The good thing is most people buying would be our age group (mid-30s) but it may not mean anything.

location: The new condo is close to commute, schools, hospitals, groceries etc. The SFH, no so much and the location seems a tad bit run down due to old homes.

 argument for the condo: Brand new, DD gets to be in great schools.
 argument for the SFH: No HOA, you own the land

I don't know how to value emotions.
Title: Re: Hold on to cash in investments or buy a house
Post by: chasesfish on April 13, 2019, 12:18:30 PM
The 1954 house with a big yard will be worth more in the long-run.

I live in a 1955 3/3 that had a nice renovation done.  Get a Honda push-behind lawnmower and some lower maintenance landscaping then that'll remove the cost.
Title: Re: Hold on to cash in investments or buy a house
Post by: Fuzz on April 14, 2019, 02:31:57 PM
No idea what you should do.

But on the narrow question of dealing with 100/month worth of landscaping or dealing with an HOA. I'd pick the landscaping. Worst case, an HOA can be a nightmare and will almost certainly cost more than 100/month. Worst case with landscaping, your grass looks bad.

I get the appeal of a new home though, especially if you're the kind of person that would rather mow a yard.

I'd also think about resale of a townhome vs SFR. My sense is that a SFR generally appreciates more and holds its value better in a downturn. But I have no basis for that opinion.
Title: Re: Hold on to cash in investments or buy a house
Post by: jamesbond007 on April 15, 2019, 08:33:12 PM
I agree. I have held off on purchasing the new condo. Started saving more aggressively towards a down payment for a SFR. DW was not very happy but she got carried away by the looks of the new home. She is back to reality now. Promised some minor renovations to her on our current home like getting recessed lighting and new paint.