Author Topic: Move and Buy Now or Stay and Rent?  (Read 1502 times)

Bracken_Joy

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Move and Buy Now or Stay and Rent?
« on: June 09, 2016, 02:26:57 PM »
My husband and I currently live in the "big city" for schooling, but plan on moving back to our HomeTown after his masters (well, his Hometown- the larger town near my tiny Hometown... but I digress). We will both stay at our current jobs, as we both range all over the state for work sometimes.

Current plan has been that we weren't going to move back until next year, when DH finishes his Masters next June. BUT, variables have changed. It turns out, DH is able to get credit for working over the summer, a whole term's worth. So he will be done March 2017 instead. Husband's work is all over the place- some an hour of where we are, 3 hrs from Hometown (most of what he's doing now through August, but probably will change after that- although not guaranteed, and no way to know). He usually goes up once or twice per week. Other main worksite is essentially in Hometown. He works from home all days except 1-2 days per week currently. His work is technically headquartered in Hometown.

Gas costs for both DH and I are payed by work. We both work for contractor type companies. (Me nursing, him engineering, FWIW).

Help me figure out if it makes more sense to move *now* rather than waiting.

Relevant stats:
DH's current drive to school: 20min
Drive between hometown and DH's school: ~2hrs
Days per week DH has classes: 2, in the evening, ending fairly late (~8:30pm)
Rent if we renew: $1595  and new lease would end at the end of July 2017
My current drive to work (2 days per week): 1hr 20min
My drive if we move (2 days per week): 30-45min (depends on area we move to in Hometown)
Note: not sure how long I will stay at my job, because First Baby is planned for spring 2017
House prices in hometown: $200-300k
COL in hometown is 16% lower than Big City according to "Best Places"
Currently saved downpayment: $26k 
Downpayment next year if we wait: hoping to hit $60k
Probably could be matched by parents on an interest-free basis for the downpayment
Excellent credit for both of us

Estimated monthly payments:
200k with $25k down (12.5% down) assuming a 4% 30-year with PMI: $1,043/month
300k with $25k down (8.3% down) assuming a 4% 30-year with PMI: $1,625
Parental assist:
200k with $40k down (20% down) assuming a 4% 30-year NO PMI: $972
300k with $60k down (20% down) assuming a 4% 30-year NO PMI: $1,458

Questions:
1. This all just seems like a massive and overwhelming thing with too many moving parts. Help me ask the correct questions and find out the best course of action!
2. How do I find out the % property tax for a town? I see last year's tax listed on a lot of listings, but can't figure out actual base %
3. I have no idea what the real estate market is likely to do between now and then in Hometown. It seems like it's been a seller's market lately, and really high turn over. Are we crazy to wait? How to get an idea of "when" is the right time to move?
4. Do we move down and rent instead and keep saving up for the downpayment? SFH rentals are few and far between down there though, it's all apartments, and we're pretty done with apartments... especially with Baby plans!
« Last Edit: June 09, 2016, 02:50:41 PM by Bracken_Joy »

Choices

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Re: Move and Buy Now or Stay and Rent?
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2016, 05:06:54 PM »
Where would you rather be living? Would you like to be living in your hometown sooner or do you want to enjoy one more year in the Big City?

It sounds like you have a lot of variables w/ baby, graduation, etc. and sometimes moving brings about new job opportunities.

How long has it been since you've lived in Hometown? Is there any chance you'll hate it and want to move back to Big City?

Renting a small place during times of big changes can give you time to figure out what you really want in terms of city, neighborhood, house size, how close (or far) to live from in-laws, etc.

pbkmaine

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Re: Move and Buy Now or Stay and Rent?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2016, 05:17:41 PM »
Rent until things are more settled AND until you find a place you plan to be in for at least 10 years.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Move and Buy Now or Stay and Rent?
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2016, 05:31:38 PM »
Thanks for the questions! It's getting my gears turning for sure.

Where would you rather be living? Would you like to be living in your hometown sooner or do you want to enjoy one more year in the Big City?

That's a tough one. We enjoy where we are, and I would hate moving part way through growing season (loving our garden this year) so I would actually possibly want to go month to month for an extra 1-2 months for that. We don't enjoy a lot of the resources of Big City anymore- we moved to an "underserved" area (aka kinda the ghetto) because rents are climbing so friggin fast here.

It sounds like you have a lot of variables w/ baby, graduation, etc. and sometimes moving brings about new job opportunities.

How long has it been since you've lived in Hometown? Is there any chance you'll hate it and want to move back to Big City?
It's been about 2.5 years now since living in Hometown, although we were only there 1.5 yrs- before that, we had both lived elsewhere the previous 4 years. There is a chance we will hate it and want to move, but I doubt it. We're home bodies, and as long as we have good food (which for us, means access to local meat producers and good produce in grocery stores) and garden space, we're pretty happy. We're very much "bloom where you're planted" people, and we've already had most of our close friends move from the city. It's really, truly becoming unaffordable and everyone our age seems to be leaving =\
So I wouldn't rule out the possibility, but if we wanted to come back, DH would have to get a new job here in Big City- work wants him back there, and has just been "letting" him be up here for schooling. The future of the company depends on him getting the degree and associated license, so he would be screwing over the rest of the company pretty hard. Also they're paying for the degree, so that would feel pretty awful IMO. Added bonus is everyone working under his license will be big money, although that's a possibility for here as well I suppose.

Renting a small place during times of big changes can give you time to figure out what you really want in terms of city, neighborhood, house size, how close (or far) to live from in-laws, etc.
That's a good point, and one we're definitely considering. I have very little idea what area of town we'll want to be in. It's amazing how varied neighborhoods can be, even in a medium-sized town/small city.

MoonShadow

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Re: Move and Buy Now or Stay and Rent?
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2016, 05:38:37 PM »
I don't have answers to your questions.  I just want to remind you that your home is not an asset, it's just a place to live.  If you are happy where you live now, you are probably best staying put.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Move and Buy Now or Stay and Rent?
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2016, 05:42:18 PM »
I will admit, a big part of the appeal is the idea of moving and being settled somewhere PRIOR to baby arriving on the scene. Pregnant move into rental, infant move to new home, sounds reeeeaaally awful.

I don't have answers to your questions.  I just want to remind you that your home is not an asset, it's just a place to live.  If you are happy where you live now, you are probably best staying put.

Well, there is no "stay put". It's either now, or one year from now. But yes, it does bear reminding. I don't think of renting as "throwing away money", certainly. There just is a staggering COL difference between the areas- City's average housing cost is 26% higher than Hometown's.

dess1313

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Re: Move and Buy Now or Stay and Rent?
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2016, 06:17:16 PM »
as much as the rent may be higher, if you stay right now, you do not have the cost to move.  do you plan on staying with the same job after your mat leave?  then yes it makes sense to move closer for both of you in the long run

As much as the drive now sucks for you, and him at times, until you know your job post baby, and he is settled into his job, are you for sure going to be at "home town"?  What happens if you find a good job in a slightly different area?  can he be transferred to a different office?  or have his routes change or anything?  Is there a different department he could try to get into that would reduce his long travels?  would it be worth it for both of you?

As much as it would suck to move while pregnant, could you ask and see if the owners would do a 6mth rental contract?  I'm not sure how long until you may have your child, but this would shorten up your required staying time, save you a move, and give you both time to get organized and plan on what to do next instead of feeling rushed


Bracken_Joy

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Re: Move and Buy Now or Stay and Rent?
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2016, 06:25:31 PM »
as much as the rent may be higher, if you stay right now, you do not have the cost to move.  do you plan on staying with the same job after your mat leave?  then yes it makes sense to move closer for both of you in the long run

As much as the drive now sucks for you, and him at times, until you know your job post baby, and he is settled into his job, are you for sure going to be at "home town"?  What happens if you find a good job in a slightly different area?  can he be transferred to a different office?  or have his routes change or anything?  Is there a different department he could try to get into that would reduce his long travels?  would it be worth it for both of you?

As much as it would suck to move while pregnant, could you ask and see if the owners would do a 6mth rental contract?  I'm not sure how long until you may have your child, but this would shorten up your required staying time, save you a move, and give you both time to get organized and plan on what to do next instead of feeling rushed

No chance on him being reassigned. It's a 7 person company =) Definitely in Hometown. Definitely has a future there- the company continuing will rely on him, as they'll all be under his engineering license.

I probably won't work after baby, except maybe part time. Because the ultimate plan is babIES, and I plan to be the full time parent. (And I have a decent idea what I'm getting into- I do pediatric home health now. So I already stay "home" all day with kids. Just right now, they're other people's kids, and medically fragile). If I do decide to work more, though, I can do it in Hometown. Either with my current company, or a similar company based in Hometown. It's a way underserved field, so I can walk into any job in the field with zero problems.

No reducing long travels for DH. They do industrial work, so these companies are really spread out. Their two main clients are 4 hours apart. Nature of the game, sadly. But as I said in OP, one of the sites is essentially *in* Hometown, so work there would be very short commute. Unfortunately, that likely would mean DH would be expected there more often than currently. But that just comes back to work boundaries in general.

Yeah, I'm thinking trying to get an ~8 month lease might be the best option. I just need to figure out if we should try and buy during that time, or if we should move and rent.