The Non-Fancy Way To Buy A House

With all the talk about people finding out their no-money-down, interest-only, and option-ARM mortgages weren’t such a great deal, it’s refreshing to hear these pieces of advice about the fiscally conservative way to buy a house, via Moneycrashers:

  • Save up a big down payment of at least 20 percent.
  • Buy a home on a fixed-rate 15 or 20 year mortgage.
  • Don’t allow your payment to exceed 30% of your annual income.
  • Save up a large emergency fund to take care of unexpected maintenance problems

Don’t Buy A House Just To Buy A House [MoneyCrashers]

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  1. XopherMV says:

    The median cost for a house in Seattle is $500,000.

    [seattletimes.nwsource.com]

    So, according to this guy, you should save $100,000 before you even think about buying a house? On top of that, he suggests having a large emergency fund? Is this guy living in reality?

    You have to pay rent while attempting to save up this money. That whole time, your money is going out the door to pay for someone else’s mortgage. Why would you want to pay $1200 in rent to put $1800 in savings per month over 56 months when you could buy a house with a zero-down loan and start paying $3000 per month towards your own mortgage? Either way, it’s $3000. But if you’re paying your own mortgage, then you are putting equity into your own property and not someone else’s.

    His advice may sound good, but not until you start thinking about it.

  2. PsychicPsycho3 says:

    So, what, this guy just watched Suze Orman on Larry King like me and wrote down what she said?

  3. Crazytree says:

    this is the blueprint for buying a house you can completely AFFORD.

    of course people in this country don’t like to live within their means, so this plan may sound ridiculous to them.

    I mean they can’t AFFORD half the shit they buy… they carry balances on their credit cards.

  4. kidgenius says:

    Crazytree:

    In some cases it has nothing to do with living outside your means. Sometimes houses are just expensive and it can take quite a while to save up, so yes, this does sound ridiculous in some cases. Sure, if you can get a home for $150k in a decent part of town, go ahead and save up, it’s feasible, but if you want to not live in the ghetto, there are some parts of this country that you just can’t get into anything under $300k.

  5. moorie679 says:

    this is retarded……. so people are gonna save up of 20% ….. and buy on a fifteen year fixed which isnt suppose to exceed 30% of your annual income while saving for emergencies?

    Unless you are making 80+ k a year this is retarded considering the slash in medical insurance coverage from companies…… and considering the cost of medical care going through the roof. Plus if you want to retire and buy a couple pieces of wonder bread when you do so what the heck are you going to put in your 401k or IRA during this purchase?

    In addition, you cant really compare your rent to your mortgage without taking into consideration the amount of interest you are going to pay over those 15 or 30 years with taking into account the down payment that you make and calculating the amount you would have made with investment.

    So take the total amount of the loan, add your down payment to it, add the amount of money you cant generate via that and then divide it by 15 or 30 then divide it by 12….. i really doubt they are going to be close

  6. stinerman says:

    Christ this reminds me of a Monty Python sketch: How to rid the world of all known diseases

    “Well, first of all become a doctor and discover a marvelous cure for something, and then, when the medical profession really starts to take notice of you, you can jolly well tell them what to do and make sure they get everything right so there’ll never be any diseases ever again.”

    As others have commented, saving up 20% is hard when you’re already paying rent, unless you’re buying a fixer-upper. You might as well spend that on mortgage insurance.

  7. ColoradoShark says:

    @XopherMV: Interesting. I did just what the post says for my first house.
    Quoting the median price for a market and then complaining about not being able to afford it is BS. You start, like me, with a starter house that is way below the median. Then you pay the mortgage, do your own maintenance where reasonable and don’t fill it with a bunch of expensive junk. Have your friends over for beer and volleyball in the backyard rather than clubbing every weekend. You and your friends will both save money. Then trade up when you can afford it.

  8. Snakeophelia says:

    i put less than 4% down for my first home, but in doing so I switched a $1000 rent payment for a $700 house payment. So it was a smart move no matter what.

  9. BillyMumphry says:

    everyone seems a little tied up here with what their first monthly payment will be…how about considering if you will ever actually own your grass under your zero interest no-down teaser rate? hint: no.

  10. zibby says:

    What is this “save” you speak of?

  11. SabrinaFaire says:

    @ColoradoShark: I believe this issue is that even starter houses aren’t affordable.

  12. kimsama says:

    Yeah, I’m not sure what’s so hard about saving 20%. I live in a ridic expensive part of the nation (NoVA), am not yet 30, and have 20% (waiting for the market to regain sanity before buying, though). But I guess I don’t buy a lot of crap and don’t have any debt. If you do, those things can sure make it hard.

  13. humphrmi says:

    I see too many extremes in advice. Pay nothing down, pay the full 20% down, don’t let housing exceed 30% of your income, buy more house than you can afford now because your salary will grow into the loan, blah blah blah.

    We bought with 10% down on a 30 year fixed. Two refi’s later we’re at 33% equity on a 20 year fixed. Start with what you can, put the most mney you can in (make it hurt, but not kill you) then start moving toward something better. And NEVER EVER cash-out refi, unless you have a damn good reason like improvements that add to the value of your house or sending your kid to college.

  14. jollymonjeff says:

    Have that guy come to Long Island. A married couple (or unmarried, if thats your thing)making 100k a year still can’t afford a house, coop, or condo according to that formula.
    But hey, at least it’s not La Jolla, CA.

  15. SabrinaFaire says:

    @kimsama: Congratulations. Clearly you make a heck of a lot more than I do.

  16. jgkelley says:

    I was reading House Buying for Dummies, Copyright 2000. It also suggested saving 20% down. Then, house prices skyrocketed something like 70% in 7 years ([www.realestateabc.com]) while average wages increased around *14%* ([www.ssa.gov]).

    What does that mean you should save now? Anybody able to figure the math on that? I imagine it’s around 10% or less.

    See the problem?

  17. LostDog says:

    This actually is realistic it’s just that people don’t have realistic expectations. Too many people feel they “deserve” living like a high income earner without actually being a high income earner.

    Talk to your parents. Chances are most of them started out with a tiny fixer-upper on the outskirts of nowhere. It took them 20 to 30 years to get to the “nice” house you grew up in.

    Live within your means and don’t be a whiner and yes, 20% down @ 15 years is realistic. In 15 year with urban sprawl your middle of nowhere house will be down town =)

  18. shifuimam says:

    The only part I disagree with is the 15 or 20-year fixed-rate tip. I’d go for a 30-year fixed, and pay more every month than you need to. That way, if you hit financial problems, you aren’t stuck with a high monthly payment.

    Saving up 20% isn’t difficult at all if you don’t insist on living in a high-cost area. So homes are $500,000 on average in Seattle? What about a suburb of Seattle? What about a town 30 miles away? If you demand to live in a highfalutin urban area, you’re going to be paying a ton more for a home. It’s just not financially responsible.

    I’ve only been out of college for a year and a half (graduated in May 2006), and I finished with little savings (maybe a couple thousand dollars) and NO DEBT. I didn’t use my credit card irresponsibly (I never spent more than I made in a month), and I don’t have car payments (never have). I already have quite a bit of money saved up, and I pay a huge premium on my rent compared to other places in my city (Indianapolis). If I’m just responsible and careful, I should have at least $35,000 saved up by June 2009 – that’s only three years of saving, while living in a high-end apartment, and that’s enough to make a 20% down payment on a $175,000 condo in the suburban part of Indy. You can get a 2,000+ square foot house for that much in this area – nobody is forcing me to move to Seattle or Long Island or Chicago or LA or San Francisco, where home prices are astronomical.

    His other tips should have been the following:

    > Don’t buy your first home in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the continental United States. You have to sacrifice a little by way of location in order to be a responsible home buyer. Buy cheaper now and manage your finances so that you can buy the home you want in the future.

    > Make double mortgage payments whenever you can – pay the normal payment (which only goes toward interest), and pay off part of the principle whenever you can. This will ultimately lower the amount of interest your paying, and will substantially cut your total costs and the duration of your mortgage.

    You don’t need a new car. You don’t need a new computer every year. You don’t need cable TV or cable Internet – DSL is as low as $15 a month now. You don’t need a huge plan on your cell phone – heck, you don’t need a cell phone, period. T-Mobile has a prepaid plan that gives you 1,000 minutes for $100 – and it doesn’t expire for a year. That’s plenty for roadside emergencies. You don’t need a high-end apartment or other rental. You don’t need expensive clothes – learn to shop at Value City, TJ Maxx, and the clearance racks at Kohl’s. You don’t need designer-brand shoes, handbags, and sunglasses.

    And, most importantly, you do not need more credit than your monthly income if you’re already having a hard time saving money. If you get two paychecks a month, keep your expenses to just the equivalent of one paycheck, and save the rest. When you have at least $3,000 saved up, start investing in a good mutual fund. International funds are doing fantastic right now – a big chunk of my 401(k) is invested in two, and the return just this year has been incredible.

    It’s not that hard to stay out of debt or to not own a home until you can buy one responsibly (namely, with at least a 20% down payment). This attitude in the US of entitlement – that you somehow deserve a better life than you can afford – is killing our society. It’s pathetic.

  19. shifuimam says:

    Crap. I used “your” instead of “you’re” somewhere in there. Sorry.

  20. timmus says:

    @SabrinaFaire: I’m with you on that one… I have little respect for people coming in here and tooting their horn that they’re in their late 20s and saved $100K and it’s no big deal. Of course, we don’t hear about the generous $150K salary or the inheritance.

  21. @Snakeophelia: Agree. We managed to put 7% down (coming out of grad school, so we WEREN’T making salaries) and got much more favorable loan terms as a result — comparable to what they were offering us for 20% down, except obviously we had to have PMI.

    (And yes, people, we live in a starter home, in a decent, stable middle-class neighborhood of older, smaller homes within the city limits. Most of our professional friends live in the burbs in houses that cost 3 times what ours do and are convinced that spending less would put them in “the ghetto.” But I’m pretty sure I don’t live in the ghetto, unless by “ghetto” they mean “place where teachers and nurses live.”)

  22. hoosier45678 says:

    @jgkelley: You should still save 20%. If you’re in an overpriced housing market, those numbers are telling you not to buy until the prices collapse. (easy for me to say, because I bought in a market that was not overvalued at the time: [money.cnn.com]). It’s better to throw money away on rent than to throw money away on mortgage payments to a house that’s worth 70% of what you owe on it.

  23. kimsama says:

    @SabrinaFaire: Haha, nope. I work for a nonprofit and have no help from the parents. The only thing I’m lucky about is that I’m willing to live in a total crap cheapo apartment, I don’t have expensive tastes, and I went to a state school, so no debt. It also helps that my husband works, though also at a nonprofit for average pay. Sorry to disappoint, timmus, but if you saw my 11-year-old car and crappy apartment, you’d know where I was saving the money from ^_^

    And sorry if it sounded like horn-tooting. I’m just saying, it is possible. It’s not fun to live like a starving artist for a decade after school, but it does let you build up the downpayment.

  24. Mary says:

    Doing a quick search through a realtor’s website for my area there are TWO single family homes currently listed for under $300,000. One for 299, one for 289.

    Assuming that if we wanted a “starter home” and intended to trade up in a few years (which is NOT a plan we really liked at all, we’d like to live in our home for a long time, otherwise we’d just keep renting) we would have to pay $300,000.

    20% of that is $60,000. Closing costs and fees probably would add up to about $10,000 or so, depending on various things.

    We were paying $1,400 a month in rent for 800 square feet, because rental prices are also astronomical.

    So where exactly were we supposed to find $70,000 laying around? Remember, this is for a STARTER home. A fixer-upper.

    In some places, that would buy a house outright. Some housing markets don’t fit into everybody’s neat little housing advice.

  25. Alexander says:

    I’m with Kimsama, unless you are in some dire circumstances, saving lots of money is very possible. Recently my brother-in-law asked me to help him with his budget, we found that last week alone he spent $160 going out 4 nights in 1 week. That is simply in going out, not any necessary living expenses. In that same time, I showed him how my wife and I spent about $100 on everything that week. Lunches, market, gas, misc. Saving is a lifestyle. You make plans and you stick to them and you learn that you don’t need $300 Coach purses or $50 designer shirts.

  26. Alexander says:

    If you can’t afford a house, than you can’t afford a house. People act as if they have to, just have to, buy a house no matter what. I’m happy in my apartment. It’s cozy, relatively affordable, and allows me to save. In the future I’ll determine whether I can buy a house here, move, or just continue saving. A house does not a home make…

  27. Kurtz says:

    @shifuimam:
    You say you pay a huge premium on your rent, but you tell us that we don’t need a high end apartment?

    Your additional tips aren’t grounded in reality. Some people don’t have the choice to move from California to, say, Mississippi to buy their first house. Of course doubling your mortgage payment is a great idea, but how many people can do that realistically.

    Some things the blurb at the top of the post doesn’t address are insurance and property taxes. The latter are an important consideration, especially in a place like Austin (where I live). My landlady’s appraisal on the property where I live has increased 55% in the past four years. If I had bought it I would have been taxed out of it by now.

  28. Sudonum says:

    Anyone that wants to buy a house needs to read this book first. [www.amazon.com]

    Written by someone who had been in the mortgage business for many years. He debunks a lot of myths about obtaining a mortgage. And the advantages and disadvantages of various types of loans. I have no affiliation with Amazon, the publisher, or the author. I am a builder and my wife is a realtor and I read it because I wanted more insight into how the mortgage market actually worked, especially in this real estate market.

  29. Mary says:

    @alexander: “If you can’t afford a house, than you can’t afford a house.”

    My point is that you CAN afford a house without 20% down. It CAN be done if you do your homework and make sure you don’t get taken advantage of.

    If you don’t believe that FOR YOURSELF, fine. But I’m sick and tired of people acting like their way is the only way and if you don’t do it their way you must be an idiot and you’re asking for foreclosure.

    It’s just not true. Buying a home involves a lot of number crunching, talking to a lot of people. You have to do your research, you have to stare at your budget for hours. But everybody, every last person in this entire country, should make decisions for themselves and not based on blanket advice. The worst thing anybody can do is believe the advice of one person who doesn’t know the first thing about their situation.

  30. LostDog says:

    If you can’t afford to live in an area then don’t live there. Don’t go whining to anyone when your sub prime mortgage on the house you can’t afford breaks you. That was your decision for getting a place you can’t afford.

    You may not be in your dream house but for 5 to 10 years of your life you may not be able to afford your dream house. You may NEVER be able to afford your dream house (that is why it’s a dream house).

    Remember, it is not “get rich quickly”. It’s “get rich slowly”. 20% down on a modest load will help you obtain your goals in the long run.

  31. ahwannabe says:

    Home ownership is not an entitlement. If you can’t afford a house at the current market value, then duh, don’t buy one. Quit bitching, keep renting, start saving.

  32. Mary says:

    Not everybody is an idiot. Not everybody gets a sub-prime loan. Not everybody is getting an ARM.

    SOME people are buying houses in intelligent ways that don’t fit what you think is perfect.

    Also, telling people to move is useless advice. We moved TO this area for the opportunities it provided. We knew the housing costs when we moved here, and we have actually been intelligent and made decisions based on LOTS of information, specifically tailored to our lives.

    It doesn’t fit the pretty advice that these blogs want to give, but it works for us. You can assume we don’t know what we’re doing, but you’d be wrong.

  33. @meiran: “which is NOT a plan we really liked at all, we’d like to live in our home for a long time”

    Starter home is probably a relative term. Assuming no other major life changes (taking a job out of state, etc.), we don’t intend to leave our “starter home” until our as-yet-nonexistent children start high school and the school district situation (assuming it has not changed) makes it fairly necessary.

    I guess some people hop out of a “starter home” after a couple of years, but we’re planning on a long slow start. :) I’m sure that depending on how many children we eventually decide to have, the house will at some point feel pretty small and cramped, but nobody ever died of that, and my grandma raised five kids in what’s today considered a “starter home.”

  34. Alexander says:

    @meiran: Fair enough. I should have worded my comment better as I didn’t mean to offend anyone. Of course everyone should make decisions based on their situation and on research. Truthfully though, how many people analyze their situations and do research? Probably not many. Just about everyone around me has made real state decisions simply based on “I have to have a house, everyone else does”. Best thing my wife and I did was to accept we cannot afford a house right here, right now so we put ourselves on a 5 year plan. Save, save, save and then reanalyze our situation in 5 years and make another decision.

  35. SadSam says:

    I gotta agree with this advice, saving up to put 20% down (saves you on the mortgage insurance), getting a locked interest rate, and having an emergency fund, this was the way it worked for years and years and years. And guess what, during all those years, we didn’t have the huge mess we have now with foreclosures, subprime morg. mess, etc. Its absolutely possible to follow this advice if you can avoid the instant gratification plague that is ruining this fine country and its citizens’ finances. What ever happened to the idea of saving up for something?

    I’ll give you the me story: between 1999 and present, I saved up 20% for my first house (starter house in an up and coming area – also known as not safe but cool area), sold that house and rolled my profit into my second house and put 25% down. Bought investment property, put 20% down, bought vacant land for dream home, put 20% down. The trick, and I say this is all seriousness, I’m still driving a 1999 paid for car and my husband is driving a 1997 paid for car. Avoid the new/leased car curse and you can afford almost anything.

  36. shifuimam says:

    @Kurtz: Yes, I do pay a premium, because I can afford it. But when I was in college and making little money, I lived in a shit apartment (without living in the utter ghetto…as a single white girl I’d have gotten my ass kicked if I lived in the hood) and saved my money. Now I’m able to put away a big chunk a month ($1200-$1500) into savings so that I can buy a house. If I moved, I could save even more. I, however, am not trying to justify a 0% down payment and a subprime mortgage for myself. You don’t need a high-end apartment. If living in one is going to put you at the bleeding edge of your financial capability, it’s time to downgrade. I’m living well within my means.

    So you can’t move away from California, but you certainly can look at lower-cost options, like living further away from the city, living in a house that isn’t considered “median”, or *gasp* renting until you can afford a house.

    The original article metioned that several times – don’t buy until you’re ready. If you buy before you can truly afford it, you’re blowing the money you’d burn on rent on a high-interest mortgage, and it’s really not much different. You *might* make some money on the sale of the place, but only if you live in it long enough. It doesn’t make sense to buy just for the sake of owning a home.

    Buying a house with little down is like getting yourself into credit card debt – you might go into it with the thought that you will build up equity as quickly as is financially possible, so that you can apply to terminate PMI. But, similar to how easy it is just to make the minimum payments on a maxed out credit card once you realize you don’t need to pay off more than that each month, it’s far too easy to let your plans slide and end up being foreclosed on, declaring bankruptcy, or simply having no savings when an emergency comes along.

    People just want their dream life before they can handle it. You moved to a huge overpriced city for the job opportunities? Indianapolis is the 12th largest city in the United States, and it costs pennies to live here compared to most of California, Chicago, NYC, Seattle, etc. There are plenty of job opportunities in this state. I commute forty miles each way to work every day, but it’s worth it to be employed, have a very stabe income, and be able to save as much as I am right now to buy a house. The crap about “no opportunities in a cheap city” is based on people’s idiotic notion that they should have a fabulous job right away, like they see in movies and TV shows.

    I don’t know anyone who has been in a situation where they had no choice but to buy a house instead of renting. If someone did find themselves in that position, you still have options. You can still give up some luxuries to live in a cheaper home. You can put the biggest down payment possible – say, 15% – and take out a loan against that immediate equity to finish out the 20%, and make paying off that second loan your top priority.

    Bottom line is that you never have to take out a high-interest ARM, and you never have to buy a home at 0% or 4% down or any other ridiculously low down payment. You can rent until you’re ready to buy. It’s not like your apartment will self-destruct if you don’t rush into home-buying before you’re ready for it.

  37. bbbici says:

    @LostDog:

    If it took my parents 20 to 30 years to buy the house I grew up in, that would make them 45-55 years old before they had children.

    The secret is to make illegal, tax-free income in addition to your regular job.

  38. Instigator says:

    Here’s another suggestion: Only buy as much house as you can actually afford. Somewhere along the line, the concept of the “starter home” was lost. You know – a rather modest dwelling sans upgrades. Now it seems that even first-time homebuyers still paying off their college loan believe they’re entitled to a McMansion complete with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances! And of course, they’ve been financing them with voodoo mortgages.

  39. Mary says:

    @alexander: “Truthfully though, how many people analyze their situations and do research? Probably not many. Just about everyone around me has made real state decisions simply based on “I have to have a house, everyone else does”.”

    I do agree with you there. Too many people are just deciding what to do based on what they want or how they feel. I actually work in real estate now, and I’m baffled by some of the decisions I see around me.

    Honestly, buying a home isn’t for everybody, and it’s not always the best plan for the moment. It just gets tiring to have so many people going around and saying what you should and shouldn’t do, when most of their advice isn’t really tailored to individuals.

  40. MikeHerbst says:

    @shifuimam:
    The only part I disagree with is the 15 or 20-year fixed-rate tip. I’d go for a 30-year fixed, and pay more every month than you need to. That way, if you hit financial problems, you aren’t stuck with a high monthly payment.

    Agree with you here, especially if you are young and we’re talking about a first house. Wife and I bought our first house when we were in our mid-20’s. A 30-year fixed at that point in your life is a “reasonable price” to pay for the money we borrowed, even assuming we had to go the full 30 years. Of course we’ve since sold and moved, etc. so we now look at either shortening the loan term or over-paying so we can still expect to be mortgage-free by out mid-50’s.

    Now if you’re 36 and buying a house, then I definitely recommend a shorter term; of course by then you should have had plenty of time to save and should be higher on the income curve for your career.

  41. zibby says:

    Sadly, one reason getting the 20% has been so difficult recently is that too many people who couldn’t get 20% together were given access to mortgages and markets they couldn’t realistically afford. Mr. ARM doesn’t care what he pays for a house, he’s got no stake, it’s not his money and the whole thing is easy. Demand and prices surge and the poor schmuck that’s trying to do things the right way is looking at a $100k+ down payment instead of $40k or so.

  42. nequam says:

    Reading many of these comments, it no longer surprises me that the sub-prime lenders were able so easily to find their marks. Some people simply won’t accept that they cannot afford a house in their area (or can’t yet afford it). This denial makes them susceptible to all sorts of too-good-to-be-true financing options. No down payment? 40-year mortgage (as in the OA)? If those are your only options, keep saving – you can’t afford that house yet.

  43. not_seth_brundle says:

    @Instigator: Could not agree more. Too many people think “buying a home” means a single-family house with a bonus room and white picket fence. Think about a condo instead. Think about a place with fewer square feet (you’ll save energy costs that way, too).

  44. bbbici says:

    @not_seth_brundle:

    I’m not sure where you folks live, but in most thriving cities in North America a 750sq ft studio apartment is $200-350k.

  45. @Instigator: “Somewhere along the line, the concept of the “starter home” was lost. You know – a rather modest dwelling sans upgrades”

    I know I harp on this a lot, but I really DO NOT understand. We have a small older home in a middle-class neighborhood that’s a mix of young professionals, mid-career working-class folks, retired people, etc. Most of our professional (doctor/lawyer/accountant) friends bought McMansions in the nicest school district (before any kids or before kids are school-age) for three or four times the amount that they can’t afford the payments on. Or they have no furniture because their house payment is so huge. Or whatever. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND!

    I mean, even beyond not making financial sense, just CLEANING a small house is a lot of work, let alone upkeep and maintenance and utilities costs, etc., that all rise on a bigger house. Why does this seem like a good idea? I mean seriously, why? What’s the mindset?

  46. not_seth_brundle says:

    @bbbici: I live in Chicago and studios in my neighborhood, which is a pretty desirable area on the North side, are in the low- to mid-100s.

    I think the larger point here is that there are going to be trade-offs. It’s unreasonable to think that you can have no money saved and a low income AND have a great big house in the trendiest neighborhood in a big city.

  47. hoosier45678 says:

    @shifuimam:
    Regarding 15/fixed vs. 30/fixed, it’s also worth remembering that your interest rate will be lower on the shorter loan, so you do get something for your increased risk. It also forces you to keep to your accelerated payment schedule, rather than skipping a few months of double payments to go overboard at Christmas, if you’re so inclined.

  48. Mary says:

    @not_seth_brundle: “Think about a condo instead. Think about a place with fewer square feet (you’ll save energy costs that way, too).”

    In my town, condos cost as much as if not more than regular homes. Once you throw in condo fees, it’s really not a better deal here. We did end up buying a condo, but the numbers I was quoting above ($300,000 for two bedrooms) hold true for condos as well, though I found some older places that were around $250,000.

    Which is just my way of saying: every place and every person is different. That’s why I don’t like blanket financial advice, because it’s about as useful as getting your marriage advice from talk shows.

    I’m glad you’re all happy with your financial decisions, guess what, I didn’t follow that advice and I’m happy with mine. And having done the math for two months before making my decision, I can say that in three years I’ll STILL be happy with my decision. Feel free not to believe me, but it happens.

  49. not_seth_brundle says:

    @meiran: I do believe you. It sounds like you evaluated your options and came up with the situation that’s best for you. Rock on. Seriously.

    Not everyone does the math for two months, so I think it’s refreshing to see some conservative advice about buying a home. Of course anyone is free to ignore it, and the types of people who tend to really consider an important decision for months are probably exactly the people who should.