The Lounge is rated Safe For Work. If you're about to post something inappropriate for a shared office environment, then don't post it. No ads, no abuse, and no programming questions. Trolling, (political, climate, religious or whatever) will result in your account being removed.
I was 31, and it took every bit of forced savings - putting loose change into a CD the wife couldn't touch for a year. At that, I could only afford a 50 year old, run down repo that leaked wind and cold. The loan payment took most of an entire paycheck, roughly half my income. Good luck to you!
I bought my first house with my then-wife when I was 33 or so. She had the money for the downpayment, I had the income for making the mortgage payments. After a relatively painless divorce, it was 20 years later (just this last December) that I bought a house again. It's a bit of a fixer-upper, but it's the right size for my girlfriend and I and two cats, it's by a beautiful stream, and we can walk to the Nature Conservancy just up the road.
The mortgage payment is 1/2 what I was paying for rent for similarly sized place, and because I work remotely, I can live in rural New York where the housing costs are significantly lower than any urban or suburban area near any tech industries. Needed only 5% down (though I pay a PMI for that, but it's pretty small) and by making extra principle payments each month, I'm hoping to have it paid off in 15-20 years.
To buy a house like the one I live in, I will have to save the same money I pay for rent over 50 years...
So probably never...(and I'm 44 this year)
(To be sure the bank will happily give me the money for a 30 year period, but in that case the payback will be 3 times my monthly rent...A kind of enslavement...)
Skipper: We'll fix it. Alex: Fix it? How you gonna fix this? Skipper: Grit, spit and a whole lotta duct tape.
I am going on 64 and have never owned a home. Right now I do not see any advantage - if I have a problem, the landlord/owner pays for it, not me. BUT - the wife has her heart set on owning something, just so she can repaint, knock down walls, etc. I figure to buy in the next year, but do not expect to ever pay it off before I shuffle off the coil. If/when I retire, I would probably go to the Dominican Republic to buy, since that is where she was born, and my social security check would be considered upper middle class there.
25 and the wife to be was 19, in the islands just across from the land down under. A small box on an undeveloped section for $64k. 1986 and interest rates were 20%. Most of our furniture was borrowed or cast-offs from family and friends. Life was exceedingly minimalistic for a year or two while I worked massive amounts of overtime and pumped it all into repayments.
A few years later (while living/working in Melbourne and renting house) prices started to slump. Eventually sold, probably broke even.
But after moving back to NZ, we've ended up (15 years ago) with a large old farmhouse on 2 acres we got for a shade over $300k, 10km from town (and 75km from work, so that's a fair bit of commuting each day). Value has seriously increased and am having to constantly tell the bank that no, I'm not really interested in buying more property - although a holiday home in France or Italy is on the wife's (same one) radar.
There's no point looking at stuff you haven't a hope in hell of gathering a deposit for. Look further out even if you end up with a serious commute. Make a plan, figure out a budget for saving and stick to it. Nothing comes on a plate unless you inherit it.
If your neighbours don't listen to The Ramones, turn it up real loud so they can.
“We didn't have a positive song until we wrote 'Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue!'” ― Dee Dee Ramone
"The Democrats want my guns and the Republicans want my porno mags and I ain't giving up either" - Joey Ramone
I was 25 and got a mortgage on a house the cost $17,500. that was around 44 years ago. Now that house is going for $100,000 US dollars. I'm looking at retirement now and a condo in Florida at around $70k. The state where I am working is a frozen hell.
I was 25 when I bought my current apartment.
But I got very lucky, the place had been on the market a long time (so price went down) and was a dump.
But had the right size (2 bedrooms).
And I got a very cheap loan.
I did spend 2.5 years renovating it together with my father but all worth it in the end.
I was 30 when I bought my first house. I needed the tax break from the mortgage interest and was in the military so the housing allowance I received easily covered the monthly mortgage. I also got a VA loan so I needed just a tiny down payment. Got married six years later and the wife and I bought a much bigger house a year later. We kept my original house and rent it out for nearly twice the monthly mortgage. We've since purchased a third house which we rent to her parents.
I was 28 - but I got the place from a guy I worked with and it needed work so he let it go at a good price. We just did the paperwork through a lawyer and left the banks out of it. I have a fixed rate loan on it and pay him directly. So, that means I didn't have a downpayment to make.
I got mine at 24, I was lucky enough in the US we have a First Time Home Buyers loan which essentially trades the down payment for a bunch of smaller fees including mandatory inspections that must pass for the loan to approve, that totaled for me to about 1/5 of what a 20% down payment would be.
Good question, intriguing answers. Just as important as how much you earn is how much you spend. I worked since high school as much as possible and have always been a big saver, staying with my parents until about 28. At that point I could move out and buy myself a property. I paid off the mortgage aggressively (in less than 10 years) upon realizing bank interest was (and still is) near nothing I had little incentive to keep saving. I'd like a second/investment property but prices in my area (USA, Washington DC) are very high so instead I use my earnings to benefit my many siblings and their families. Life is good, and software development is a fine career.
I assume you're in IT and make a better-than-average wage. Don't necessarily buy all the house you can, buy the house you need.
My first house was a 50-year-old, 800-square-foot little place in a blue-collar neighborhood. I was able to pay ahead to gain equity and still have money left for other things. After a few years, you can move up if you desire.
Another piece of advice is to have at least $5k (USD) extra laying about. Things just come up--whether it's painting before you move in, buying appliances, whatever. If you end up not using that, great, but it's nice to have just in case.
It is nice to have that part of your finances at a (relatively) stable cost. As others have pointed out though, there are risks involved, both financial (something breaks, it's on you to fix) or mental (bad neighbors, etc).
I simply looked at the price for rent and price for mortgage and went with the mortgage because it was cheaper.
The Buy-to-Let thing was huge and if you weren't paying your mortgage, you were paying someone elses.
Here in the states, you can put down a bit less. The key things are the Ratios of Income to payments.
We have a Front end Ratio (usually the monthly payment is about 28% or less of monthly income),
and the Back end Ratio (usually the monthly payment is about 35% or less of monthly income - other monthly payments).
The concept is rather sound. You need Food+Shelter+Clothing(etc). Assign 1/3 of your income to each.
Saving up 20%, even if it takes years is good exercise. Dave Ramsey books are great for helping to get a handle on your expenses and learning how to save.
I have been to Sydney recently. Kinda shocked at the prices.
Typically here, the buying of a house takes about 7 years to break even against. So if you plan to move in 3-5 years, the rule of thumb is not to do it (of course, recent explosions in real estate prices before the crash not withstanding).
Honestly, a $500,000 house, with a 20% down payment = $100,000.00 down.
But a 500K house implies about 5,000/month in a payment (1% is an easy guesstimate).
[Keep in mind, you have PITI: Principle+Interest+Taxes+Insurance]
So, 20 months to save up your down payment. And REALITY is that if you can afford the payment, you should have SOME savings already, and you should be able to save about 10% above this. If you cannot, you are buying too much house. That can get you down to 18 months.
The bright side is that it usually takes MONTHS to buy your first house, and find what you are looking for.
Buy a book about First Time Home Buying, and learn what to be aware of.
What immediate expenses you will have, like appliances.
You should have 6 months of expenses in the bank AFTER the purchase (goal).
If you are a single guy, get a gal pal to look at the house with you. A friend bought a house in which the bedrooms were renovated, and the closets were removed!!! LOL. He had NO Closets in his bedrooms. He never noticed. I bought a house with no sidewalks on either side of the street. I did not even notice.
Buying a New House vs. Used is probably not an issue. I can't imagine you being able to afford a new place in Australia as a first home. The place we stayed in was over 100 years old. But nice. (Although the windows were original custom made sliding wood frames with "wavy" glass) except for the new windows that faced the Opera House (Cremone Point area).
The limitation in mobility is a huge issue. The people we stayed with bought the house, and 3 months later, his job relocated. He now takes the train 40 minutes to work, where it was 15 minutes before.
Don't rush in. While I liked buying my home to avoid paying rent (and I paid it off before I was 40, and still live there), I think I made a lot of mistakes. I bought brand new. I could have gotten more house for less if I bought slightly used. Been here long enough to have replaced everything!
Honestly, if your plan is to get married, the house will become a marital asset, so you might as well get it together. Just keep saving up.
Finally, I feel, personally, that if you don't have the grit to save for 2-3 years to get the downpayment, then owning a house is a questionable decision. The 2 seem related to me. I felt broke for about 4 years after getting the house, when I had to get a car as well. Ughh. Painful days. Looking back, great decision
I was 28. My situation was different to that of an average American, but relatively typical of the software types who read this page.
My wife and I were both professionals, so our income was somewhat above the median.
We lived frugally, essentially spending one income and saving the other.
We bought our first house outside the big city of Seattle.
We made extra payments to pay off a larger part of the mortgage.
We refinanced when interest rates went down.
We lived in our first house for 10 years. During this time its value doubled in nominal dollars. We bought our second home in a somewhat depressed Seattle neighborhood near the university. The sale of our old home funded half the price of the second home, and our increased income funded the payments.
We lived in that second house for 12 years, eventually moving to a big house in the desirable Capitol Hill neighborhood. Again, the sale of our second house funded half the purchase price of the next house, and our income was adequate to make the payments. This was the first time that we needed both incomes to live on. This was actually a mistake, as the Great Recession plus a devastating accident cut off both our incomes. But we made it through.
We had good neighbors and bad neighbors. We had maintenance costs in addition to the mortgage, like putting new roofs on two houses. We substantially remodeled the third house.
Some things we learned:
When you own your home, your payments stay the same for 30 years. No surprise rent increases, no getting kicked out because the landlord wants to turn the building into a condo. No getting kicked out because the landlord sells the building to Amazon who wants to raze it and put up a 12-storey office building. Large maintenance costs can be scheduled years in advance if you need to. It's very rare to have a significant maintenance expense you have to pay right away.
The monthly mortgage payment on a house is about the same as the monthly rent on the same sized dwelling. If you rent, that money's gone, but if you buy, some of that money goes into principal, which you may eventually get back. The financial computation is a no-brainer.
You can buy nice appliances, instead of the cheap ones they put in apartments. In fact everything you do in a house you own will be nice and new and you get to use it for years.
Crappy neighbors of your hose are separated by 30 feet and a six foot fence. This air-gap is really important. Crappy neighbors in an apartment are banging on your walls or ceiling and feeding cockroaches which eventually get into your unit.
You have to stay in a house about two years to pay back the up-front cost of purchasing a house. It's not a good plan to buy unless your relationship is strong and your job situation is good.
We moved in up markets and stayed put in down markets. There were scary financial times during the time we were in each of our houses, but we made it through on one income or the other, plus savings, and didn't lose the house.
We have never regretted living frugally, deferring purchases (e.g. automobiles) until we could pay for them with cash, and enjoying a few very nice things instead of a whole lot of cheap things that broke quickly.
We had friends who made the same money we did, but made different spending choices, who had difficulty saving enough money for a down payment, or who were screwed by an economic downturn or job loss. I cannot understand how a developer paycheck could possibly not be enough to live on, but people are funny that way.
25, in 1984. Like many other respondents to this question, there's a "but"... I bought it from some acquaintances, no estate agents involved, and we split the resultant savings between us. Cost about £43K and I put down a 10% deposit, and got in two lodgers whose rent covered most of the mortgage costs. On the outskirts of London.
Last Visit: 31-Dec-99 18:00 Last Update: 15-May-21 18:11