You’re not the first person to tell me that. Landlord-chan (who bought a house herself with the help of a loan from me then paid it back by letting me live there for nearly free for a year) has been peer pressuring me super hard, and I’ve given it serious consideration because she makes good arguments, but here’s the thing:
The first few months I lived in this apartment, which is a very nice apartment whose only downside is a long bus+subway commute (and my job is moving to a place that happens to have a much better commute from here), I ended each month five or six hundred dollars richer than I started. Once I had my bank account at a level I was comfortable with, I started treating myself a bit more. Probably too much, but I was still putting away ~$200 a month and change while indulging my expensive “writing comics” hobby. I have about 10-12 paychecks worth of savings to fall back on in case of emergency, which is the reason “Hey you wanna buy a house this week on no notice” is something I was even able to consider in the first place. I had zero plans or intention to buy a house last Monday, and the thing that made me consider doing it now (a buyout offer) is no longer available. I’m guaranteed this apartment until the end of August 2020.
To buy the cheap fixer-upper I was looking at, I’d need to drop all my savings into the down payment and closing costs, and then even with a roommate I’m paying like $1200/mo. Which isn’t unaffordable for me, but I wouldn’t be able to easily rebuild my savings, especially with the house needing a lot of work. I wouldn’t be able to survive a big emergency, like losing my job at a company that just had a round of no-severance layoffs and is announcing more are coming. And while losing my apartment kind of sucks, with a house I’d be at risk of losing my *tenant*, meaning I’d suddenly have to pay the whole $1800/mo by myself until I could find a replacement. Losing my apartment is just a pain in the ass and a few hundred bucks for movers.
Like, right now I have the options of
~$700-800/mo = Nice big apartment in Watertown, but with a longish commute
~$800-900/mo = Apartment in Allston that’s a five minute walk to the train, but is tiny
~$1200/mo = My own home in Dorchester, which is both big and has a good commute, but expensive and requires most of my savings as a down payment
It’s not unreasonable to choose Watertown, and a lot of my savings are in a Roth IRA that keeps growing, so it’s not like I’m falling further and further behind or anything. Buying a house will be a more attainable goal next year.
Especially since we might be hitting the peak of the Boston Bubble