July 28, 2009

House Hunting

Jenn and I are thinking of buying a house these days. In fact, it constantly occupies my mind. Jenn had been looking at houses ever since she moved to the Capital Region, and we have been looking together since summer of 2008. Jenn was looking to buy a house because of the notion that renting is like throwing money into the toilet. I don't completely agree with that concept, but in the long run, paying a mortgage and end up owning a house is better than paying rent and still don't own anything in the end. Jenn didn't buy because of many reasons, such as having to take care of maintenance by herself, under-utilization, snow removal, yard work, etc. Last year we were looking because Jenn was deciding whether to renew the apartment lease or buy a house. She ended up moving to a different apartment.

Now that we are married, there's even more reason to buy a house. Our population has doubled, our stuff is doubled, we want to do things that living in an apartment cannot offer, and our combined income can let us support the extra expense of a house.

The short term financial outlook is worse in buying a house, because there are expenses that are not applicable when we are renting, such as maintenance, snow removal, landscaping, property tax, insurance, etc. The long term prospects can be the same, good, or very good in buying a house. It all depends on how long we stay and how much the property appreciates in that time. The case that it will be worse than renting is relatively low chance.

What does a house enable? It will have a yard, so we can have outdoor party like barbeque and a private space to be outside with nature. We can plant a garden. Maybe we can have a pool. House will have more space for storage and make things organized. There will be room to put a piano that Jenn wants. Maybe a sewing machine, a woodworking bench, a garage, a place to do car wash, our own laundry machines, nice entertainment center, big screen TV, king size bed. That's why it is worth the trouble and cost to move to a house of our own.

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