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Rent? Or buy?

  1. #1
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    Mar 2012
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    Canada
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    Question Rent? Or buy?

    When I was younger and my family lived with me, I owned a house, now that time has moved on, and my children have their own houses, I sold my house and am now currently living in an apartment.

    My financial situation is not the best, but I was wondering if it would make sense to try and buy a house and pay approximately the same on the mortgage as my current rent. I'm seventy-two but I don't want to waste my money when it could be passed down to my children.

    I realize that I will most likely pass before I can pay off the mortgage, but would it be a wise decision anyways? I don't know much about laws, but I'm assuming that my children could either sell the house or keep it as long as they continue to pay off the mortgage is this correct?

  2. #2
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    Mar 2012
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    Canada
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    It almost certianly always does make sense to pay money into a mortgage (and therefore see that money building your own equity instead of your landlord's) but I have to caution you against jumping into a home purchase that costs exactly what you can afford at the upper end of your rent budget, because home ownership comes with a LOT of hidden expenses, starting with property taxes, but of course including incidental expenses as well, like periodic repairs.

    If the furnace needs replacing in a home you own, there's no landlord to appeal to. That's your $10,000 that will be spend on a new furnace.

    !

  3. #3
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    Mar 2012
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    10
    Its is really dependent on your life style, are you still able to keep a house in check? also you have to look towards what would happen if your landlord ends your contract,
    It is a tricky situation and maybe it is best to have a full chat with your children and maybe a public adviser also on the matter

  4. #4
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    Mar 2012
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    Canada
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    Thanks for the info, I realize that it wouldn't be wise to go right to my limit, but maybe $100-200 do you think that would be enough?

  5. #5
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    Apr 2012
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    10
    I do have a house now which allows me to work in the garage since i love to work on cars. But i know a few people who love being in their apartment and do not have to worry about all the chores and things that come along with having a house. So i guess it just comes down to personal preference.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    11
    Quote Originally Posted by AlbertC View Post
    It almost certianly always does make sense to pay money into a mortgage (and therefore see that money building your own equity instead of your landlord's) but I have to caution you against jumping into a home purchase that costs exactly what you can afford at the upper end of your rent budget, because home ownership comes with a LOT of hidden expenses, starting with property taxes, but of course including incidental expenses as well, like periodic repairs.

    If the furnace needs replacing in a home you own, there's no landlord to appeal to. That's your $10,000 that will be spend on a new furnace.

    !
    I totaly agree with the comment about hidden extras I think as you get older it makes sense to rent if nothing else all the small repairs are carried out even if they are cheap you may not be physically capable of doing them

  7. #7
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    Oct 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    My husband and I owned a house when we were raising kids. When the kids started to leave home, (although I loved that house) we realized that the house is aging and would soon need major renovations. We also realized that our kids really did leave home with no intentions of moving back in, so it was time to downsize. We now love our small but cozy apartment, and we don't have to worry about repair work. We are fortunate to have moved into a nice place where if we phoned the office for any repair work, such as even replacing a ceiling light bulb, the next day, the repair work is completed.

    Could we save by buying a house? - possibly, but the stress of maintaining the yard work and the repair work is just not worth it for us.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2012
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    6
    I feel if you are a senior and want to own your own home per-say, why not try moving into a senior mobile home park. There you have other seniors to keep you company like having coffee and muffins in the morning, maybe a dinner or two, even someone to play games with, if you like that kind of thing. That is what I plan on doing as soon as I get money saved up. You won't have to worry about all the noise of young children running and playing. Is that an idea or what? You have very little to maintain.

  9. #9
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    Oct 2012
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    Ive paid off my house so luckily I dont have to worry about my living situation now. If I were you I would probably rent since your older. You dont want to be paying a huge mortgage in the next ten years. It depends on what kind of environment you prefer. If you plan on staying in an apartment make sure the area is senior friendly.

  10. #10
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    Oct 2012
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    Pennsylvania, USA
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    Ask the people that have lost their homes to foreclosure whether they think owning is better than renting ...

    The only way I would own a home now would be is if I won the lottery and could pay cash on the barrelhead - otherwise, I'm too late in the game to get involved with the shell game known as "mortagages".

    Add to that the fun you experience when your sidewalks need to be shoveled, the gutters need to be cleaned or a thousand-and-one other things need to be maintained or repaired, and your arthritis is kicking in big-time - are you going to smile every time you shell out mega-piles of bucks to some snotty contractor that does a half-azzed job?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Arizona
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    347
    I know this is an older thread, but it touches on points that my husband and I (73/67) are facing now. We're looking to relocate closer to our kids in CA. We've lived there before so we know it's not the cheapest place to live...especially for seniors, but that's where our family is.

    We've debated back and forth about buying vs. renting, too. Money-wise, at this stage in our lives, renting would be a better option for us. Our home here in PA (which is up for sale) has a lot of stairs and it's not getting any easier to go up and down them every day. My husband had a severe accident a couple years ago when he fell from a 10' ladder and shattered his left ankle. There were no bones left in the ankle except fragments and he almost lost his foot because of it. It's taken almost 2 years and a lot of surgeries and stairs are not his friend. Even though he wears a brace on that ankle and he can now do just about anything, he's not like his "old" self and could manage anything. He enjoyed yard and lawn work and could get up on ladders to paint trim and trim trees but not now. It's taken a toll on both of us. We also live in a snow-belt and this last winter was a clincher for us that we need to be in a warmer, drier climate. His ankle is loaded with arthritis and the dampness here is uncomfortable for him. This is not the quality of life we want for our final years.

    SifuPhil hit the nail on the head in his comments Hopefully Bill K. (OP) has resolved his situation. I really appreciate this forum and all the input I've received on another thread about this same subject

  12. #12
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    Jul 2014
    Location
    montgomery alabama
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    I live in Montgomery, Al and own my garden home in a neighborhood that have retirees, but not restricted toward such. Al is very retiree friendly in that my property tax is less than $400. Yes, 400 dollars. I have a 1700 sq ft hse (mtge free), small yard, 3 bedrm hse with open floor plan. It is expensive to keep up though. I have family that live nearby.

    What is the problem you're asking? My daughter is. She wants me to move to Charlotte, NC to be near her and my 2 yr old and 5 yr old grands. I do know the day is coming, when I can't drive to Charlotte. This week when I was visiting with them,we looked at apts that were senior citizens only. I want an apt if I decide to move so that it will be easy for me to meet. I would love to be not tied to keeping a place up. I found a couple that seem to meet that need. The cost is $2500 a month (some were more) and would pay for everything-maid service, two or 3 meals daily, laundry service (which I would prefer to do myself), cable tv, lots of social activities, utilities, except telephones. Not much closet and storage space though.

    Maggie, my daughter thinks I would prefer to live in a regular apt that maybe catered to a floor or 2 for senior citizens. I would like that, but I don't know if Charlotte has. I would love to have group activities that were part of this plan. My health is ok for a 73 yr old, but I have to avoid the sun and outdoors when pollen is bad.
    Is or has anyone experienced any of these living conditions? A mobile home is not for me bc of tornadoes, but I want to hear about your living experiences.

  13. #13
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    Jul 2014
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    3,234
    Some people will say "rent and you are throwing your money away", while others will say "buying a home comes w/the responsibilities of paying for all house repairs whereas in renting, a call to the Maintenance Dept. and the repair doesn't cost a thing".

    We had a nice 2-story house in Colorado. Had two spare bedrooms upstairs, that we never used. A Den w/fireplace upstairs, that we never used. A formal dining room, that we never used. Spent time and money on front/back yards mowing and fertilizing. Spent money on keeping both watered. It was work!! We both did the work, but lawn work wasn't our favorite thing to do! When we had this house, we were BOTH working full-time jobs and making descent money.

    Sold that house, but didn't get close to what we paid for it. The chance people take when buying and later selling. Today, we rent an apartment and don't have to "bust our butts" on lawn work b/c there is none! A landscape company, hired by the complex, takes care of it all. We live in a single-story "bungaloo" that is attached to a building with other apts. in the building, but NOBODY above us! We have a fireplace and use it. We have a second bedroom and use it (for storage, right now).

    Our old house was nice, but just too much work. Our apartment is nice, w/no work. If work needs to be done, the Maintenance Dept. takes care of it.......no cost to us. That we like!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    California
    Posts
    40
    I am also thinking about this same thing, worried about not being able to keep my house, and also not being able to afford the rent, and living farther from town. It is a hard decision, and does need lots of thinking about. Hopefully, each of us can make the right decision. I am making a list of all the pros and cons; that is helping so far.

  15. #15
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    Jun 2014
    Location
    Central California
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    4,262
    Given your age and financial position it would not be a wise decision for you to buy a home. Property Taxes, Home Owners Insurance, Maintainence and upkeep would exceed your monthly rent out lay I'm sure. Enjoy your apartment and don't worry about leaving property to your children. I am 80 and totally enjoy my two bedroom two bath apartment. I can afford to buy a house and pay cash for it and be mortgage free, but I wouldn't do it because it is actually cheaper to rent. I have owned five homes in years past.

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