Rent? Or buy?

Bill.K

New member
Location
Canada
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?
 

AlbertC

New member
Location
Canada
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.

!
 

Tisame

New member
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
 

Bill.K

New member
Location
Canada
Original Poster
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?
 

russia

New member
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.
 

clive

New member
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
 

Elzee

New member
Location
Austin, TX
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.
 

Lena51

New member
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.
 

loriann

New member
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.
 

SifuPhil

Resident Nutcase
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?
 

Colleen

Active member
Location
Arizona
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 :)
 

charlotta

New member
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.
 

ClassicRockr

New member
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!
 

Petula

New member
Location
California
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.
 

Lon

Well-known member
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.
 

Bullie76

New member
Location
Mississippi
Depends on where you live and the price of the home vs rent. Around here there is a shortage for apartments and rent is high. And certainly you have to weigh in the headache factor of owning vs renting.

All things being equal financially, I would rather own. But if you would rather call a landlord to fix problems rather than dealing with it yourself, renting might be a good option. I might be headed in that direction one day. ;)
 

Debby

New member
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.

Hi Charlotta, in case you're still waiting for an answer on this one, my two aunts lived in places like what you're describing. The one had a cozy little one bedroom apartment with a kitchenette (dishwasher, microwave and little fridge) and it was great. She got two meals with the place and later when she needed meds handled, that was added to the contract. I think her base accommodations were about $2400.00 Canadian. She liked it too.

The other aunt had a bed-sitting room with a private bathroom, a small fridge (to keep fruit or drinks in I guess) and enough room for a couple easy chairs and a couple dressers and a table. And her bed of course. I think her cost including all meals was about $1300.00 per month. And she didn't like it. I'd have to really be into meditation so that in my mind, I could be somewhere else - a lot! Anyway, what you've described sounds pretty good.
 

LogicsHere

New member
At 73 do you need maid service, laundry service and all your meals made for you? Would you daughter's property be large enough to put an extension on her house such as an inlaw's quarters? Maybe one of those new tiny homes (some of which are really cute) if her property is significant in size enough. Living is expensive enough as it is and $2500 while more reasonable than what you could get this type of community where I live still sounds like a lot of money. Why I cringe having to pay an entire separate rate of $14,000 a year for my mother because I own a 2nd floor co-op and she's handicapped and can't get up and down stairs. I pay half of what she does.
 

Vala

New member
That is what I meant. It should have done long ago and paid for at retirement.

I know someone who's son asked his development for permission to put a temporary trailer house on his land. They let him if he promised to remove it when his mother died. It worked out for everyone.
 
I sold the last house I will ever own five years ago and never looked back. We wish we could sell the boyfriend's house, but the market isn't cooperating right now. The neighbors from heck (not quite the neighbors from hell, but they're working on it....) moved in last spring across the street. If we were renting, we'd be out when the lease was up.

I got real spoiled the 18 months my late husband and I rented a townhouse when we were between selling the big house and buying a smaller house. It was very, very nice to be able to call down to the office and say *your* roof is leaking, *your* toilet won't stop running, and I think there might be termites in *your* foundation. Very, very nice.

Now, it's "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, *NOW* WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT @#!*$%@ AIR CONDITIONER???" or "IS THAT #$@!*&@ CHIMNEY LEANING *AWAY* FROM THE HOUSE???" or "WHAT THE $#@(^!% IS THAT &^#@*&! BROWN SPOT ON THE CEILING??? WHAT DO YOU MEAN WE NEED A $#@*&!# NEW ROOF???" and there's nobody to call...except the air conditioning guy or the chimney guy or the roofing guys...and while they are very sympathetic about our problems, they actually want US to pay for the solution....the nerve, the absolute nerve. We had all three scenarios in the last 15 months. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't cheap. It wasn't somebody *else's* problem, either.
 

kcvet

New member
Location
KCMO
same here. we sold ours a few years back. I was getting to old to take care of it. we rent a Duplex now. they take care of everything. I don't miss that mortgage, high tax's and insurance. glad its gone. we saved a lot of money by renting
 

Colleen

Active member
Location
Arizona
We relocated In Sept. from PA to AZ. I wanted to rent instead of buy another house but my husband wouldn't agree to that so we bought a home in AZ. I love the house, don't get me wrong, and I'm still able to take care of it and he likes the "natural" landscaping instead of mowing (and snow blowing in the winter) a large yard like we had in PA. The reason I wanted to rent (house, townhouse, whatever) was to save money every month. We got started late in life with buying homes (this is our 4th in 18 years) so we always have a minimal amount of equity when it comes time to move again. Hopefully, this is our last move.

So we will always have a house payment and insurance and taxes, etc. I'm fairly certain we could have rented a nice house here for half the money we spend on a mortgage, but he wanted this house so I was over-ruled. Sometimes it's not worth the stress to fight someone on things. He gives me enough stress in other areas...haha
 

Blaze Duskdreamer

New member
No one mentions that rent always goes up, that landlords can ignore requests for repairs until you threaten them with code enforcement, that after a couple of years, they take you for granted, that you have to live by their rules, and the cost is a wash between the twoplaces. Whatever you can't do for yourself in your own home, you can hire someone to do. It's not simple but really it is the case. Landlords rent to make money. Your rent exceeds maintenance and taxes and insurance that they pay. Leases are almost stilted against you. I am disabled and as I turn 57 will also be house-hunting for the first time. I realize I'm taking on a lot and that I cannot do the work myself. It will still, in the end, be mine. Taxes and insurance and utilities and any work needing to be done will go up but the mortgage won't.

My lease said they had to give me 90 days notice if raising the rent. They did not honor that and gave me 60. I am not fighting it because they're letting me go month to month. My daughter's car is in danger of being towed whenever she is here because they are that finicky about who parks here so it's risk a tow in the building lot even though I don't drive, don't own a car but excuse me, aren't I paying the same rent as everybody else and therefore as entitled to a parking space as them but she has to risk tow or a fine on the street coming to help her disabled mother out. I get a house, she can park in my driveway and neither of us will be worrying about her car. I do not expect it to be easy but it is still better and, yes, I can leave it to her or my grandson or both. Wish I had bought years ago but the opportunity is only just presenting itself. They can enter THEIR house with 24 hours notice or less if they deem it an emergency and nothing you can do about it.

I have to endure an inspection in January and hope they don't decide to give me a hard time over some trivial piece of b.s. because they can, because I live at their mercy. My place is clean. I'm neat. I call for maintenance problems. But they can take offense at any whim and I swear the building manager is bi-polar. Love her when she's having a good day but when she's having a bad one, look out because she will take offense over nothing and this is the best apartment I have ever lived in. Because someone else burned their dinner, fire alarms went off all over the place and we had to dump out on the lawn in the cold December weather while the fire department checked it out. You have continual noise of people you share walls, floors and ceilings with, fighting, making love, hitting their kids, kids screaming uncontrolled. I am not allowed to take down the hideous Venetian blinds and put up something prettier and easier to care for. I can cover the inside with drapes but I'd better make damned sure the rod is in the dry wall and not the woodwork. I cannot put up the easy up and down paper blinds that come in such designer styles now and are so much prettier and don't collect dust because it's not allowed. Owning is freedom -- pure and simple. Freedom comes with a price but it is still freedom. I am SO doing it even if everyone thinks I'm crazy. Well, everyone older. The young people seem to think it's a great idea and I'll be happier in my own home. So do I.

Last but not least, it'll be MINE. I will not be living at someone else's whims and mercy. And in four years, my housing expense won't be 25% or more higher than it is now. Rent is raised as high as they can get away with every year and the longer you're there, the more they think you will be reluctant to move and the more they think they can get away with upping it while giving you a harder and harder time with making repairs. I know. I've been renting for 39 years. You have to keep moving to avoid this nonsense and it does no good to point out their ads about their starting rents. You are not starting. So you either move or pay the inflated rent. It always winds up where it's cheaper to move even when you add in the cost of movers and new security utility deposits. You may get your security deposit back but most likely, you'll have to take your landlord to court to do it or they'll just offer it back with bogus deductions for made-up b.s. and you'll take it because it's just not worth the hassle.

Landlords are, frankly, all ... well, I'm not sure of the language restrictions of this forum so I'll just say Ebeneezer Scrooges and not something that starts with an a. They just want to collect the rent and do not want to work for it. I want my own house; I want to be in control of my HOME.
 


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