To Buy or not to Buy…

A friend of mine is moving to sunny California for work- lucky girl! She has been looking for places to live and mentioned that the cost of a mortgage looked very reasonable compared to rent. No money down (Are people still going there???) and I am guessing a 30 year mortgage or longer. 

Buying a home is a big step- one that more and more single women are taking. It is a lot of responsibility and for most people, the biggest “investment” that most individuals will make in their lifetime. (Some will argue that ones’ house, primary residence, is not an investment but that is a subject for another time.)

I am not an expert but I suggested doing more research. Some states charge foreign property owners much higher tax rates. Don’t forget utilities, maintenance costs, condo fees.

I hope my reality check does not quell her interest. I think buying a home is a great idea but knowledge is power. And knowing the reason why you want to buy a house is a big factor to consider. Is this your “forever” home? A short-term investment in a depressed market that has a lot of upside when the economy turns around? A first home to get you started on the property ladder?  

Depending on your reasons for buying, now may not be the right time. Consider the desperate fortunes of the Big Three automakers. No guarantees but if the worst happened, if even one of the automakers goes under, the fallout would be tremendous. Foreclosures will continue to rise, houses will continue to flood the market and prices will continue to go down.  

I offered to send her any information I came across regarding the purchase of property in the States. I think I’ll send her the link below to a very interesting map I found in the New York Times online: 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/11/10/business/20081111_MORTGAGES.html?ex=1242018000&en=cb316e0cb77f6ef6&ei=5087&WT.mc_ev=click&WT.mc_id=NYT-E-I-NYT-E-AT-1112-L19

I have given more than a passing thought to purchasing property abroad.

Now is a good time to roll up the sleeves and start that ball rolling.

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~ by angryegg on November 12, 2008.

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