There has been a delay in posts, because I moved apartments. Long story short, I made the decision to buy an apartment and move across the river to New Jersey. I am still in the process of unpacking, although it’s getting close to being done.
If you are condsidering buying vs renting, I highly recommend this calculator from the NY Times. It shows in easy to understand graphs the impact of different aspects of buying vs renting. Another factor to keep in mind is that in my own personal experience, I have been far more reliable paying off debt than in putting money into investments. At an intellectual level I know that it’s the same thing – either $1 goes to pay down debt, or $1 goes to investments. And while that is true, what is also true is that for the last 20+ years, I personally have been far better at paying off debt ahead of schedule than I have been at putting money into investments. I you have the discipline to put money into investments without that external forcing function, more power to you.
Another thing to consider is what you can personally afford. This is where being a bit older makes things a bit more fun. This article from Investopedia says that a good baseline is 2-2.5x gross income. I honestly feel like when I bought a place back in 2007, everyone and their brother was at 4x their gross income. Of course, then the bottom fell out, and everyone got burned. So it appears that the ‘reasonable estimate’ for buying a home is more in line with my personal comfort level.
Now for the good stuff!
Immediately after closing, I have felt a marked improvement in my overall outlook on… well everything. The odd thing is, right after I closed, I had a client come in and I also had to dog sit at my friends (which was a lot of fun since I love dogs). My diet and sleep patterns were way off and all to the negative. I ate way worse and slept far less, yet wake up most mornings feeling better and more energetic than almost any day living in my apartment. I really cannot explain it other than to say that being a property owner has some sort of meaning to me that I really do not have a great understanding of, but it hits me more than I realized. It’s been almost four years since I moved out of the house I owned and started living in apartments. In that period of time I’ve moved five times, including the move to here.
I also think in some odd way having a separate bedroom makes a difference to me somehow – when I moved from a studio to a one bedroom place in Los Angeles, I also felt a bit better, but not to this level.
I will update this post in the future, as getting a bigger place has allowed me to buy some items I’ve had my eye on for a while. See you soon!