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Should I buy or rent a place? - Page 2

post #16 of 21

if you seriously consider moving abroad for a while, think about the skills you have. if I remember correctly, you are managing a mixing plant or a contracting company, right? you may be able to get a job with a mulinational construction company, or possibly even a local company, involved in the construction business someplace. this would give you a great base to do your exploring, and you may be able to make some good money.

I think that the biggest construction in the world is going on right now in Dubai - that or shanghai. there is probrably zero chance you could work in the building industry in china, but a good chance you coujld get a job doing something very similar to what you are doing today in Dubai.

if you have any questions about specific points, feel free to pm me.
post #17 of 21
Originally Posted by globetrotter
but a good chance you coujld get a job doing something very similar to what you are doing today in Dubai.

Hmmm... I dunno about that.

post #18 of 21
My anecdote..

My friends and I have been through the same thought process as you, and unfortunately, we live in one of the top 3 worst housing markets in the country (Detroit). I have friends who purchased within the last 1-2 years that wish they hadn't. I have friends looking to purchase now that simply cannot since the prices are much higher than the properties are worth, even looking at a 4 or 5 year term. After talking with professionals as well as savvy amateurs, it seems to make no sense to buy in Detroit today unless this is going to be at least a 6 or 7 year investment.

Then, add to that, the fact that Detroit could possibly decline even faster than it is today with all of the problems that Ford and GM are having. Too much volatiliy for me. Additionally, I am not committed to live in Detroit for any length of time, especially if the economy tanks.

I have an income that could easily support purchasing a home similar or better than the one I rent, but I don't have 40-50k handy for a down payment, and if I did, I'm not sure I'd invest it in real estate in Detroit.

I think Detroit has been ahead of the curve of this housing boom. There was certainly a boom here, but it died off a bit quicker here for a number of reasons. I'm sure Seattle is different, but this could be a glimpse of the future.

Right now I think I will rent for another year and then move to Chicago or DC and rent there for a year to figure out the best move all while saving up a hefty downpayment by keeping my money in index funds..

Also, FWIW, there was a good article in the most recent Details about a guy around our age who rents and feels some pressure from friends/family, but is overall happy with his decision.
post #19 of 21
J, any new thoughts?
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by tiger02
J, any new thoughts?
Nothing concrete. Thanks all for the advice. It looks like I may have a couple of potential roommates to take up some of the rent for the next month or so while I figure out what I want to do. I still need to go get prequalified to see if I am even being realistic. In the meantime I also need to pare down my collection of extraneous crap, including a bunch of musical gear and tons of clothes....
post #21 of 21
You're single then? I think that's going to make getting a decent mortgage pretty hard. My sister recently tried and even though she has a decent income, her bf's is shit. They really want the safety of dual income to make sure that someone can pay the rent in the event that the other person loses their job.

I've also been doing the math recently and I've come to the conclusion that I'm better off investing 50k than sinking it in to a place of my own. I'm pretty sure the market will out-perform real estate and like modsquad said, even though you'd be building equity, there's an opportunity cost on that 50k.

Also consider that the bulk of what you pay when you first buy will be interest so you're building very little equity at first. Interest payments represent flushing money down the toilet just as much as paying rent does.

For me, the higher expected returns of investing in stocks is worth sticking it out in apartments for a few more years. Especially in Montreal where the rents are very reasonable.
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