What Criteria Determine If You Should Buy a House?

Photo by Athitat Shinagowin via Shutterstock

You’ll often hear it stated that paying rent is throwing money down the drain. As a motivation to buy a home, however, that might not be the best idea. A rule of thumb is that if you can purchase a home for fifteen times what you currently pay annually in rent, buying makes sense. In real numbers, if your rent is $1,500 a month, your annual rent is $18,000. Fifteen times that amount is $270,000. That means if you can buy a comparable home for around $270,000, it makes sense to buy rather than to rent because you’ll break even in 15 years and will accrue equity beyond that.

But even if housing prices fit that scenario, what is your personal criteria?

Is renting throwing money away?

That depends. There are multiple rent vs. buy calculators online that allow you to plug in the variables that apply to your situation. The adage that it’s always better to buy may not fit into your lifestyle, career goals or plans. Don’t buy just because someone tells you that you’re tossing away your life savings. After all, if you have enough for a down payment, you can invest it in something more liquid than property.

But, buying is a fantastic idea if you love the community, see yourself living there for at least five years, and want to own your home.

There are some guidelines, however, to help you determine if you are ready. These require that you keep financial considerations separate.

  • Do you still have student loans? If so, determine the impact that more debt places not just on your pocketbook, but on your psyche. If having education debt stresses you out, adding more debt to that is not a solution. Instead, before you buy a home, work with a student debt counselor to see if you can make some headway on your loans.
  • Do you have an emergency fund? For some people, if they get a flat tire or the fuel pump goes out in the car, the burden of taking care of that emergency can throw all caution to the wind. Having an emergency fund of a minimum of $1000 for short-term emergencies (car repair, flight to a family funeral, etc.) and three to six months for long-term emergencies (extended illness, job loss) protects you from disasters lurking around every corner.
  • Can you set aside money for home maintenance? If you replace your rent one-to-one with a mortgage (even including taxes, PMI, and homeowner’s insurance), you still need funds for regular home maintenance. Generally, you’ll want to set aside about one percent of the cost of the house minimum for annual maintenance. If you buy your home for $300,000, you’ll need to set aside an extra $250 a month (3% or $750 a month is better) to cover repairs, maintenance, and upkeep of your home.

The other questions you want to answer are: How secure is your job? Could you be moving within five years? Do you qualify for a good interest rate? Buying just to escape renting is never a promising idea. But if the answer to these questions leads you to believe homeownership is right for you, in the right location, and it’s the right time, find the right real estate professional to help you get there.

Open house on 11/22/2020 at 58 Gordon St Somerville, MA 02144


Date: 11/22/2020 Time: 12:00 PM to 1:15 PM  
For Directions: feel free to contact me.  
For more information: click here for the full details  

Extremely well maintained two family home in the same family for over 50 years! Located in West Somerville between Whole Foods and Stop & Shop, close to the Tufts Campus, Minutemen Bike Path and the Medford commuter rail station. Two Bedrooms and one bathroom on each floor. The upstairs unit occupied by family also features a 3 season front porch + a room above the entryway that makes an ideal home office. Each unit has hardwood floors throughout, renovated bathrooms and ample size bedrooms. Other updates include a new sewer line all the way to the street, heating systems are approximately 10 years old and 3 of the decks rebuilt less than a year ago. Private outdoor space and 3 car parking makes this place a can’t miss. Easy access to Rt 2 and 93.

Open house on 11/21/2020 at 58 Gordon St Somerville, MA 02144


Date: 11/21/2020 Time: 12:00 PM to 1:15 PM  
For Directions: feel free to contact me.  
For more information: click here for the full details  

Extremely well maintained two family home in the same family for over 50 years! Located in West Somerville between Whole Foods and Stop & Shop, close to the Tufts Campus, Minutemen Bike Path and the Medford commuter rail station. Two Bedrooms and one bathroom on each floor. The upstairs unit occupied by family also features a 3 season front porch + a room above the entryway that makes an ideal home office. Each unit has hardwood floors throughout, renovated bathrooms and ample size bedrooms. Other updates include a new sewer line all the way to the street, heating systems are approximately 10 years old and 3 of the decks rebuilt less than a year ago. Private outdoor space and 3 car parking makes this place a can’t miss. Easy access to Rt 2 and 93.

Pre-Moving Tips: List Your Excess Items Online

If you’ve recently sold your house or are preparing to list your residence, now may be the perfect time to cut down on clutter. That way, you can remove excess items from your home and earn extra cash before you move into a new residence.

Of course, selling excess items may prove to be difficult, particularly for those with limited time and resources at their disposal. But individuals who use the web to their advantage should have no trouble selling excess items.

What does it take to effectively promote a wide range of items online to prospective buyers? Here are three tips to help you do just that.

1. Take Excellent Photos

Regardless of whether you’re looking to sell an old tennis racquet or a rarely used refrigerator, it is important to take outstanding photos of your items. This will enable potential buyers to get a look at what an item has to offer and decide if it is right for them.

Before you photograph an item, clean this item thoroughly. By doing so, you can ensure the item will look pristine before you post photographs of it online.

Furthermore, take pictures of an item from multiple angles. And be sure there is sufficient lighting when you capture photographs, as this will allow you to showcase the true beauty of any item, at any time.

2. Provide Relevant Information

When it comes to selling excess items online, it pays to be honest. If you provide accurate, relevant information about an item to prospective buyers, you can increase the likelihood of connecting with the right audience.

Also, don’t forget to include an engaging headline in your item description. This will help your item listing stand out from others, thereby improving your chances of stirring up substantial interest from dozens of potential buyers.

3. Respond to Buyer Concerns and Questions Immediately

An alert online seller usually is a profitable one. As such, if a buyer has a concern or question about an item listing, it is important to respond as quickly as possible to boost your chances of getting the best possible results.

For example, if you publish an item listing on Craigslist and a potential buyer sends you an email, you should try to respond within the first few hours. This will allow you to connect with the buyer and reduce the risk that the buyer will become impatient and look elsewhere for the same item.

If you need help decluttering your house and listing excess items online, your real estate agent may be able to lend a helping hand. This housing market professional understands the complexities of selling a house and moving into a new residence. Therefore, he or she can help you find innovative ways to declutter and streamline the moving process.

Take advantage of the aforementioned pre-moving tips – you’ll be happy you did. Thanks to these tips, anyone can declutter a residence, sell excess items online and earn extra cash at the same time.