Let me preface this blog by saying that being an adult is wildly overrated. In fact, it fucking blows. If it were possible, I’d sell my soul to the devil right this very second if it meant I could go back to being 17 again just so I could live the easy life for eternity. You see, things were much simpler 11 year ago. I had no job, no responsibilities, and I could still catch a buzz by sucking down two beers in one sitting. Back in those days, my toughest decisions were typically centered around which graphic tee shirt I was going to wear to school that day or whatever softcore porn flick I was going to watch at night on Max After Dark (shoutout Busty Cops as well as the fact that my parents weren’t poor, which meant I had every single premium cable channel at my disposal).
Fast forward to 2018. Nowadays, I have 1.5 jobs,
a lot somewhat more responsibilities, and it takes me like four beers (not to brag) to catch a buzz. Pair that with daunting decisions I need to make like if I should wear a white or blue dress shirt to work or whether or not I should piss away a lucrative career in my father’s business so I can focus on writing dick jokes for a living for way less pay (I’ve graduated to the internet these days in case you were wondering – YouJizz, to be specific). Shit’s tough. But you know what’s tougher? The bigger life decisions we all seem to face as adults like settling down and getting married, starting a family, or buying a house.
Sticking with that last point, here’s a fun fact for you – Did you know that the most expensive purchase you’ll probably ever make in your lifetime is buying a house? And chances are you’ll be doing it more than once in your lifetime.
You see, buying a house is basically a death sentence to your checking account (unless you’re rich like Dave Portnoy and can afford to own .5 vacation houses in Nantucket). However, it’s also considered an investment since you’re building equity in something that you can one day turn around and sell. But does buying a house always make more sense than, let’s say, renting? Well, not necessarily. In fact, there’s a case to be made for both. Let’s take a further look.
Buying A House
If you’re in your 20s or 30s, chances are your Instagram feed gets blown up every now and then from one of your asshole friends who just became a #Homeowner for the first (or second or third) time. Step 1 in buying a house: don’t be this fucking person. Just like nobody gives a shit about your vacation pictures or, quite frankly, anyone else in your family (unless they’re hot), do not under any circumstances flaunt your new $200,000 house on social media. Trust me, nobody cares. And if it’s a nice house, you’re just going to piss people off. Either way, you end up losing. Don’t lose.
So now that step 1 is out of the way. Let’s go to step 2 – does it even make sense to be buying a house in the first place? Well, as you might imagine, there’s quite a bit of factors that come in to play when making a hefty decision such as throwing most of your life savings into something. For starters, you’ll need to figure out how much you’ll be able to spend on a house. Here’s how you can figure this out – first, calculate how much money you make in a month. Then, make sure you wouldn’t be spending anymore than roughly 30% of your gross monthly income (income before taxes) on housing costs. Here’s a quick example: Let’s say you make $5,000/month. In this case, it’s imperative that you’re not spending anymore than $1,500/month (or 30% of your gross monthly income) on housing costs. But before we go any further, let’s not forget about this important tidbit. Before you even start making monthly payments, you need to “buy” the house. This essentially means pissing a large sum of your money away on a down payment. So before you even step foot in your new shithole, you’re gonna need to pay anywhere from 10-20% of the purchase price in cash (i.e. a down payment). So long, savings! Then, to add insult to injury, you’re most likely gonna get whacked with closing costs and legal fees. These are more or less like paying the tip after picking up the dinner tab, but still something you’ll need to consider.
Alright. So now that you know you shouldn’t be an asshole on social media after you drain your brain account on a house, let’s consider a few other things that should play a pivotal on whether or not a decision like this makes sense in the first place. You see, I’m an optimistic guy, so let’s start with the positives of being a homeowner. As I mentioned earlier, buying a house is an investment. In fact, each time you make a mortgage payment it only brings you one step closer to owning your house outright. So essentially, you aren’t throwing your money into a dark hole like you would if you were, let’s say, renting. Therefore, if you ever sell the house, you’ll (hopefully) get the money you put into it back. And in other cases (depending on if the price of your house goes up or down), you’ll get back more or less based on the price fluctuation.
Another underrated benefit to owning a home – tax deductions. In fact, homeowners are able to deduct interest on the first $750,000 of mortgage debt on a home. Chances are you’ll be in debt up to your eyeballs after you a buy home. Little deductions like these go a long way.
So now that we’ve looked at a couple positives, let’s take a look at some bullshit that comes with buying a house. For starters, investing a large sum of money into real estate is an opportunity cost. Sure, opportunity cost is a fancy word you probably first learned in Econ 101 from a crazy Jamaican lady professor who posted all her exams online which led to a gigantic cheat-fest (or maybe that was just my experience), but here’s what this means in terms of purchasing a house – instead of spending all of your money on a down payment and closing costs, you can ultimately save the money you would’ve spent by renting and putting the rest of that money away in passive investments (i.e. the stock market). Odds are you’ll probably wind up with more money than selling a home if you diversify your investments appropriately.
What else sucks about being a homeowner? Unlike renting, being a homeowner means you’re responsible for basically everything. That means paying for property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, ALL of your utilities, and maintenance costs (which includes annoying shit like cutting the grass, fixing shit, etc.). Gone are the days where you can just ring up your landlord and tell him your toilet isn’t working after you clogged the shit out of it (no pun intended) after going all in the night before at the hibachi restaurant.
What To Do
So should you be buying a house? Well, to put it simply, if you can afford to do so, possibly. But are you okay with having less flexibility? If not, then no. Obviously there are a lot of other scenarios I haven’t mentioned in this blog that can steer you to go one way or the other (i.e. job uncertainty, location preferences, etc.), but here’s the bottom line – buying a home should be considered a long-term commitment. At the end of the day, if you can’t commit to owning a home for longer than a few years, you’re probably better of renting. And who gives a shit about what your friends on Instagram think about that.
Fuck these people ^^^. You’re better than this.