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  1. #1

    Moving: buy or rent?

    It looks like we will be moving to the Dallas area in the near future. Probably a 3-5 year stint until I retire or move up the food chain. So we are looking at places to stay in the Dallas are and whether to rent or buy. My company will cover all transactional costs on the selling and buying side, which is nice. Data:

    $470k Current house value (might be higher, but this is a quick sell number. USAA says $500k. Zillow says $515k). Paid $513k in 2008.

    $421k current mortgage balance

    $3500 current mortgage payment (i pay $500 extra / month)

    $49k in my pocket

    Dallas real estate looks to be the same, price wise, as Cincinnati. We don't need another 4,000 sq ft house, so I am not sure what we would pay for an empty nester house. For now, I am budgeting $500k if we decide to buy and $3,000 / mo rent. I would love to find something my wife would be happy with for $2,000 / month, but I'd rather budget high and buy low than the other way around.

    I'd like to rent. Over 3-5 years, we won't be paying a lot on the principal. The tax break is nice, but that is our only deductible.

    I am not willing to rent our current home. Too big, too much maintenance.

    So, rent or buy in Dallas?


  2. #2
    I don't know anything about the Dallas market. I would say that it depends on the market there.

    You may find that your dollars stretch much farther renting or buying. If one is a financial advantage, I'd use that to my favor. I suppose the other consideration would be the average days on market (for real estate). I've never owned a home that I couldn't sell in a day. So I'd probably lean towards home ownership even for a shorter time period. I realize my experience is one extreme end of the scale.

    I am guessing in most cases it's wiser to just rent in your situation, but I personally wouldn't make a decision like that without running through all the numbers and investigating the specific real estate market more closely.

  3. #3
    I would not buy a house that I only expected to live in for 3-5 years. For that short a time frame, I'd want someone else to be responsible for maintenance and repairs. I'd want a place where I could leave cleanly and easily when it was time to go, not have to worry about prepping and showing and selling and settlement, especially if I might be in a different city by then.

  4. #4
    I would rent for at least for two or three in Dallas.

  5. #5
    That's a good point. Would I buy a home in a market I was unfamiliar with? Probably not. It makes more sense to rent initially and then figure out the rest from there. You'd probably want to live there a while before you really get an idea what neighborhood you might want to live in.



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