The Big Real Estate Debate That You Need to Join

Deciding if you should buy or rent a home is a major decision in your 20s. This one decision alone will determine your finances, flexibility, and lifestyle for the rest of your 20s. The majority of your income will likely be spent on your living situation. How about that for stress?

When I was in Miami last week I took the time to ask some of the locals about the ridiculously nice condos that were located close to South Beach. Not surprisingly, I found out that the beach condos are super expensive. The obvious benefit to buying a condo on South Beach is to enjoy the South Beach lifestyle. The obvious setback is the steep cost of a condo and the other living expenses.. For one person, life’s all about living by the beach. For the next person, renting a place in a small town is the obvious choice.

Do you care where you live? Does it matter to you what your surroundings are? What matters to you when it comes to real estate?

This is the real estate location debate that you need to join. I’m going to throw a few points and questions out to get you thinking.

Is it worth paying more to live in a big city?

The cost of living in a big city (especially close to downtown) is not going to be cheap. The flip side is that the ideal lifestyle for many young professionals involves living downtown, close to everything. You’re going to spend more money to live in the big city, but you’re also going to experience a different type of lifestyle. Let’s look at both sides here…

What are the benefits of living downtown?

  • You don’t need a car because you can use public transportation.
  • You’re close to everything.
  • Better social life.
  • Always something to do.

What are the setbacks with living in a big city?

  • Expensive cost of living.
  • Always a reason to spend money.
  • You get to save less of your income.

As you can see, there are many benefits and setbacks to living in a city compared to moving out to a small town. Your real estate decision will  depend on what value you place on this information.

Do you care if you live with your parents?

You can save tons of money by living with your parents for a bit in your 20s. The obvious problem here is that well you’re stuck your parents. This will impact your social life, lifestyle, and your sleep schedule. You can’t really be wandering around the home making noise late at night when your parents have to be up early the next day. However, you can get serious about your finances, work your butt off, save as much money as possible, and then move out on your own terms when you’re ready.

Is it worth sacrificing a few years by staying at home? Should you move out right after college and get your life started?

What sort of lifestyle are you looking for?

To tie in the previous points, you can spend the big bucks to have an amazing lifestyle based on where you live or you can stay with your parents and save money. The type of lifestyle that you’re looking for will influence where you decide to live.

If you want to walk everywhere, it would’t make sense to live in the suburbs.

If you want to live in a big place with a spacious backyard, you’re going to likely have to move to a small town.

If you want to go out every single night, it’s going to be challenging in the suburbs.

The big real estate debate essentially boils down to the location that you want to live in and the amount of your income that you’re willing to spend on your living expenses. For some of us real estate is all about the ideal location, no matter how much of our budget it eats up. For others, a home is just a place to sleep and it makes more sense to find a bigger place out of town.

Now it’s time for you guys to join the real estate debate– Where are you going to live? What do you consider when it comes to where you want to live?

3 thoughts on “The Big Real Estate Debate That You Need to Join”

  1. Romeo @

    Hey MD,
    I think location is always key. However, someone in their 20s. who is likely just starting their career, should probably never purchase a home to begin with. It is far too likely that he or she will eventually relocate because of a new job opportunity once they gain more experience. But, because he or she will buy the home regardless my stated “fact,” as long as the mortgage payment follows one important guideline things won’t be so bad: Ensure the mortgage payment, taxes included, is less than the going rental rates! This is what I didn’t do when purchasing my first home when I was in my 20s.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Romeo. It was cool to have beers with you in Chicago.

      Your points are right on. Did you learn anything else from your first home purchase in your 20s?

  2. Romeo @

    Not only did I learn things about my first home purchase in my 20s, I learned things about all of my spending, in general. They are all written in my book, How We Prevent Wealth. If you haven’t checked it out already, you should do so while I still have it available for free online.

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