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06:50 AM on 03/19/12 
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Sikbeat37
You like music too? Woah.
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New Jersey
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I still currently live at home because I have to tackle one major expense at a time, but I got some great advice from some friends who live on their own. Don't get an apartment. Try to get a house to buy. I know it seems extreme because you're young, but does it make sense to put out $1000+ a month towards something you'll never really be able to call your own? It basically is just throwing your money away, where as putting it towards a house, you're investing your money.

A lot of my friends have been asking me about this because I work in real estate, and while buying a house has its share of benefits, it's important to consider the significant risks as well. Unlike having an apartment, you're locked in for longer than your lease. What happens if you lose your job? If you have an apartment, you can talk to your landlord about finding a replacement tenant; or, if you have savings and/or helpful parents, you can hopefully pay off the remainder of the lease while you look for a new job. Given the weak housing market, you're stuck with it unless you are lucky enough to stumble across a very aggressive buyer so soon after your purchase. Accounting for broker and legal fees, depending on the amount of time you've held the house and the equity you've put into it, you might end up losing money before your investment has a chance to grow. Keeping in mind that many housing markets are still in a downturn, continued depreciation in housing prices may also hurt your investment (depending on where you live). Additionally, when you live in an apartment, landlords handle maintenance at the property. Unless you're particularly handy, you have to expect that the costs of upkeep will mount a few years down the road. Lastly, don't overlook the fact that you pay taxes on property ownership (though there are tax breaks for new homeowners that ease the burden early on), so your general costs go up.

My advice (though broad and obvious) is to live within your means. If you have reached a point where you can afford sinking yourself into very long term debt, saved up enough money for a down payment on a house, and have the credit to back yourself, then a mortgage can be comparable (if not cheaper) to paying rent depending on where you live. A large reason that so many homeowners foreclosed in the past few years is because they were swindled into a mortgage that they didn't understand/couldn't afford while completely disregarding the reality of their job security, salary/wage growth, and the costs of home-ownership. I manage to save money while renting and paying off student loans because I carefully budget my spending and found a place to live that I knew I could afford. Just don't break the bank because you want to jump the gun on a 15 to 30 year investment in a lagging, cyclical, and very localized market that hasn't even recovered from a continued downturn.
07:13 AM on 03/19/12 
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Alison1488
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Female - 26 Years Old
I think that advice goes for anyone moving out. Have money to support yourself. Have money to fall back on. Never rush into anything. Do your research.
07:47 AM on 03/19/12 
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etomicsean
Lannen Fall / Sean - Manager
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Boston, MA
Male - 31 Years Old
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I still currently live at home because I have to tackle one major expense at a time, but I got some great advice from some friends who live on their own. Don't get an apartment. Try to get a house to buy. I know it seems extreme because you're young, but does it make sense to put out $1000+ a month towards something you'll never really be able to call your own? It basically is just throwing your money away, where as putting it towards a house, you're investing your money.

i don't post in here often but as someone that is almost 30 and just buying their own house i would also not do this. i have been paying rent since college and while looking at it from the point of view as a waste of money, it's also something you should experience. i just bought my first house and it really is a lot of work. as someone earlier said wait until you have a solid career path and are sure you know where you plan to settle down. rent is rent but owing hundreds of thousands of dollars is another thing.
07:57 AM on 03/19/12 
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bung
Peel slowly and see
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Minneapolis, MN
Male - 26 Years Old
Ahh, in a perfect world where money grows on trees and couches are made of ice cream.

Move out of your overpriced state you'll see that it's an entirely realizable goal.
08:44 AM on 03/19/12 
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Alison1488
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Female - 26 Years Old
i don't post in here often but as someone that is almost 30 and just buying their own house i would also not do this. i have been paying rent since college and while looking at it from the point of view as a waste of money, it's also something you should experience. i just bought my first house and it really is a lot of work. as someone earlier said wait until you have a solid career path and are sure you know where you plan to settle down. rent is rent but owing hundreds of thousands of dollars is another thing.

I've had a full-time, steady job since I got out of high school and throughout college, so I guess I can look at things from a different point of view than the majority. Since my advice is getting shot down, just save as much money as you can. How important is it to live on your own if you can't afford food? My friend is using student loans to pay her rent, and when she graduates, she's most likely moving in with her parents again because she will not be able to afford it, even with roommates. Like I said, I watched my sister move out and back in within a 5 month window. Sleep on any big decisions.
08:52 AM on 03/19/12 
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ari telescope
kitties
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Southern California
Female - 27 Years Old
Move out of your overpriced state you'll see that it's an entirely realizable goal.

I plan on it. However, My friends live in mediocre-town Pennsylvania and rent is about $700 mid (probably half of what it is here for more space). Decent, but still I don't think I know anyone my age who makes $700 every week. It's more the "one months rent is one weeks salary" I was commenting on. Most people outside of the midwest or southwest don't make one months rent in a week, it's not just a California thing.

Edit: also I'm not saying its like four weeks salary. One and a half or two probably is average of everyone I know. But still, one would be pretty nice.
09:02 AM on 03/19/12 
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ari telescope
kitties
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Southern California
Female - 27 Years Old
I've had a full-time, steady job since I got out of high school and throughout college, so I guess I can look at things from a different point of view than the majority. Since my advice is getting shot down, just save as much money as you can. How important is it to live on your own if you can't afford food? My friend is using student loans to pay her rent, and when she graduates, she's most likely moving in with her parents again because she will not be able to afford it, even with roommates. Like I said, I watched my sister move out and back in within a 5 month window. Sleep on any big decisions.

Well, what if in the same situation your sister bought and signed into a house though, with a mortgage and taxes and utilities and a bigger place to maintain? You're that confident that if she did that instead of got an apartment shed be fine and still there, doing great? I'm legitimately curious on your thoughts.
09:11 AM on 03/19/12 
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tyramail
wake up i'm calling you
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oregon city
Female - 25 Years Old
i would just say to make you sure you add up every bill and expense you have per month and make sure that you can afford all of that plus rent on your current income. do you already have roommates? or are you trying to move out by yourself? also, getting a house is way more complicated so i would advise against that first advice.
09:57 AM on 03/19/12 
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etomicsean
Lannen Fall / Sean - Manager
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Boston, MA
Male - 31 Years Old
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if you can't afford rent and need to pay with your student loans, you shouldn't be living on your own. you should live with your parents and save money until you can afford to be out by yourself.
10:01 AM on 03/19/12 
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JuneJuly
Allez l'OL
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Highgarden
Male - 21 Years Old
My mom pays my rent. But what's the difference between that and her paying towards tuition, which went to my dorm room? It's less expensive, even.
10:07 AM on 03/19/12 
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t00latef0rr0ses
Purple Monkey Dishwasher
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Central New Jersey
Male - 26 Years Old
set up a budget. follow that budget. Also, the more room mates, the better. Dividing the cable bill over 4 people is a lot better than you paying it by yourself.
10:08 AM on 03/19/12 
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SoCoSquid4
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green bay
Male - 28 Years Old
i lived in apartments for 4 years towards the end of college/after college. find a place you can be comfortable in. my old apartment had a lot of hispanics in the complex. the lady across the hall would make lunch and dinner EVERY DAY and i could smell it. it was incredible. i also lived below a 3 year old boy that my roomate and i affectionately called "screamer kid" because he had the most ear piercing shriek that you could imagine...and he screamed a lot.

its a fun experience if you can get yourself in a good situation.
10:08 AM on 03/19/12 
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Neo Cassady
Let's go exploring!
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Cincinnati, OH
Male - 28 Years Old
I'm not from Ohio, so I don't know what the situation is there, but in my state, almost every place I've looked starts at about $900 and only goes higher. The OP never specified if he was planning on a roommate or not. I never said it would be easy. Obviously, research has to be done and funds have to be available. Since the OP knows their situation, it's up to them if this advice is viable for them.

Obviously it depends on the town, but in various places in Ohio I've lived in a one-bedroom apartment for $450, a two-bedroom for $550 with a roommate (so we each paid $275), a two-bedroom townhouse for $715, and now a three-bedroom house for $950. You can get by easily under $1000 if you're willing to compromise. Of course, if you want an almost-new townhouse with a garage in a complex with a swimming pool, you'll be paying more.
10:10 AM on 03/19/12 
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SoCoSquid4
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green bay
Male - 28 Years Old
do you go to school in wisconsin? i went to uw-green bay and saved quite a bit by living off-campus as compared to on campus. i only lived about 2 miles from campus so gas was never a factor. had a lot more space in my apt off campus too

My mom pays my rent. But what's the difference between that and her paying towards tuition, which went to my dorm room? It's less expensive, even.
10:12 AM on 03/19/12 
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JuneJuly
Allez l'OL
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Highgarden
Male - 21 Years Old
do you go to school in wisconsin? i went to uw-green bay and saved quite a bit by living off-campus as compared to on campus. i only lived about 2 miles from campus so gas was never a factor. had a lot more space in my apt off campus too

yup. uwm. meal plan + dorm was really expensive here too. more expensive than tuition itself.



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