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RENTED APPARTMENT/TOWNHOME vs OWN HOUSE

Discussion in 'General Discussions - USA & Canada' started by vaishnavilakshmi, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. vaishnavilakshmi

    vaishnavilakshmi Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi all,

    We live in an appartment.If everything goes fine,we want to stay for 5years or more in usa.I still don't have work status to work here.Only one income at home.And now since we need space for my kid to play around,i would want to move to a bigger house. Iam in a dilema whether to buy a house or move to townhome. Can anyone give me a detailed comparaitive study on appartment/townhome vs own house?

    I heard people telling that life is easy when we live in appartments/townhomes than owning a house and maintaining,cleaning it .Need to take care of every corner and every part of the house etc..And getting the cleaning etc done by some cleaners etc is very expensive issue when only one is earning at home.Responsibility is more at own homes from top to bottom and they r tired looking after own house.It is otherwise when we live in rented appartments.And in case of any repairs either we have to do by ourselves or spend lots of money for external services.

    Kindly can anyone give me pros and cons of the above?

    Awaiting for ur valuable suggestions,
    Cheers,
    Vaishu
     
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  2. GayathriSundar

    GayathriSundar Senior IL'ite

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    Hi Vaishu,
    I do not have a detailed study on the pros and cons of buying a house vs townhome. But I write from experience here!
    My husband and I bought a townhome 2 years ago in the Washington DC metro area. We bought it mainly for tax break purposes as both of us work and we did not have any children then!
    2 years later we would happily move back to an apartment! When you buy a house you do all the financial calculations of down-payment, closing costs, monthly mortgage etc and you convince your self that you would get by on your salary. But a house is a drain on your energy, time and money. You would want to decorate your house - buy furniture and stuff. You have to give a house warming party!
    If the house has a yard it has to be maintained other wise the Home Owners' Association puts a nasty note on your front door!!! Also the yard needs equipment - lawn mower, grass seeds, top soil, pretty plants! :icon_frown:
    Believe me - vacumming stairs is no joke. Here in northern virgina every house has stairs! I agree with you that maintaining an apartment is easier - especially with repairs. Once when we lived in an apartment in CA the garbage disposal broke down and there was water all over the sink and threatening to overflow. I called the apartment manager in a hurry and everything was fixed in 2 hours.
    In our house last year suddenly there was no water in the kitchen faucet and we did know what to do - I researched the net frantically for couple of hours and found the solution! phew!
    And our dryer was making a horrendous noise every time it ran(we overlooked to check it when we bought the house) . We had to go through 2 home owner's insurances and had to shell out $60.00 to repair it. The technician fixed it in 15 minutes with a drum-bearing that costs $10.00!!!!!!!

    In an apartment you are paying rent, even though mortgage might be less in amount it is a HUGE liability!
    Maybe you could move to a bigger apartment for your child to play!
    We are also thinking of going back to India in the next 4 years and as a result we do not buy expensive furniture and stuff and I always feel that my house does not look elegant!
    I would recommend thinking long and hard before buying a home that too with a single income. And compromise is the name of the game here. Once you start looking at houses you would be tempted to go beyond your budget. This happened with me and my friends! We ended up spending $30,000 beyond our budget!
    I hope I have not stressed you further.

    Good Luck!
    Gayathri
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2007
  3. vaishnavilakshmi

    vaishnavilakshmi Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi gayatri,

    Thanq so much for sharing ur views on this topic.Though we don't have own house and always lived in an appartment,i heard from many people the same thing.The reason why i posted this thread is i wanted to know the pros and cons of the both and take take a good decision and move further.

    I once went to my sister's place in chicago to assist my pregnant sister for 20 days since my brotherinlaw went to india and .My 2.5year old son flushed a hairpin .Thats it,it blocked and messed up and finally we called a plumber who asked $200 to touch and see.Then i tried with the help of the equipment which my sister has in her house.Everything was cool and it was working fine.We sent him back.I dont know what would happen in future to that toilet.But for timebeing we solved the problem.

    In my 20days stay,i know she was so tired,she had to change the entire exhaust pipes which were wrongly constructed and lead to carbon monoxide release at home and we got exposed to it.

    Ofcourse,i dont say all these happen for everyone and all the time.What i learnt from that 20days at my sister's house is,when we own a house here,We must be responsible for every corner of the house. "Knowing to manage/lookafter/care the entire house and Knowing what to do when something goes wrong " is the primary key factor one should know when one owns or plans to buy a house.Ultimately,lots of patience,energy,family members cooperation etc is needed to do this.Here in USA both husband and wife share the work and do.But in most of our indian families,this doesnot happen.Be it the matter whether she is working woman or a homemaker,Husbands do not inlvolve in or share the household work .As a result entire burden is on woman.So for our indians,if we want to buy a house,we need to think of this also.If everyone at home share and work towards the best usage and maintenance at home,the problems regarding maintenance would atleast come down.

    Okay,I would wait for many of my friends to share their opinions and suggestions here before i step ahead .

    -Cheers,
    -Vaishu
     
  4. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vaishu,

    Gayathri has given a very good idea of what happened to them and the problems one faces with owning a place.
    Yet, I feel that each case is different. It all depends on where you live, what you pay in rents, what your income is etc etc.
    If you are paying very high rents, it is then worth to invest the money in buying your own place provided you do a good research about the mortgage, interest rates and the property values and their resale values in your area. You do get good tax relief if you have a mortgage. You have to weigh out the pros and cons. Also, if you invest intelligently and buy a good house which does not need too much maintenance and also be careful about not spending on unwanted decorations and with only a small patch for garden, you might even make a profit when selling after six years.
    On the whole, a tricky proposition and one must give it a very thorough thought.
    Best of luck in whatever you decide:)

    L, Kamla
     
  5. Selvi

    Selvi Senior IL'ite

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    Hi,

    Here is my view.. Of course there is Mortgage, maintenance etc.. But think abt the comfort and space u get.. we bought our house 2 years back and I would never go back to apartment again.

    It is true that u need to be a handy man sometimes. My husband and I learnt so many stuff after buying house. you can also do urself. Just buy right set of tools, u can manage at least most of the issues.

    We have a swing in our patio which we enjoy in summer(though it is really short here ) Specially for the kids, the space is really useful. You can do your own gardening also. Last summer we had tomato in ur backyard which wasnt much , but home grown has special feeling to it.

    If you want to give a try, find some house for rent..Once you move in to house you can easily find out if you want to take the step or not.

    Hope it helps!

    :-D
     

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