buy vs. rent
My 21-year-old niece should be buying a home but instead she is spending an entire month’s take-home-pay to acquire a Sphynx kitten. I didn’t know what my sister had sent me when I first laid eyes on the photograph. She had sent a photo to my cellphone without any explanation, just asking what I thought. I said it looked horrid, like a Gollum creature. That’s when she sprang the news that it was my niece’s new kitten and not some kind of joke.
When I asked my sister why my niece was still living with her instead of buying her own home, the answer was my niece doesn’t make enough money. Well, she does make enough money, she just doesn’t have two years on the job yet. She dropped out of college to take a job at a franchise shoe store in Minnesota selling shoes. Why? Because she likes shoes. Well, I like ice cream but you won’t see me handing out ice cream cones at Vic’s. Sometimes, I wonder if we are cut from the same cloth.
With a salary of $30,000 a year, my niece would easily qualify financially to buy a home. There are small homes in stable neighborhoods available for $100,000. With $3,500 down, my niece’s monthly payment at 4% interest, including taxes, insurance and private mortgage insurance would run about $625. That’s a 25% front-end ratio and very doable. It is cheaper for her to buy a home than to rent.
The neighborhood my sister lives in is near Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis. Homes are less expensive in this area of the city because planes fly very close overhead. You can almost see what passengers are drinking onboard. But it’s only a couple times a day, small price to pay for affordable lake living.
And let’s face it, you just can’t live with your mother forever, can you? Although, my sister says it’s like Grey Gardens at her house, and I believe it.
Photo: Laura’s new kitten, M. Burgard
Photo: Gollum, Photobucket