I graduated from college in May, and I already have a job in my field. It was a part-time position that went full time, so I already have $15,000 in an IRA and about $23,000 in savings. I’m also debt-free, because scholarships paid for my education. Am I ready to buy a house?
This is an awesome position you’re in right now! Financially, you’re okay to buy a house. I do have one slight hesitation, though. There are going to be lots and lots of things happening in your world during the next few years, and there’s a possibility you’ll end up moving—maybe for a girl, or even another job—during this time period. It’s going to be a time of transition, and having a piece of real estate tied around your neck could be a huge pain. But if you’re sure that’s where you want to be for a while, then it’s not such a big deal.
Keep in mind that there’s a word for real estate that sells quickly, and that word is cheap! Lots of times, the only way to get out from under something like that fast is to practically give it away. It’s a great time now to buy a home, though. It’s like they’re on sale. Interest rates are really low, too.
Don’t use the entire $23,000 as a down payment on a place, and keep an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses set aside. Make sure you get a 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage, too. If you play this right, Zack, you’re going to be sitting pretty!
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