I’m a single, high-earning 52-year-old looking for a more stable lifestyle. Am I too old to buy a home?

Like many individuals throughout COVID, I reevaluated what I actually need my high quality of life to be. I’ve lived in huge cities making a excessive wage, however I’m single and have been intimidated by homeownership solely having one earnings supply (my job).

I’m 52, a renter, and have round $230,000 in retirement, brokerage and financial savings accounts. I pared again my way of life, and I’m now saving $5,000 a month to play a little bit of catch up.  I’ve been suggested to think about actual property as a part of my funding technique.  I’ve little debt past a automotive notice ($300 a month) and a 750 credit score rating. Ought to I purchase a house or put money into a property like a condominium close to a resort?

I’m craving for a extra steady way of life as I age, and my household all personal properties, so they’re pressuring me to purchase one thing close to them in a lower-cost market. With distant working, that is now a possible choice. I might have a look at a 15- or 20-year mortgage both means given my age.


Too outdated to purchase?

The Big Move’ is a MarketWatch column wanting on the ins and outs of actual property, from navigating the seek for a brand new house to making use of for a mortgage.

Do you could have a query about shopping for or promoting a house? Do you wish to know the place your subsequent transfer ought to be? Electronic mail Jacob Passy at

Expensive too outdated,

Ah, the Nice American Dream of a single-family house with the white picket fence. It may possibly function a worthwhile purpose for individuals to carry onto as they delve into their careers and squirrel away pennies right here and there. As you place it, proudly owning a house provides some stability — there’s no pesky landlord to hike the lease — and it’s an asset we are able to go onto our kids or family members, creating an vital path to generational wealth.

However too typically, the dream of proudly owning a house additionally turns into a cudgel that punishes us for perceived misgivings. Youthful generations are derided for not pursuing homeownership earlier in life — setting apart the truth that house costs at this time are at all-time highs, making it much less possible for a lot of. Inevitably, many people get caught attempting to maintain up with the Joneses, and that may be a dangerous path for the financially unprepared.

Many people get caught attempting to maintain up with the Joneses, and that may be a dangerous path for the financially unprepared.

I learn a tinge of remorse in your letter — and I hope that you just give your self a pat on the again for the alternatives you made. For all the advantages homeownership supplies, it’s not one thing to take calmly. You have been proper to second guess whether or not to tackle such a serious monetary burden with just one earnings to depend on. And in most main cities throughout the nation, being a renter and investing your cash into different asset lessons is a greater gamble than shopping for a house, given how excessive property costs are. You’ve acquired a powerful credit score rating and aren’t carrying debt.

Briefly, you’re doing effectively for your self. So, when you take any of the recommendation I offer you to coronary heart, do take this: Minimize your self a break.

As as to if or not proudly owning a house is vital alongside your monetary journey, that may rely on who you ask. How do I do know? Properly, I requested a bunch of licensed monetary planners that very query, and acquired a variety of responses.

“I don’t consider that homeownership is a crucial a part of a monetary journey, though the flexibility to cowl housing prices is,” mentioned Marco Rimassa, president and founding father of monetary advisory agency CFE Monetary in Katy, Texas.

His colleague, licensed monetary Michael Metzger, founding father of Lifepoint Monetary Design in San Luis Obispo, Calif., mentioned virtually the exact reverse. “Homeownership is a crucial a part of the journey for monetary freedom and alternative,” Metzger mentioned, including that “not solely does it assist educate good monetary habits and compelled long-term perspective, however there are numerous monetary advantages that stem from homeownership.”

What must you do? There’s little sense, I might argue, in shopping for a house simply to say you personal a house in your case. Let’s say you purchase a condominium in Florida to have a real-estate asset in your arsenal. Certain, you may use it for a trip or two every year, however the prices of proudly owning it could add as much as greater than you’d pay for a unit on Airbnb
Certain, you possibly can lease it out, however being a long-distance landlord isn’t simple. It’s possible you’ll find yourself needing to rent an organization to handle the property for you — yet one more expense.

Being a long-distance landlord isn’t simple. It’s possible you’ll find yourself needing to rent an organization to handle the property for you — representing one other expense.

The cash you’d find yourself spending on that condominium is cash that arguably would higher serve you by staying in your retirement financial savings. Certain, the condominium might admire in worth over time, but it surely’s not assured to outperform the inventory market in simply the last decade or so you could have till you hit the everyday retirement age.

If you wish to have a bit extra selection in your funding portfolio, fractional real-estate investing or shopping for shares of a real-estate funding belief may be a greater means of giving your self some publicity to actual property with out all of the burdens that include really proudly owning a property your self.

My reply is completely different, although, if you wish to reside close to your loved ones in a lower-cost market. The down cost you’d have to buy a house in someplace like Kentucky or Tennessee is much lower than someplace like New York or Boston. These are the components of the nation the place shopping for is healthier than renting, research frequently present.

So when you can afford the down cost, plus the price of a month-to-month mortgage cost, taxes, insurance coverage and upkeep, then shopping for a house doubtless is the appropriate alternative financially. Plus, residing nearer to household as somebody who’s single might turn out to be useful as you age and wish assist in your later years.

No matter determination you make, I might make it with the identical strategy you’ve taken all through your profession till now. You’ve not lead your self astray up till this level, so stick with it. I want you the perfect of luck as you strategy this subsequent, thrilling chapter. | I’m a single, high-earning 52-year-old searching for a extra steady way of life. Am I too outdated to purchase a house?


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