Thursday, June 02, 2005


"The first home you buy will probably not be your last."

I'm currently torn between two strategies:

1. Buy a nice 2 bedroom condo in the low 4s and rent out one of the bedrooms.

2. Buy a small, older, single family home for about $600,000 and rent out two of the bedrooms.

Interestingly, when it's all said and done, the cost to me is about the same. Sure, the condo has a lower purchase price but I can only rent out one room and most condo complexes have association fees of $250 to $300 per month. In fact, here's an interesting fact: Assuming a 5% interest rate, a $300/mo association fee is equivalent to a property costing $72,000 more!!!

However, there is a big lifestyle difference between having one roommate and having two roommates. Right now I have zero roommates. Unfortunately, it's a decision that only I can make. Unlike above, there's no snazzy numerical approach to calculating the extra inconvenience from having another roommate. I've thought about making a pluses and minuses comparison chart, but somehow I think this might be one of those decision best made from the gut. (Whoa, I'll probably never say that again)