My Dad Thinks I Should Buy A House

Mom: “Dad thinks you should buy a house.”

Me: “I don’t have enough money to buy a house. The cheapest 1br condo here would be more than $300k.”

Mom: “He said you should put a down payment of $100k. You have $100k.”

Me: “Most of that $100k is in my retirement accounts.”

Mom: “Dad thinks you should buy a house before you put money in a retirement account.”

Me: “Ugggggh. Tell dad if he wants to buy me a house, I’ll buy a house.”

Mom: “Dad thinks YOU should buy a house.”

A day rarely goes by when I haven’t browsed the condo listings on Craigslist or Zillow, oogling at various houses that I can’t afford. I don’t feel the need to buy a house right now… as it seems the option is paying $700 in rent or $2000+ in mortgage, interest, insurance, taxes and HOAs. Buying a place just doesn’t add up.

What really frustrates me is how my dad always thinks he knows what is best for me. Here’s why it doesn’t make sense for me to buy my own place… my job, despite being full time with benefits, isn’t a sure bet. Working a startup, you have to assume that within two years when the money runs out you may be out of a job. I’m confident that even in this dismal economy I can get another job eventually… but when I’m renting digging out $700 a month to cover rent from savings doesn’t kill me. Covering a mortgage probably would. Then there’s the fact that I don’t know where I’ll be in one year, let alone five years. And housing prices here aren’t that low like they are elsewhere in the country.

So, you know what dad, I’d rather rent. I like my mobility, my semi-affordable monthly payments, my ability to put most of my monthly income into the stock market (which… may also be a bad idea, I’m not exactly an investing genius.) In the long run I don’t know if I’d do better “investing” in a house vs taking all that money and investing it in the market. But I figure odds are I’ll make out better in the long run going the stock route vs. the crap the foundation of my house collapsed route.

But seriously, dad, if you really want me to buy a house, I’ll gladly accept a downpayment from you.

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