Is it advised (or even possible) for a married couple to buy their first home while they are both in school?

Asked by mbeers33, Manhattan, KS Thu Oct 13, 2011

My husband and I are considering going to grad school in Manhattan and we have never owned a home before. We thought about renting, but the rent options seem slim and we would like to settle down a little more since we would be there for several years (not to mention lots of animals, which makes renting challenging). I will be taking out loans for school, but my husband receives a stipend through school (about 25,000/yr) so we will have a small income. We are great with savings and have a pretty decent amount saved right now (about 30,000). I have been looking at small inexpensive houses online and wondering if we are crazy for considering buying a home. We are also concerned about the market and whether or not we will be able to sell once we finish school. Is it a bad idea to even consider at this point? Is it unrealistic to expect a home loan? Thank you.

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Josh Ryan, Both Buyer And Seller, Manhattan, KS
Thu Jan 3, 2013
If you can afford it do it... Cheaper then renting
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Janet Nation,…, Agent, Baldwin, NY
Sun Oct 30, 2011
mbeers33, we on this forum don't have enough information to determin if you can afford a home or not. I can tell you one thing those student loans may not help your cause because of your debt in relation to your income so maybe you might want to see if you can purchase your home before going back to school. Speak to a "good" loan officer to check your affordability.

Also no one knows where the market is going to be in the next few years but if you plan to sell that house within than 5 years, and your neck of the woods is like most of the country, it may not be long enough time to make a return on your investment. Good luck.
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Susie Baxter, Agent, Manhattan, KS
Sun Oct 30, 2011
Your situation sounds challenging, but worth exploring. Your first step could be to gather all information on your finances and visit a local lender to discuss pre-approval for a house loan. If you qualify great, if not you will be better educated and know what steps you may want to take to improve your situation. As you said you will be in the area for a few years, and you have done well saving thus far.
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Sara Jensen, Agent, Manhattan, KS
Mon Oct 17, 2011
With the amount of money you have saved, there is a chance you would be able to quailfy for a home loan. I would be happy to help you talk to a few lenders in the area to see if they can get you a great deal on a loan. Once you establish how much you qualify for we can start taking a look at some great homes in your price range!
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Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Thu Oct 13, 2011
Lenders have their income v. debt criteria for qualifying for the amount of a mortgage—oftentimes requiring that housing costs are not in excess of one-third of gross income in addition to a stipulated income v. overall debt-ratio. What lenders don’t know are borrowers’ non-debt spending habits, present and anticipated. You, the borrower, need to consider the economic factors of your lifestyle that would impact on your individual comfort level of affordability. A mortgage outside your budgetary constraints can dramatically alter your overall living conditions. So, be sure to factor micro and macro economic concerns into and before your mortgage amount deliberations....
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Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Thu Oct 13, 2011
With an income of $25,000 and mounting student loans it may be difficult to qualify for a mortgage. You've done a great job saving money and there may be some program for people in your situation I'm not aware of, so I can't say no, but it will be difficult.
Talk to a mortgage lender with your bank. If there is a way, they may have some guidance for you.
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