60 year old female in excellent health. Love Center City, have rented 3 different apts in 6 yrs, now must move again. Better to buy or rent again?

Asked by Crrn, 19102 Mon Jun 6, 2011

I know realtors love to sell homes, but I am not sure my budget will give me something great in a safe area for a woman who walks to work. Also not sure I can get a mortgage at my age, despite being very healthy, active and engaged in a terrific job for the last 5 years, (approx 85K/yr, no debt) with no job insecurity in that position. I owned a home in Jersey for 16 years, sold it about 6 years ago. Took some losses in the stock market. I get killed with income taxes from Federal, State and City, have no deductions, but may fare better renting and putting money into 403B at this time.

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Charles Bald…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Mon Jun 6, 2011

The short answer is, 'It Depends.' Yes, realtors are wired for sales, yet the highest ethic is that of 'Service'. You must frame your decision to purchase carefully. In Center City Philadelphia Rental rates are starting to move up while sales inventory is plentiful and interests rates are at historic lows. Preferably you be able to put down 20% of the purchase price to eliminate PMI and generate a lower interest rate. Furthermore, with a purchase you are able to deduct a portion of your mortgage interest ... I have never fount this less than 20% of the mortgage payment. Then over ten years of ownership you will have generated about 20% equity by paying down the mortgage. Finally, now that the market is healing, appreciation will play a greater roll in your investment decision. In conclusion, because seller's want to bargain, you will have some attractive options 'within walking distance'. So if you have 'job Security', absolutely consider a purchase that is appropriate for your circumstances.

Contact me for additional consultation, I am happy to help!

Charles Balducci
c. 215.531.2000
Coldwell Banker Preferred (Avenue Arts)
1401 Walnut St Philadelphia 19102
1 vote
NonRealtor, , 23456
Tue Jul 19, 2011
Hi Crrn,
Congratulation on selling at the peak 6 years ago. Rent. Owning a house is work and it isn't cheaper. Stack your cash in retirement accounts, where they are protected from bankruptcy. Who cares about equity--if you buy, you'll have your house paid off when you're 90--like I said, who cares. Nobody knows the future, but we do know that you will probably encounter some hefty medical bills at some point. Maybe talk to a financial planner to discuss your options. And yes the realtors will always say to buy. Good Luck
0 votes
Chris Vander…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Tue Jul 19, 2011
As you probably now, prices are negatiable and down from their all time highs, of the boom period, Rent money is just out the window, and there is no possibilty of equity, There is always the possibility too that units bought now may go up, when the ecnonomy, there is verfy little new construction in the city, There are many great properties in areas, that I could show you that you might like Call me ChrisV THE CONDOSHOP , 267-693-2547, Banks are still wirting mortgages, for qualified people!!!!
0 votes
Linda Walters, Agent, Wayne, PA
Mon Jun 6, 2011
I have never head of a loan being denied because someone was 68!! Sounds lik you are assuming a lot of things and it costs nothing to actually learn what is out there and what the lenders wiill give you, so why not gather more information?
0 votes
Jonathan Fink, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Mon Jun 6, 2011
Feel free to call me if you want some straight no crap talk. Great time to buy.
0 votes
robert peron…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Mon Jun 6, 2011
Rent vs. Buy in 19102? Assuming you want to stay in the 19102 area and you have 20% to put down, you should be able to find a condo where the total cost of ownership is approximately equal to the cost of rent (it will take some looking). If you do not have the 20% down you will probably find that the cost of ownership is higher than rent and may be better off if you continue to rent.

Locking in your housing payment on a 15, 20 or 30 year fixed mortgage may be a great solution for hedging your 403B and other savings from the widely anticipated inflation that is probably coming.

Even if you suspect that housing prices will continue to fall your true cost of ownership may be higher in the future if interest rates rise. With new lending guidelines and changes to fha, fannie mae and freddie mac proposed by the Obama administration it is likely that interest rates for mortgages will rise in the near future.

Bottom line you should start looking at what financing is available to you how much you can afford to spend and how does that price point compare to what you can rent. Then start shopping for a great deal. Theyaare out there if you are willing to take the time to find one.
0 votes
Jae Jones, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Mon Jun 6, 2011
Good day, to frank about you're right yes Realtors do love to sell homes. However, in my honest opinion I think you should sit down with someone and discuss all of your options. Since, you no longer have an open mortgage you are able to purchase a property as a first-time home buyer; and possibly receive some grants or incentives to aid you with a purchase. By the way you can not be discriminated against due to age, sex, ethnicity, etc.. in acquiring a mortgage. There are several grant counselors and financial consultants I could refer you to. I hope you enjoy your day.

Have A Good One!
0 votes
Andrew Brown, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Mon Jun 6, 2011
Hello Crm,
For your best interest and security, I believe it is better to buy at this point in the market. Interest rates are at an all time low, and rental payments are at an all time high. I am confident with your income and no debts, you will be able to afford what you want, plus you are acquiring equity, instead of making your Landlord rich. Do not be concerned about your age, you can get a mortgage. And if anything does happen to you, your equity passes on to your estate. Call me and we can formulate a plan for you. If you like what you see-move forward, if not, then go ahead and rent again. Andy Brown, The Condo Shop, 215-779-2674.
0 votes
Nicole Haines, , Philadelphia County, PA
Mon Jun 6, 2011
Good Morning,

The record low home prices and interest rates make this a wonderful time to buy a home for most people. Your trepidation is certainly understandable and your best bet would be to speak with a couple of mortgage lenders to find out what you would be qualified for and how your financial picture will look if you purchase a home. It would cost you absolutely nothing to get their opinions. But make sure you only allow your credit to be run one time and utilize that one report for all inquiries.

I can certainly recommend a few mortgage lenders for you to speak with to help you make the best decision for you.

I wish you much luck!
Nicole Haines
0 votes
Emily Clark, Agent, Conshohocken, PA
Mon Jun 6, 2011
Would love to discuss this with you in person rather than over the web. The mortgage guy in my office is fabulous and in a short phone call could give you your answer or a few different options. Give me a call on my cell anytime - 267-269-6288. Best, Emily
0 votes
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