Buy a house before tenure?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Learner4Life, May 22, 2011.

  1. Learner4Life

    Learner4Life Cohort

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    May 22, 2011

    So I'm in my 2nd year teaching and got my first pink slip this year. I got word this week that I will have my job back next year but the scare has got me and my hubby thinking... Should we wait until I have tenure to buy a house?

    My husband and I were thinking we would start looking for a place this summer. The prices are right and the interest rate is still pretty low. I HATE the location of our apartment and I would really love to get out of here soon. I have been dreaming of owning a home longer than I had been dreaming of marriage!
    However, if I lost my job, we would almost have to look at moving in order for me to get a job. I'm in a small University town where the school districts hire from within or who their connected to and quite frankly, I'm not really connected here (I went to the rival university).

    The pros and cons are so equal, I thought maybe I'd post this here to see if you guys could come up with something I couldn't!
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    May 23, 2011

    How many years until tenure where you are?

    Also, keep in mind that tenure might be on it's way out or at least moving in that direction....

    That being said, I bought my first home prior to being tenured. You can't hold up your life for tenure and if you have to move, you can sell and move. It's more complicated, but still manageable.
     
  4. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    May 23, 2011

    My husband and I bought our house before either one of us had tenure. Our mortgage payments are cheaper than rent was.
     
  5. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    May 23, 2011

    The market is great now for a buyer but not for a seller. Just remember that if you really don't have any flexibility, at least for the next few years. If you decide to move too soon, you will lose money, and you might have a hard time selling it.

    It's a great time to buy, but you have to make sure you aren't going anywhere for awhile.
     
  6. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    May 23, 2011

    Many of us bought homes before tenure, but in different times. I wouldn't take the risk if you already have a pink slip.
     
  7. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    May 23, 2011

    Same thought here... I think your goal in 2011 and beyond is to be free of financial encumbrances. As it relates to the general economy, we still have only put a bandaid on a tumor.
     
  8. Learner4Life

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    May 23, 2011

    I HAD the pink slip. The board will approve our "hiring" at the next meeting because they got the budget figured out. I will have a job for the 2011-2012 school year.
     
  9. Learner4Life

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    May 23, 2011

    oh and I have one more year before tenure... I have to sign my 4th contract
     
  10. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    May 23, 2011

    My school used to hand out preemptive pink slips, too, because there was a deadline in my old state for firing. It had to do with grants that hadn't been renewed yet. I got one my first year. So it sounds like it might be something like that.
     
  11. basswife

    basswife Rookie

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    May 23, 2011

    We bought a house the year that I was up for tenure. We were at a point in our lives that we needed a bigger home. We lived in a small 2 bedroom, 2 bath mobile home. I had a figure in my head of what I was willing to pay and we finally found THE house. My husband was making good money at the time and the payments were very, very reasonable. We moved in on Nov. 1st and in April I found out that my contract would not be renewed. (I, along with a large portion of my fellow staff, had been transferred to a new school that year. The new principal let go of everyone from that school that did not have tenure except the Sp.Ed. teacher.) I was unable to find another position at the beginning of the year, but was able to draw unemployment and substitute until I landed a LTS position in late Jan. My husband's plant closed and he was laid off in Nov. 2010. He is still currently looking for a job.

    With all of that going on, we have been able to still make our house payments due to the grace of God working some other things out for us. Would I do it again? Probably. The laws in TN have recently changed to 5 year period to be able to receive tenure. After that, you can still be put on a probationary status if your test scores aren't good enough. You can't make your life revolve 100% around tenure.

    If you decide to move forward with buying a house, just do it with caution. Consider buying something that you will still be able to afford on one income. HUD has a program for teachers that live in the area they teach. You might want to check into that.
     
  12. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    May 23, 2011

    My friend finally became tentured and bought a house. Then she was riffed the following year. She struggled paying for the mortgage on her subbing income.

    I would REALLLY think hard about buying a house. And yes, EVEN if your mortgage is lower than rent, you now have to pay for your own repairs, upkeep, etc. Then, there is the down payment. I purchased two houses thinking, but this is the time to buy property!! We have really struggled, financially when I was pink slipped and was only able to land a part time job. I really wish now that we hadn't. We have since moved to a new town for hubby's job and spending more money to get the one house rented out (the other my parents are renting).

    So, just think hard, is this what you really want to do now, in this economic time?
     
  13. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    May 23, 2011

    My parents talk about this all the time... 'Are you sure you want to get married now? Are you sure you want to get a second car? What about financial stability? In these economic times...'

    Honestly, you can never expect to know when you will be financially stable or when you will hit a hard patch. Tenure is soon going to be non-existant or it will be much easier to get let go. Some areas are laying off teachers who have been in the district for 15+ years. If you're waiting for security and stability then you may be waiting forever. You just need to do what's best for you.
     
  14. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    May 23, 2011

    My sister-in-law told me once that you will never be able to afford anything and that if you want something, you just need to get it. BUT, after buying two houses, I'm not so sure anymore. :rolleyes: I really think, at least in my situation, that we should have waited.
    You just really need to look at your option, finances, pros and cons, etc. Don't go purely on your feelings.
     
  15. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    May 23, 2011

    Peachy- You bought TWO houses... Do you think you'd be in a better financial place if you only bought one? I don't know the situation so I apologize if there's important information that I'm missing.

    This is just like starting a family... Most people will never have enough, or as much as they want, money or space.
     
  16. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    May 23, 2011

    It's.... sort of a long story. I bought my first one the first year I started teaching. Life seemed... good. At that time my hubby and I were living with my parents in the house. So, we split the mortgage three ways. So, I was working full time, making good money. I did get pink slipped but quickly found another job. So, things were going really well. Then, about two years ago we purchased a beautful home for a really nice price (short sale). Then, just recently in March, hubby got his dream job in dream town. We moved, I quit my job, he started his job. Parents moved into our beautiful house and we are working to rent out the other house (NO WAY we could sell it as the price dropped to a fourth of what we purchased it for).

    So, right now, we are paying part of my parents mortgage (since they could never afford the whole thing on their own on either of the houses, we have to help them out), mortgage on the other house until it gets rented out, and rent on our apartment in our new town. Needless to say, it's been very stressful. Once we get that house rented out, things will be much better. :)

    Soooo, that's why I just like to warn people to REALLLY think before they decide. I wanted a house of my own, away from my parents. Now, I wish I had just waited.
     
  17. webmistress

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    May 23, 2011

    Like many posters have said, tenure will soon be a thing of the past. Even tenured teachers are being let go, and there's the whole basing a teacher's worth (ie, job security) on student test scores. So this is certainly not a field with any true job security.

    I used to also ask and wonder should I have a baby before tenure & such and such. You just have to live for this moment & if you're ready and have planned well, I'd go for it.
     
  18. John Lee

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    May 23, 2011

    I think that's different though. Having a kid and taking on a mortgage don't compare. Owning a house doesn't/shouldn't define you & your existence... having children is something that we should do when we feel ready (not necessarily when finances dictate). In the case of starting a family, I very much believe in the "Just Do It" mindset. In terms of buying a house, I think we are sortof conditioned in thinking of it as a test of accomplishment... when really, it shouldn't be.
     
  19. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 23, 2011

    I tend to agree with you here.

    I live in a city that was completely devastated when the real estate bubble burst. I have many, many friends who paid $300k-400k for houses that decreased in value to less than $100k over the course of a few months. Probably a third of the people I work with have ended up or are in the process of foreclosing on their homes. None of them have gone through a job loss, but they were so heavily impacted by the decline of the housing market that they simply couldn't foresee continuing to pay on a $400k mortgage for a house that was worth $80k.

    My husband and I waited to buy a house, mainly because there was no possible way that we could have afforded a house when we first moved here (see prices above). We ended up buying our first home last year. We paid less than $100k for it (3 br plus den, 2 bath, 2 car garage, hot tub, private fenced backyard, all appliances....in other words, a great house!), even though a couple of years ago it sold for $327k.

    I realize that other housing markets aren't as awful as the one where I live, but I do think that people need to seriously consider the possibility that the economy hasn't completely tanked yet and that it could very likely get worse. Before anyone considers buying a house, they should make sure that they have a solid down payment of at least ten percent and enough money in savings to cover the mortgage for a good four to six months. If you have that kind of money, I'd say go for it. If not....I'd consider renting for a while longer and building up some more savings.

    I think it would be extremely irresponsible for a person to buy a house just because they want one and because they believe that no one can ever truly be ready for home-ownership. The truth is that it costs a lot to own a home, more than just mortgage and insurance....You've got higher utility bills, repairs, property taxes, etc. Plus the fact that you can't just walk away from a house without an immensely negative impact on your credit. Think about it before you jump in. Make sure that when you do jump in, it's the right time for you, not just the right time for the market. Sometimes those two things don't necessarily overlap.
     
  20. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Yes, this. Very good advice, Caesar.
     
  21. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Yes, that's why I mentioned "if you're ready and have planned well." I meant credit, salary, budgets, extra repairs, lawn care, savings...each & everything.
     
  22. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    May 24, 2011

    The point to remember is that the other shoe hasn't really dropped in the case of the economy/this recession. Nothing has been fixed--all we've done is kicked the problem down the road. Eventually, it will. And when it does, you don't want financial obligations hanging over you.
     
  23. Kindergarten31

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    May 24, 2011

    I agree with other posters-I am not sure waiting for tenure is a good thing--seems there is no more tenure where I live. I also think you need to have saved a bunch of money before you even think of buying a house. Not easy, but it can be done.
     
  24. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I saved 30 grand and I feel it still wasn't enough. Yes, definitely have lots of money saved up.
     
  25. Learner4Life

    Learner4Life Cohort

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    May 25, 2011

    My hubby and I had a LONG talk last night (which is why I'm so tired today... late night) about our future, what we want in our future, what a house means to that future, how kids fit into that future....
    Ultimately, we came to the conclusion to wait another year before we buy a house so we can save up more money.
     

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