How long after becoming a teacher did you buy your home?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Crono91, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. Crono91

    Crono91 Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2014

    I apologize for this not necessarily being a "teaching" question, but I'm really curious about this.

    This question is more so for teachers who went to college right after, or shortly after high school, and bought a home after getting your job. If you can relate to my question, though, please feel free to answer.

    ---

    After I graduate college, I really want to buy a home, a husky, and settle in. I don't want to rent--I really want to avoid that.

    But buying a home in your twenties isn't exactly the easiest thing, let alone on a teacher salary when you're single (and plan to probably stay that way for a while).

    I know teacher wages differ from place to place, and so does the cost of living, but I'm just looking for a general survey.

    After college, and becoming a teacher, how soon after were you able to buy a home? If you were single, did living like that make you live almost penny-to-penny?

    I know a lot of older teachers who are still renting townhouses because they like the flexibility, and possible want to move to a new place to teach... but I've never been like that.

    Thanks for anyone's answer and words of financial encouragement. :p
     
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  3. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I bought my house at 33 and put 20% down. Married a few years later and my great wife agreed we should keep the home instead of buying a different one. We still live there today, and haven't ever had any trouble with payments. Glad I waited until I could afford it.
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Got my first teaching job at 22, right out of college. Bought my house at 29. I was single. I'm 43 now, and I still live in the same house.
     
  5. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I landed my first teaching job at 24. I bought my house a year later at 25. I had 10K in the bank and no credit card debt. I bought a foreclosure. I believe my original mortgage was $113,000 and I made $32,000 a year. And they froze my pay (still frozen). Taxes went up. Insurance went up. Repairs were needed. I had to work about 25 hours a week retail just to pay my bills. I moved away after 5 years, selling my house for exactly what I owed. I had almost 10K in credit card debt.

    Now that I am older and wiser (and in credit card debt), I should have waited. I will not buy again until I have a decent savings.


    ETA- I was single during my tenure as a homeowner.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 25, 2014

    I bought my first home about 4 years after landing my first teaching job. I went to grad school between college and teaching, so I was 30 when we bought the house.

    I wouldn't advise buying a house right away after starting your first year. Teaching is tricky and can sometimes be more challenging than even the most dedicated and motivated new teachers realize. You might decide that the profession isn't for you, and you don't want to be stuck in a place you don't want to be with a house that you can't pay for.
     
  7. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2014

    I haven't yet bought a house, but I find this post interesting. Thanks for posting!

    I am starting my 7th year teaching in a few weeks. I have been at a job for two years that I can see myself at long term. I have several friends who are buying houses and I cannot wait to buy something myself. I am working on my masters degree though and trying to pay for it all without any loans so that is what my money is focused on right now. My goal is to buy a house when I finish my degree a year from this December. That is the goal, but the wait is hard! I need patience!
     
  8. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jul 26, 2014

    I started teaching at 22,and bought my house at 25, at the end of my 4th year teaching. We bought a house on the lower end of our budget, which makes it a great starter home. Several years and two kids later, our house is busting at the seams, and we won't be able to move for several more years. When we bought, we were tired of renting and apartment life, so we didn't think much about what we would need in a house even 5 years down the line. I would make sure you would be okay living somewhere very long term before you buy something, just in case.
     
  9. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Well, I live in California (high COL) SO...I'm going into my 3rd year of teaching, late 20s, probably not buying a house for several years still. Also, I am married. I'm not too concerned. We have a nice big apartment now. I'd rather keep renting than bite off more than we can chew.

    Honestly, this is an interesting question, but it's ALL about COL and salary, so the answers will vary SO widely from state to state. I started my career in SoCal making $45k in an area where 1200 sq ft houses go for $600k and up. So yeah....that wasn't happening. I've moved now, but it's still gonna be awhile. :p
     
  10. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Jul 26, 2014

    I am about to start my first year of teaching, but have no plans or desires to own a home right now. I want to pay off my college loans (~20k) as quickly as possible, and then be able to save up for a sizeable down payment. I also have moved around a lot, and want to be somewhere I know I'll stay for a while first, but it sounds like that is not a concern for you.
     
  11. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Jul 26, 2014

    In California at least the monthly payments on a house are typically far lower than rent would be for a similar-sized one. The down payment is the tough part but if you've got that you can easily make it work.

    I started shopping for mine at 28 (was ready before but it was literally right at the start of the market crash), bought at 30 when I felt the crash was over. I'm single and haven't had any problems with bills.
     
  12. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Jul 26, 2014

    Bought a house in Ca after like 2 years teaching.
     
  13. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I got a job right out of university, I was 24. I bought my first home (a condo) this past spring which was my 5th year teaching.
     
  14. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I graduated college and got my first job at 21. I bought my first house at 23. I had a lot of help though. I put 20% down.
     
  15. dr.gator

    dr.gator Comrade

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    Jul 26, 2014

    I'm in Florida. Taught two years and a summer school bought my first house the fall after teaching summer school. Still there. Have refinanced and done renovations twice now
     
  16. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I worked about 5 years before I bought my house but I was waiting until I got married so I was about 30 at the time.
     
  17. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Jul 26, 2014

    Don't. At least not the home (the husky I could agree with).

    Renting gives you a lot more freedom in being able to move around, and that's freedom you might really need at your age for all sorts of reasons.

    I think you should give it 4-5 years regardless of your finances, unless you happen to become incredibly wealthy for some reason (and can afford paying taxes on a house while waiting for it to sell).
     
  18. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jul 26, 2014

    Bought my house when I was 27. By that point, I had already been teaching for four years. Glad I waited until after the market crashed--I almost purchased a similar home for more than double the price of what I paid for my current home (thankfully, my parents talked me out of it)!
     
  19. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Ditto. The house we ended up buying had sold for three and a half times what we paid for it 2 years after the crash began. We could never have afforded to buy a house without that crash.
     
  20. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Unfortunately, we bought ours when the house prices were the highest!
     
  21. OhThePlaces

    OhThePlaces Cohort

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    Jul 26, 2014

    I actually bought my house while I was in my last year of college. I got married at the end of September, we closed on our house two days later. I graduated the following May and began teaching in August.

    We've had the house for almost 8 years now. It hasn't been an issue financially, but I do wish we would have waited a while to see what else was out there. It was also a major pain when we had to move out of state for 3 years for my husband's job and were forced to rent it out. We bought right before the housing bubble popped, so we are very upside down at this point.

    We also adopted two dogs while I was still in college (they're both now 10 years old) and I don't regret that at all. ;)
     
  22. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jul 26, 2014

    I've been teaching for 3 1/2 years and I'm no where near close to purchasing a house. I guess if that was something I really wanted to save for and started saving for after college than maybe I could be closer to buying one now, but I don't know if I'd be ready to. I really have no desire to buy a house right now but I am saving money knowing I will want to do that in the future.
     
  23. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    What does your market look like? Here houses stay on the market on average about seven days. I bid on mine 24 hours after it was listed. The one down the street from me just sold in two days. I know we could easily sell if we needed to and that definitely influenced our decision some.

    We just got a dog. He's more work than the house! If the weeds don't get pulled one weekend, so be it, but if he doesn't get his walk look out! It's easier to leave a house for a weekend too ;) That said, I think he'll be a nice addition to the family when he settles down.
     
  24. MsDouglas

    MsDouglas Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2014

    We bought our house in December of my second year of teaching. I was 25. We only put 3.5% down on the house. It's our dream home with plenty of room to grow. This year I moved schools so I could be closer to the house. My only suggestion is to be realistic about what you can afford.
     
  25. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Ok...there's California and there's California. I've lived in areas where a 2/2 house is $600k (yes, that's TWO bedrooms, not 3), and areas where the same house would be $200k. I also know of other areas in CA where that house would be $800k or $150k. CA is kind of a big state. :rolleyes:

    Clearly the mortgage payment would be less than rent, but a $50k downpayment doesn't just fall out of the sky, especially when you are paying student loans. I won't buy a house until we have a very sizeable downpayment. Not getting stuck in that trap. Heard too many horror stories.

    Frankly, we don't want a house right now. We haven't yet found where we will permanently live. I think we are closer now, but we still are a couple years away from settling down. We've moved twice since 2010, and these were pretty big moves (not just down the street), especially the last one.

    My point is, you don't NEED a house right away. I know a lot of people have that mentality, but I never have.
     
  26. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    A house around here is not a bad investment though, which is why I think what your market looks like is so important. My mortgage is $50 more than my rent was in a VERY stable area. Even if I did have to move, I'm not at all worried about selling my house. I think if you can afford a down payment and the monthly payments, it can be a worthwhile adventure. I rented for four years. There's something to be said for owning my own house with a yard. I've been able to grow my own food. I love it!

    You do need to make sure you still have a fair amount in savings to cover things that do pop up in home ownership. I've had my fair share of problems in my 80+ year-old house!
     
  27. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    I have been round and round on a short sale property for 6 months now. I might just end up getting it, but there's no way of knowing. We were about to close and the appraisal came back lower than what I offered, so we're seeing if the bank will let it go for the appraised price. Otherwise, I'm walking.

    I am going into my 4th year of teaching and I'm in my late 20s.
     
  28. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    I have been round and round on a short sale property for 6 months now. I might just end up getting it, but there's no way of knowing. We were about to close and the appraisal came back lower than what I offered, so we're seeing if the bank will let it go for the appraised price. Otherwise, I'm walking.

    I am going into my 4th year of teaching and I'm in my late 20s.
     
  29. allaragallagher

    allaragallagher Comrade

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    Jul 26, 2014

    I'm 26. I just got my first teaching job. I'm moving to a rental home and have a one year lease agreement. My landlord is open to renewing our lease for another year if everything works out. I'm thinking it'll be 2-3 years before I buy a home. I'm single and plan to stay single, but I do own a Great Dane and plan to start the adoption process at 30... so I'll need a bigger place eventually.
     
  30. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    The same is true for New York. There are houses listed for over a million in some areas near me and then the further upstate you get the land is much cheaper so you could get same house for 1/5 the price. I think people are going to be able to afford to buy a home quicker depending on where they live even if they have been teaching for the same amount of years as someone else in a different part of the country or even a different part of the state.
     
  31. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I have no particular desire to own a house... and it's a good thing, since NOVA is a really bad place to try and afford a house on a teacher's salary.
     
  32. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Very true!

    I've done my research and (sadly) noticed that my same type of home ("track" home with about 1,800 sq. feet built around 2006) would be FOUR TIMES more expensive in the Bay Area of CA. Teachers and administrators make the same (or even less!) than what I make, too! :dizzy:
     
  33. Mr D

    Mr D Comrade

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    I bought a house earlier this year. I had been teaching for 8 years.
     
  34. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I was talking to my husband about this earlier today, and NY is one of the states I mentioned as being like CA! I know there is a WIDE variation of COL in NY.

    And salary does not always match COL. I was making about the same I make now in an area where houses cost 2 or 3 times more.

    It's really all about COL where you live, as you said. It seems like in some areas it's the norm for late 20s and early 30s to buy houses. NOT where I've lived. The only people I know who have bought houses got all of or most of the downpayment from their parents. I still know people in their late 20s who live at home with their parents because it's not even possible to afford rent an apartment as a single person without a roommate with a "regular" job. It's a mess.

    I'm always amazed at how little they are paid in the Bay Area, honestly. I've seen some Edjoin postings and the pay just does NOT match the COL out there. SoCal is generally a little better, but not much. I looked up a house near us on Zillow a few weeks before we moved and it had just sold for a million dollars. It was 1500 square feet and built in the 1920s or 30s. So yeah....EXPENSIVE! LOL. Glad we got outta there! :dizzy:
     
  35. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    I used to be a real estate agent. I heard about some government lending programs for teachers back then.

    Generally, you're gonna wanna have at least 5% to pay down, and if you go with an FHA mortgage, the house will have to check out in average condition or better (so no fixer-uppers), and the owner has to take occupancy throughout the life of the loan. It's the easiest loan to qualify for.

    However, I wouldn't buy a house until I was sure I planned on living in a particular area for long-term. Houses don't generally appreciate in value well the way they used to 20-30 years ago where you could move every five years.

    I tried to sell my grandmother's condo when I lived in Cleveland, Ohio about 4.5 years before she died. She bought it for $94,000 in 1994 and it wasn't even worth $85,000 in 2009. With condos the situation is pretty extreme, because the maintenance fees increase year by year, but the trend for most locations isn't showing that home values are appreciating.

    If by the time you want to move if you can't pay off your loan from a sale, your options are either to pay the bank back what you owe, or do a short sale. The downside of short sales is you have to prove you can't afford to pay your mortgage anymore, and you also have to report the bank's financial loss as income on your taxes.

    Therefore, if you aren't sure you wanna live in a location for at least 10 years, don't buy a home.
     
  36. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Home appreciation is similar to COL and that it will very widely depending on the area. My advice is do not buy a house unless you expect to make it your home for many years. The home will appreciate a ton depending on your area, but we need to break the mentality that our homes are debit cards, you really shouldn't be taking money out, you should be paying it off.
     
  37. Rhesus

    Rhesus Comrade

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    Jul 27, 2014

    My wife started teaching full time in 1999 and I started in 2000. Both of us had MA +30 when we started. We bought our first home in 2002.

    A lot of this had to do with our area and also the time period. This was just before the big bubble when real estate prices skyrocketed.

    I don't think it would be so easy to do that if we were starting out now.
     

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