A couple sits at a bank desk and decides whether or not to sign a mortgage contract.

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It’s not always a wise decision.

Key Point

  • Tori Dunlap nearly got a homeownership a few years ago, but pulled out at the last minute.
  • Dunlap realized that buying a home wasn’t the right decision for her for lifestyle and financial reasons.
  • An honest assessment of your wants and needs can help you determine if you’re ready to become a homeowner.

Tori Dunlap is a financial influencer, blogger and podcaster. She focuses on teaching women financial skills and how to build a good life through them. financial feministDunlap said buying a home was (almost) her biggest financial mistake.

While some may be surprised at the idea that the cornerstone of the acclaimed American Dream might be a bad idea, I quickly realized where Dunlap came from.In the end I Did it I bought a house in my twenties and it turned out to be my biggest financial mistake. Dunlap gave four reasons why he’s glad he didn’t buy the home he was about to buy, even though he could afford it. Here’s why:

1. Lifestyle

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of American life in many ways, including prompting many to give up renting and buy a home. This increased demand, combined with historically low interest rates, has led to higher home prices. According to Redfin data, the median selling price of a home in the United States in July 2022 was $412,198. In some markets this is actually considered very cheap.

Tori Dunlap is based in the Pacific Northwest, and as she points out in an episode of her podcast, her work, friends, and social life were based in Seattle, a notorious metropolitan area. rice field. She couldn’t afford to buy one in Seattle, so the condo she was looking to buy was in a more affordable area, over an hour away from the city. This forced her to take a long commute to and from her job, far away from great restaurants and other cities where she could have a good time.

If you’re wondering if homeownership is right for you, ask yourself: Does buying this property mean I have to give up aspects of my life as a renter that I enjoy? If you buy, you’ll have to maintain green spaces. Perhaps you can only afford properties like Dunlap, far away from the city and the people you love. Under these circumstances, abandoning the purchase is absolutely correct.

2. Improper management of HOA

Dunlap was looking to buy a condo rather than a single family home. This meant she was indebted to the Homeowners Association (HOA). In condominiums and similar communities, HOAs provide the rules that govern the lives of homeowners. They are also often responsible for the maintenance of exteriors and common areas. People have strong opinions about her HOA, and for good reason. I know I don’t want to pay extra money or have someone tell me what color my house should be painted or what pets I should have. Honestly, that self-determination is her one of the biggest reasons I want to buy a house for myself in the near future.

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Dunlap found the HOA in his soon-to-be-completed condominium to be ineffective and poorly managed, with tasks like gutter cleaning neglected while the HOA squabbled and wasted money. .

3. Mental preparation

Buying a home is a big decision, and not just from a financial point of view. It also includes emotional considerations. And Dunlap, still in his twenties, wasn’t ready to become a homeowner.

Homeownership requires spending more money, more energy, and more time maintaining a property than many people realize. It also promises to live in a set area for a certain period of time. The longer you can live in the home you buy, the more likely you are to actually make money when you sell the property. Renting is a far more sensible prospect if you’re not calm enough to make this commitment to your life and career.

4. Real Estate Agent Issues

The last reason Tori Dunlap said she was glad she didn’t buy was because she didn’t have a good real estate agent working for her. Her agent is not supportive of her attempts to negotiate a price (which is a big red flag!) and rather than making sure the purchase is right for the client, she gets a commission on the sale. seemed interested in it.

A good real estate agent should be your biggest advocate in the home buying process. If you haven’t hooked up with a real estate agent, definitely find a new one. And even if the house hunting process finds you unprepared, a good agent will respect that. Once you find a good agent, reevaluate your life in a few years and see if you can work with them again when you’re ready to make a purchase.

Buying a home is what many people dream of, and for good reason. But it’s a bad idea to buy just because you have the money, or just because you’re embracing the old adage that homeownership is “the key to wealth.” It’s best to take your time and think seriously about such inevitable (and costly) decisions, as Tori Dunlap did.

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