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What would you sacrifice to buy?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis June 22, 2012 05:33 AM

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Apparently some renters say they are willing to give up quite a bit to buy their "dream home."

That's what a new survey by Century 21 Real Estate claims - obviously given the source it is somewhat self serving. That said, some of the findings are interesting.

One of the most controversial: 10 percent of renters surveyed by Harris Interactive on behalf of the real estate firm said they would cut back on contributions to their 401 (k) in order to buy the home of their real estate dreams, whatever that might be.

OK, now I am going to lift directly from the press release here. Other things renters say they are ready to give up in order to buy include:

  • 50 percent: would cut back on dining out
  • 49 percent: would cut back on their shopping for non-essential items (e.g., clothing, accessories, gadgets, etc.)
  • 47 percent: would give up luxuries (e.g., expensive cable packages, trips to the salon)
  • 39 percent: would cut back on vacations,

Now I have problems with the core concept here. For if you are doing it right, you shouldn't have to "sacrifice" heavily in order to buy, especially given how high rents have gone here in Greater Boston.

In fact, if you have to make draconian changes to your lifestyle in order to afford to buy a home, even one that seems ideal, you better look carefully at what you are doing.

You are either trying to buy more home than you can afford or maybe you are not in position right now financially to buy at all.

Either way, if you are making yourself miserable, how long will you be able to keep that up?

Of course, we all have different takes on what it means to sacrifice. If you are blowing hundreds of dollars each week on meals out, it shouldn't involve a serious "sacrifice" to go to the grocery store and cook in.

Same thing with trips to Aruba or expensive spa packages.

But then again, that's my lifestyle, not necessarily yours. My idea of a good time is cooking spaghetti for my three little ones and sitting down to read a good book after everyone is tucked into bed.

OK, I'm straying from the subject. You shouldn't stretch to buy a house. And if you feel you are making heavy sacrifices in order to buy, whatever that might mean to you, then you should stop right there and think very carefully what you are doing.

Instead of sacrificing, use your head before you get into something you can't get out of that easily, like a 30-year mortgage.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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