Buying a Home
My husband and I are in our 20s (22 and 23 respectively) and are currently living with my family. However, in the next month or so we're hoping to move into our own place. I come from a background of poverty and he is much more middle class, though our living situation together has been drastically back and forth between the two (we've been together for 3 years). My family keeps pressing the issue of us buying a place when we move, instead of renting. While we aren't oppose to buying, we're just not sure if it's financially possible for us. My family says we should be able to buy a place for the same amount, or a little more, than what we would pay in rent. I'm just not sure if that's true. We are looking to spend $500-$600 a month on rent. When I explore different real-estate sites and use their mortgage calculators it says we can only afford a place that is around $70-80K at that amount. I've also looked around at different places to buy and find very little in that price range. Is my family crazy? I just don't see how we're going to be able to buy a place for the same amount. At least a place I would consider buying. I don't want to live anywhere unsafe and that's mostly where the places which are in the quoted price range are. For reference, I'm in NE Georgia and planning on buying in the Athens area. We've been looking to buy some condos because of their potential resell possibility if we ever decide to move. Since Athens is a college town, we figure they'll be in good demand and we like the low maintenance of a condo. Neither of us are big into mowing lawns or landscaping. Plus we'd like to be able to count on someone else to be in charge of replacing the roof or fixing the busted water heater. He's the only one who works currently, and makes about $1800 a month gross. My dad said we should spent 2 weeks salary on a mortgage payment. Which would be $900. We currently have a $310 car payment and $110 motorcycle payment. Car insurance runs us about $130 a month, and we have an $83 cell bill. We generally spent about $120 a week on gas and groceries and then a $50 CC payment. We both go to school as well. Though mine is a private school so the tuition is a lot more expensive and we only get about a $200 refund on that. However, with his school we should be getting closer to $4k back. I guess all this babbling comes down to, is it even feasible for us to buy? Of course I'm not asking for professional advice. I'd just like to hear what people's thoughts are who have experience in this area. I've done some research on loans and they always offer to let us talk to a mortgage finance counselor but I don't see the point of doing that until we're sure we're going to buy. Or does a mortgage counselor assess one's situation and help them decide if they're even in a situation to buy? Unfortunately I don't have anyone I can ask about this. My Grams (who we live with) is the only person who have bought her house and it was over 30 years ago and she bought it outright. The rest of my family still lives with her and not on their own. My husband's family is originally from Ukraine and bought a house when they migrated over so they're clueless as well. If anyone could shed some light on this, I would really appreciate it. The internet has so much information and I'm skeptical on most of it as it comes from financial places who, I think, make things sound good just so we'll get a loan and pay them money. Thanks to anyone who sticks around to read this all and offers information. I'm really completely in the dark about all this so anything you want to offer will be greatly appreciated.