Buying a house at a young age and how to buy a house at a young age is a topic I am often asked. Whether you are planning on buying a house at 18, buying a house at 19, buying a house at 21, or any other age, it is a big deal.
We bought a house at the age of 20 – there I said it. Most people think we are crazy and either think the house is something dumpy, that someone in my family pays for it, or that I’m lying (yes, I’ve been told that). I am often asked how I bought a house so young and what I learned from it.
I am especially asked a lot of questions now about what I learned from it since a lot of my friends are buying their first homes right now.
So, I’ll start off with a little background: Why did we buy our house at the age of 20? I was still in college, and we both didn’t have the greatest jobs. However, we were both working full-time and made slightly enough money. There are sooo many things to learn and know about before you buy a house.
We started living together straight out of high school (yes, I know I will be judged by some for this, but oh well, I am happy 🙂 ) and had lived together for a little over 2 years when we finally started looking at houses.
Now, why were we in a rush to buy a house? Well, we were really outgrowing the house that we were renting. The rent was super cheap since we were renting it from one of Wes’ relatives.
The house wasn’t bad and there was a huge backyard for our dog (we had just one at the time, but now we have two). However, the house was super small (there was no legitimate bedroom, our bed was in the basement) and then of course our neighbor turned out to be a psychopath.
Long story short, we moved just in time. The person who rented the house after us ended up being murdered by the psychopath (our old landlord is Wes’ cousin, and he told us this). Probably too much information to put on the blog so I won’t say too much more. I will just say that we moved out at the perfect time.
We left the rental house as soon as we could because things were getting out of hand with the neighbor. We moved in with Wes’ brother and sister-in-law. We couldn’t live with them for too long, though, mainly because they had two kids (they have three now), and we had a dog with us! We just wanted to find a house quickly, and moving into an apartment and signing a lease didn’t seem worth it.
We gave his brother and his wife a couple hundred in rent, so we weren’t freeloading (we lived in the basement bedroom).
So there we were, on the hunt for a house. We knew we didn’t want to rent anymore, and at the time we kept being told that the housing market had bottomed and that prices would never be this cheap (oh boy they were wrong!). So, we found great deals on houses and there were a lot that we loved.
We found a house. It was a little above our budget, but still well below what we were approved for.
What I would have changed with our home purchase and how to buy a house in your 20s:
1. The timing of buying a house young.
Even though everything worked out great for us, I’m not sure if I would have bought a house so young. We probably should have found another rental house so that we could have saved money.
Also, even though we are still together, I do realize that a TON of relationships at the age of 20 do not last, I am happy that ours is still going strong, of course.
2. Being more realistic.
I’m definitely not going to say that I made NO mistakes. We bought our house with the thinking that I would get a job straight out of college (I graduated with my undergraduate degrees around 7 months later, still at the age of 20).
3. Waited so that I could travel.
This isn’t a huge regret of mine, but I do always have this little inkling that maybe I would have traveled extensively if I wouldn’t have been tied down to a house.
What decisions would you have changed with your house purchase? Tips? Do you already have a second house in mind like I do?