...that is the question.
My wife and I have lived in a rented apt. for 11 years. The landlord just asked last month if we would like to buy it. The place is decent-sized for two people, in a pretty good neighborhood (not posh, but safe, and convenient transit). here are some issues:
1. It's a co-op and that means we'd need to put down 20% min. That would clean out our cash reserves and maybe dip into retirement funds.
2. at 1000 sq ft, with lots of closets, it's great for a couple, but we are strongly considering having a child, in which case we would need to sell in a few years. Or, if we made it to five years, we could sub-let.
3. His pitch mentioned our mortgage with taxes would be less than what we pay now for rent (about $1200 vs. 1400). Unfortunately we'd also pay maintenance fees, which are being raised so the building's roof can be fixed (work going on now). That's another $900/mo. So we'd actually be paying more like $2100/mo, up from 1400. Yes, we'd get tax breaks but i figured that would only be a few thousand/year, we probably wouldn't break even.
4. The roof fix is supposedly to correct leaking which destroys the wall plaster. The roof and masonry pointing have been 'fixed' three times since we've moved there, and the walls are still crumbling. I'm concerned about lead paint and mold, especially with a baby in the apt.
The main attractions to buying now would be :
1. Take advantage of low interest rates
2. Avoid the hassle/stress of getting booted when our current lease is up (I believe that's in April)