Weighing Housing Options

How to avoid signing your life over to a mortgage
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herp
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:11 pm

Weighing Housing Options

Post by herp » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:04 pm

Lately I've been thinking of moving, but I can't seem to value the pros and cons accurately enough to make a decision.

In either case, I would be renting as I think the real estate market in my area is approaching a bubble at the moment. I have access to relatively cheap public housing (cheap compared to the town being HCOL), so I'm taking advantage of those options.

Currently, my rent is $778 + utilities. The apartment is in a decent area just outside of town giving me a commute of ~35 minutes. As I value nature, I like that there's access to both lakes and beaches within a few kilometres. I also like that it's a quiet area, as I don't enjoy living in very urban areas. I ride the bus to work, as it's the cheapest option.

Now, the offer that might be available to me costs $694 + utilities and it's much closer to the center of town. My commute would be cut down to ~15-20 minutes by bike, which is a decent plus, so I'd save on bus tickets and get exercise to boot. Additionally, I would have easy access to much more shopping options (not that I'm much of a shopper, but it would allow for easier bargain hunting). Unfortunately, I would become an urban dweller and that's not really how I prefer to live.

There's an additional twist: If I stay in my current apartment, I will most likely have an offer on hand for a small house in the current area as soon as someone vacates. This option would be even cheaper at $647 + utilities and I could see myself living in those houses for a really long time. The trouble is there's no telling when anyone moves out, it might take years or even a decade.

Anything I've failed to consider?

George the original one
Posts: 4169
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: Weighing Housing Options

Post by George the original one » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:15 pm

How difficult is it for you to move, as in do you have heavy possessions and would have to move it by yourself?
Why would the option of the small house disappear if you moved?
When a small house becomes available, is it automatic that you would be the most likely renter?
Is there a difference in crime rates between the locations?
Is the emergency planning the same for both locations (earthquake, tornado, flooding, extended outage of utilities, location of medical care)?
If you moved closer to the center of town and discovered you hate it, how difficult is it to move back?

rfgh
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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Weighing Housing Options

Post by rfgh » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:59 pm

Don't over complicate it. Bird in the hand.

herp
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Weighing Housing Options

Post by herp » Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:33 am

Thanks for your thoughts.
George the original one wrote:
Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:15 pm
How difficult is it for you to move, as in do you have heavy possessions and would have to move it by yourself?
Why would the option of the small house disappear if you moved?
When a small house becomes available, is it automatic that you would be the most likely renter?
Is there a difference in crime rates between the locations?
Is the emergency planning the same for both locations (earthquake, tornado, flooding, extended outage of utilities, location of medical care)?
If you moved closer to the center of town and discovered you hate it, how difficult is it to move back?
These are all good points to consider.

Moving would be a chore and I honestly hate doing it. Yes, I have heavy possessions. It's doable, though.

The specific small houses in question would be harder to obtain due to very specific public housing waiting list rules. If you already live in the same residential unit, you have higher priority as compared to outsiders applying for a house.

No reasonable difference in crime rates.

We don't have meaningful earthquakes or tornados in Denmark, so I can safely cross those off of the list. However, flooding does occur often, but it's a non-issue in the areas that I'm considering.

The most significant quality of life improvement would be very close proximity to a lot of shopping options as well as work opportunities (although the latter are not exactly far at the moment, either).

It would be close to impossible to move back to the exact same area, but it wouldn't be impossible to move somewhere else.
rfgh wrote:
Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:59 pm
Don't over complicate it. Bird in the hand.
Overcomplicating is one of my core skills! Not sure I completely follow, though. Could you elaborate?

thrifty++
Posts: 608
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 3:46 pm

Re: Weighing Housing Options

Post by thrifty++ » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:25 pm

herp wrote:
Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:33 am
rfgh wrote:
Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:59 pm
Don't over complicate it. Bird in the hand.
Overcomplicating is one of my core skills! Not sure I completely follow, though. Could you elaborate?
An english idiom - "bird in the hand is worth two in the bush". it means you take the guaranteed option that you have rather than having the gamble of being better or worse off with more uncertain option. I think he must mean bird in the hand is your cheaper apartment you have a guaranteed option to take and the two in the bush is staying where you are with the uncertain hope of getting the cheaper small house - the risk is that you may never get it or 10 years later is basically not getting it either.

Personally I am all for minimising costs as long as it doesnt destroy my life too much, but I tend to be quite flexible so I enjoy cost minimising as much as I can withing reason - eg lowered comfort to the level of sleeping in bunks in a shared dorm while working intense jobs would be going too far. So how bad would living in the city really be? Have you tried it before ? I think its really a matter of pros and cons. Personally I prefer living urban. I enjoy the abundance of social opportunities. That doesnt necessarily mean an increased cost and for me it generally means decreased costs. Also what about living in a shared place with flatmates (with your own room of course), that can decrease rent quite substantially.

herp
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Weighing Housing Options

Post by herp » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:43 am

Thanks for the input, thrifty++.

As I needed to make the decision within just a few days (that's how long the offer is valid for), I decided against moving at this point. Reason being that I remember seeing a ton of apartments a few years back when I was moving last time, and the one that I currently rent was high on my list of decent places. So all things considered, I think staying put has better odds in terms of my perceived qualify of life.

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