We Have to Stop Renting

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When we moved from Oregon to San Antonio a year and a half ago, we expected to find affordable prices for rentals. After all, Texas has a reputation for being a very affordable place to live. We were shocked, however, when we found apartment rental prices to be similar to those in Oregon. Our plans to find a three bedroom for $1000 or less each month were thwarted. Instead, we found ourselves scrambling to find a three bedroom apartment for which we met the minimum income requirements.

After a stressful week-long search we found a quiet, older, three bedroom apartment that was an easy commute from Andy’s job. We barely met the minimum income requirements, but we were just glad to have a place to live.

A year and a half later, I’m ready to stop renting. I’m tired of feeling like we’re throwing money away each month in a rent payment. A rent increase three months ago added to this frustration. We are now paying more than a third of our monthly  net spendable income in rent. It’s just not sustainable.

In San Antonio,  many mortgage payments are either less than or equal to the price of rent. According to rentcafe.com the average price of rent for a two bedroom with an average of 991 square feet is $1,079 per month. Conversely, the median home value in San Antonio is $166,377, according to Zillow. A mortgage payment for that selling price would come out to about $900 on a 30 year fixed mortgage.

Our lease will expire at the end of December. Ideally, we will have already closed on a house by then so that we can start the new year with a sustainable housing budget. However, ideal situations don’t always materialize. 

If we are not able to purchase a house before our current lease expires, we have decided to move to a smaller, more affordable apartment until we can purchase a house. I’m not thrilled by the thought of having to move twice in one year, but we simply must stop the financial bleed that our current rent is causing.

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Andy and Ginny

We are a married couple living in San Antonio, Texas who are delving into the adventure of buying a house with a zero credit score and trying to help other people do the same.

3 thoughts on “We Have to Stop Renting”

  1. somehow I have been missing the updates to the blog – looks like I have missed quite a few…. so sorry and sad… catching up…

    “According to rentcafe.com the average price of rent for a two bedroom with an average of 991 square feet is $1,079 per month. Conversely, the median home value in San Antonio is $166,377, according to Zillow. A mortgage payment for that selling price would come out to about $900 on a 30 year fixed mortgage.”

    I just wanted to note that you want to make sure that you are comparing apples to apples here. Rent for the landlord covers mortgage principal and interest, taxes, insurance, and should also cover repairs/maintenance and vacancies. The $900 mortgage is not the same “apple” here. You want to make sure that when you are comparing renting to buying that you also include those hidden costs of repairs and maintenance that you will assume now as the homeowner. The typical rule of thumb is 1% yearly cost of total purchase price for repairs. So for your example would be almost $1700/year or $142/month. Add that to the $919 mortgage/tax/insurance (from zillow 30 year on 166,377) and you have an “equivalent” rent payment of $1061/month which is really not that different from the average rent of $1079.

    Sorry, I was just thinking about all this because I just read an article on rent vs buy. Link below. Get Rich Slowly is running a whole series on home ownership now – might be interested to check it out… The article discusses the Price-to-Rent ratios which is very interesting. Be sure to check out the rent vs buy calculator shown – it goes into much more depth than just the 1% rule of thumb….

    https://www.getrichslowly.org/rent-or-buy/

    It is easy to compare a mortgage without including the hidden costs to rent and think you are throwing money away renting, when actually you may not be that far off from actual costs… To support this thought — just this past two weeks we have made two calls to landlord… AC died and dishwasher is making noises and not working properly. When you own the house, those are your issues… Which is another good point to remember – (from Dave Ramsey too) – that you want to make sure that when you move into your house that you already have your emergency fund saved up in addition to down payment because inevitably something is going to go wrong…

    All that said, I feel you in wanting to buy and soon. I am sorry that it is taking longer than you want and seems like it is going slow. I continue praying for you (and us too) as you continue to save and look for the right house. I have to continually remind myself that we are not “throwing money away” renting – we are renting for a season to make a sound financial decision and be wise in the long run.

    lastly – definitely seems wise to move once your lease runs up to free up some money in budget. might even be worthwhile to calculate how much it would save you in the long run to pay to break your lease earlier and move sooner if that is an option.

    1. All great points! You’re right: we need to include the cost of maintenance in our cost comparisons. One problem in our current situation is that maintenance issues are not being fully addressed by the landlord. 🙁 Thanks for your prayers on our house hunt, and thanks for the reminder that renting is “for a season to make a sound financial decision and be wise in the long run.” I can get antsy in the waiting. I’ll be praying for your house buying process too.

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