Whelp, 2017 marks year number 4 in my Five-Year Plan. Next year between February and May I’ll be changing my living arrangements. Currently I reside in a one bedroom apartment where the monthly base rent is $734 (total $844). Originally I wanted to buy a home on my own — I even setup a crazy plan to prepare me for it — however I’m beginning to wonder if all the info I’ve been reading severely downplays the cost of home ownership. What should I know before considering a home? Were there any surprises? Thanks in advance!!

More insight into what I’m thinking:

My biggest concern is how home owning is an asset. Even with a $200,000 house appreciating at 4% annually over ten years, you end up with nearly $300,000 in house. That’s spectacular!

But if I financed that $200,000 at 4% APR over 15 years then I will have paid $58,000 in interest during those ten years. Even just five years of interest payments would come out around $35,000. The house would have gained around $43,000 at that 4% annual appreciation rate over that same 5 years, though!

It looks as if as long as I stay put for 5 years (assuming appreciation rate and interest rate are similar over 15 years) then the house covers the interest payments. After that, the longer I stay (or sooner I pay it off) the more the home covers the increased upkeep, updates, and just becomes a great thing financially! So the asset aspect I can see, but we are working with very large numbers and I’m wondering what kinds of problems that causes, especially during the first five years.

Thanks again, apologies for mind spluging on the monitor.