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renting - not so easy when you have kids?

By brno   Jul 17, 12:52pm   1,732 views   36 comments   watch (1)   quote      

Hey

Read Patrick's book. love it. i was already a convert anyway, i just didnt know any logical reasons why i thought that way other than "everyone is crazy".

Question is regarding renting when you have kids. Many of the benefits of renting fall away because of the stickiness of the choice of kindergardens/schools, friendship groups, after school activities, etc etc etc. And sadly the rental market is not always going to be so kind that if you need to leave one place, you can find another in the same neighbourhood, or a convenient distance away...

I'm a life-long renter, and as a single/couple it's the best way. What recommendations are there for families?

Comments 1-36 of 36     Last »

1   rpanic01   Jul 17, 1:01pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

If you have kids apartments suck. I bought my house when my third one was on the way and my oldest hadn’t started school yet. Having kids also means your going to pay more to be near good schools. You could always rent a house but there is always the risk something changes and then your looking for another place and moving kids around and stuff. It really is worth it to just set down roots but the housing market sucks right now.

2   Quigley   Jul 17, 2:36pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

What's your location/market? Perhaps there are options for buying that you haven't considered.

I saw the way things were going and bought after the downturn, couldn't afford much so got a town home. It helped a lot with stability for the kids (3) and our lifestyle, though we still had less space than we wanted. Then last year I cashed out equity (sold) to put 20% on the house we actually wanted when my wife went back to work and the dual incomes made a bigger payment much easier.
So far I'm digging the home owner lifestyle, and it worked out well for building wealth with the first property. We did rent for ten years before then while waiting out the inevitable crash and saving a down payment. My market is the rather expensive Orange County.

I don't see a crash in our future now tho, at least in this market. Land is too scarce, developer pockets too deep, and foreign investment continues. It'll continue to rise. Perhaps more slowly, perhaps not.

3   someone else   Jul 17, 2:54pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

It worked for me. Raised two kids to college in a rental. Maybe I was just lucky, but if you are a good renter and get an individual landlord (not a corporation!) they are usually keen to have you remain as long as possible, and so don't raise the rent crazy amounts.

They'd usually rather have you stay than lose a month or two re-renting, not to mention the repairs/cleaning they'd have to do, and the risk of taking a new unknown tenant.

Of course there are exceptions, but that has been my experience.

4   Tenpoundbass   Jul 17, 3:39pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

America needs to adopt a Pro Family policy that makes parents responsible for their kids actions.
While at the same they are expected to teach their kids discipline and consequences.
Video of a parent beating their kid's ass in a Walmart grocery isle, should not be evidence for out sourced self serving family agencies to take over as head of your household.
Probably need classes on it though. Most parents(if you can call them that) were raised given full court to throw temper tantrums with impunity until they got their way as well.

I hope Trump gets as aggressive shoving Ward and June Cleaver down our throats, as we were with Trans everything and how bad Families are we suffered under Obama.

Obama must have spent 5 billion on Liberal propaganda Trump needs to spend 8 billion at least just to undo some of what Obama done to this once great Nation of ours.

5   Therafin   Jul 17, 4:37pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Yeah - while Patrick's story is great (for him) - but I encourage you to browse around this site for all the now silent people like Meetycats, Jason M. Malkovich, etc. who got royally screwed by renting. The true "housing trap" you get wedded to an area in terms of schools, friends, family, jobs, etc. Suddenly, your spouse, kids, love everything about their life exactly the way it is...

Then .....SNAP goes the trap. Either the kindly old landlord dies, sells, or whatever, and then the new guy realizes how under market your rental is, and raises it by thousands of dollars. I cant link to it but google "Million Dollar Shack" which is about the daily reaming that renters get in Silicon Valley. My favorite part is the Mountain View renter of 10 years who got a notice from her landlord saying her rent was going from "just over $2,000 per month to $8,900 per month!". Of course she couldn't afford it so like so many others, she got priced out and had to move away.

Not sure what to tell you other than to understand both sides of the argument here. Call it the "survivor bias" but the people who got reamed by long term renting are too ashamed to come here and tell you about it. For every single vote you get in favor of long term renting, don't forget about the multiple votes against it from the 10,000 plus former posters who were long silenced by prices.

6   Strategist   Jul 17, 4:50pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Therafin says

Not sure what to tell you other than to understand both sides of the argument here. Call it the "survivor bias" but the people who got reamed by long term renting are too ashamed to come here and tell you about it. For every single vote you get in favor of long term renting, don't forget about the multiple votes against it from the 10,000 plus former posters who were long silenced by prices.

Best investments I ever made were in Real Estate. You can't go wrong with California real estate.

7   RealEstateIsBetterThanStocks   Jul 17, 6:15pm     ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote    

i'd just buy and not waste 1/3 of my life debating buying vs renting. the difference is not worth it.

use the time and energy on something else.

8   FortWayne   Jul 17, 7:31pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

With family you or your wife might want more "stability" and not worry about changing schools, just make sure if you buy anything you don't put your entire salary into it otherwise the house will own you instead of you owning the house.

If you can save A LOT of money renting you will save a lot. You just have to be frugal and know how to save, that's a key. Saving is important, especially if you could put it into stock market. Stocks will get you between 6% to 9% on average over years if you don't go crazy or too cautious.

We saved for something like 8 years to buy with cash. It took serious thrift on our part. So hope this helps.

9   bob2356   Jul 18, 7:43am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

brno says

I'm a life-long renter, and as a single/couple it's the best way. What recommendations are there for families?

If the rent to house price ratio is favorable to renting ( you can rent for less than you can mortage) then rent and put the difference in the bank (the key point to the exercise), If it's favorable to buying then buy. This isn't rocket science. Houses are just big wooden boxes.

10   Strategist   Jul 18, 8:02am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

bob2356 says

If the rent to house price ratio is favorable to renting ( you can rent for less than you can mortage) then rent and put the difference in the bank (the key point to the exercise), If it's favorable to buying then buy. This isn't rocket science. Houses are just big wooden boxes.

Bad formula. If you don't account for price gains, you will get wrong results.
Garbage in, garbage out.

11   zzyzzx   Jul 18, 8:55am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Already on my long list of reasons not to have kids.

12   brno   Jul 18, 2:01pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

brilliant thanks everybody for the advice. really appreciate it! esp Therapin - will check out posts from those guys you mentioned.

Living in Oslo, Norway fyi. Housing market here is completely nuts see section "housing reality check" in:
http://lettersfromnorway.com/norwegian-economy-2017-black-swans-hovering-overhead/

However,... whiff of a correction coming in the next few months as they've tightened the restrictions on loan-to-income ratio and also capital requirements for investment buyers means less buyers in the market but doesnt make me feel any better about buying something that's overpriced.

Either way great to know from ppl with kids that buying is better as it's been really stressing me out for a while what to do... btw we definitely plan on being able to finance our entire life on a single salary.

13   someone else   Jul 18, 2:02pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

brno says

Living in Oslo, Norway fyi.

I was just there! Have to say it's worth a lot to live in such a clean, beautiful, prosperous place.

Then again, maybe I would not survive the winter. But still.

14   Therafin   Jul 18, 7:53pm     ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Strategist says

bob2356 says

If the rent to house price ratio is favorable to renting ( you can rent for less than you can mortage) then rent and put the difference in the bank (the key point to the exercise), If it's favorable to buying then buy. This isn't rocket science. Houses are just big wooden boxes.

Bad formula. If you don't account for price gains, you will get wrong results.

Garbage in, garbage out.

Not just "price gains' but rent increases too. it cant just be a single snapshot in time. It must be weighed against the expected length of ownership/tenancy. Otherwise you get this (2008 renter with expected 25 year stay):

2008 rent = 2000
2008 buy = 2300
Formula choice = rent

2013 rent = 2400
2013 buy = 2600
Formula choice = rent

2017 rent = 2800
2017 buy =2850
Formula choice = rent

2020 rent= 3100
2020 buy =3000
Formula choice = buy

Here the dipshit who decided not to buy at $2,300 a month is somehow the "winner" when he purchases 12 later and pays $3,000? Nope. The "correct" answer is travel back in time and kick the shit out of your 2008 self for not buying at the bottom. Absent that, assuming you can afford it, the longterm buyer should just buy at the lowest price you can and hope for the best. It sucks but it beats renting for life or traveling back in time to kick your own ass.

15   lostand confused   Jul 18, 8:10pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

One thing I didn't really acknowledge when I was renting, was that renting is throwing money away. Whatever I put into my mortgage, I have something of value-unless you live in detroit. Here prices don't go up much-well after I bought, it went up 30%-which is unheard of. But even if you are even, you have a couple of hundred grand at the end.

Now with trump's proposed changes -inability to deduct property taxes and mortgage interest-things might change.

16   anonymous   Jul 18, 8:11pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

P principal = savings with long term growth
I interest = fed tax deduction
T tax = fed tax deduction
I insurance = constant

R rent = disposed income
I insurance = constant

there are cases where renting makes sense, but not very many. one case is a temporary living arrangement. another case is the reason why patrick.net was popular - a global financial crisis and period of uncertainty.

17   anonymous   Jul 18, 8:13pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

lostand confused says

Now with trump's proposed changes -inability to deduct property taxes and mortgage interest-things might change.

i do not believe that applies to one's primary residence?

18   Strategist   Jul 18, 8:13pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Therafin says

Here the dipshit who decided not to buy at $2,300 a month is somehow the "winner" when he purchases 12 later and pays $3,000? Nope. The "correct" answer is travel back in time and kick the shit out of your 2008 self for not buying at the bottom. Absent that, assuming you can afford it, the longterm buyer should just buy at the lowest price you can and hope for the best. It sucks but it beats renting for life or traveling back in time to kick your own ass.

I could not agree more. They always said buying your own is the best investment you can make. They were always right.
Real estate investments were almost always the best investments I ever made. Nothing beats the buy and hold strategy in real estate.

19   anonymous   Jul 18, 8:14pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

also, if you live in your primary residence for at least 2 years, then married couples can keep up to around $500,000 TAX FREE in appreciation gains from the sale of that property.

20   Strategist   Jul 18, 8:16pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

landtof says

lostand confused says

Now with trump's proposed changes -inability to deduct property taxes and mortgage interest-things might change.

i do not believe that applies to one's primary residence?

It won't matter on rental property either, because interest paid is an expense. I believe it applies to second homes.

21   bob2356   Jul 19, 1:13am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Strategist says

bob2356 says

If the rent to house price ratio is favorable to renting ( you can rent for less than you can mortage) then rent and put the difference in the bank (the key point to the exercise), If it's favorable to buying then buy. This isn't rocket science. Houses are just big wooden boxes.

Bad formula. If you don't account for price gains, you will get wrong results.

Garbage in, garbage out.

How many houses have you owned and how many do you currently own that you based this opinion on? All real estate is local. What makes sense in one place might not make any sense at all in another. You have to do your homework. Even then possible price gains are just a guessing game.

The more price gains the better the ratio of rent to price. Rents increases always lag way behind price increases in a rising market. Invest the money you sock away every month and smile. You can't invest price gains without selling the house. I did that with a 1.5 million house on the beach 2008-2011 putting away money every month while watching the price of the property drop and drop. Came out very, very nicely thank you.

Area's where rents are high relative to housing costs (not the price, the overall cost) don't usually have much price upside. Sometimes renters turn into owners, but unless there is a influx of people then you are taking renters out of the market as fast as you are taking rental properties out of the market. Even so if you will be paying less for PIT than rent so you might as well go for it. Bought a house when I came back to the states because the rents were absurd in the area I moved to (overly protective tenant laws killed the rental market, people let houses sit empty until they sell them rather than rent) vs the cost of owning. I took a 10 year mortgage because even with outrageous taxes and maintenance t was still cheaper than renting.

I don't believe in counting on price gains for my own house or investment properties. Maybe in CA but I'm never going to be in the CA market. I invest in cash flow.

22   Strategist   Jul 19, 11:40am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

bob2356 says

I don't believe in counting on price gains for my own house or investment properties. Maybe in CA but I'm never going to be in the CA market. I invest in cash flow.

@bob2356
That's a strategy many go for. Whatever works for you. My strategy has always been to invest in properties that have rising populations, attractive climate, and limited desirable land areas, even though the gross rent multipliers tend to be very high. All my rental homes are in OC with never a regret of buying them. I also invest in vacant residential lots mostly in So Cal. The prices of vacant lots are very volatile, but they do have advantages of virtually no maintenance. The risk that comes with property investments, especially vacant lots, does not bother me.
I think the best place to buy property is in coastal Florida. The gross rent multipliers are much better than California, and the population increase virtually guarantees steadily rising property prices. If i did not have roots in California, I would leave right away for Florida.

23   SpecialSnowflake   Jul 19, 12:18pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I rented with kids. Didn't find it all that difficult. * Apt with one kid, then rented a house in the same neighborhood when the second arrived.

*) except having to take my last landlord to court for return of security deposit.

24   rigidmember   Jul 21, 1:21pm     ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Had to leave our rental in the middle of winter 2015 with a three year old and a 2 month old because the property management company had to fix dry rot in the bathroom subfloor, RIGHT FUCKING NOW! Didn't matter that it was present when we moved in 2 years earlier and was probably their many years before that. They could've fixed it in between tenants but no. Why do that? That makes too much fucking sense!

They were going to remodel the bathroom and we were told by the idiot dolt of a maintenance manager that it would take 2 weeks max. I tried to hold them off until spring when my son was a little older and the temp was warmer but no deal. I was threatened with eviction from the assistant maintenance manager if we didn't leave as told. To top it off we were told we would get no help in relocating as they are not responsible for finding us a temporary place to live or to provide any money to assist with obtaining a temp residence. I coordinated a vacation and a stay with a relative in the North Bay for the two weeks to stay out of the apartment. We moved the necessary kids things and some clothes to the North Bay and were still allowed to enter the apartment as needed.

I should've known they would fuck this project up like every other maintenance call they responded to during our time living there. Sure enough a couple days after leaving we stopped by to get some things and noticed they hadn't started work. Me being a civil engineer I immediately think about project duration. WTF is going on I ask myself and call the property management company to follow up on progress. Finally after calling them for two days, now nearly a week into a two week project, I get a call back saying they don't have the fucking permits yet! Unbelievable, but par for the course with this shit show of a property management company. Long story short it took them 2.5 months to complete a "2 week" bathroom remodel.

During this time the focus became to get the fuck out of this rental. Although they never mentioned this to me, we continued to pay rent the whole time we were out so they couldn't evict us. We ended up purchasing a home in central contra costa toward the end so when they told us we could go back I told them to fuck off and that we were moving. We got 2.5 months of free rent while we did some quick remodeling to the house and moved our shit.

Lesson learned: Never again will I be a tenant, these assholes scarred me for life. Doing this without kids would have been tough but with kids made this a real PITA.

By the way if anyone is interested we were renting from Gallagher and Lindsey. Believe me, the reviews of them on yelp and other places are the truth. Before we moved I read the reviews and figured we can deal with their shit but never in a million years did I expect to have to deal with what we had to deal with. Stay the fuck away from those assholes if you're in Alameda.

25   tr6   Jul 21, 3:11pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Strategist says

I think the best place to buy property is in coastal Florida.

That's because you don't believe in rising sea levels. I think coastal appreciation will be very limited in the next couple of decades.

26   Rew   Jul 21, 5:02pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

rigidmember says

Lesson learned: Never again will I be a tenant, these assholes scarred me for life. Doing this without kids would have been tough but with kids made this a real PITA.

Humans don't take well to having their caves forcibly moved on them.

I second the "buy" if you've got kids thing. When they are really young, not a very big deal. Soon as they are school age, you don't want to be messing with that. Destabilizing enough for an adult. Go put down some roots somewhere. Buying into a location, a community, it's something very very different than being a renter.

27   Strategist   Jul 21, 5:08pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

tr6 says

Strategist says

I think the best place to buy property is in coastal Florida.

That's because you don't believe in rising sea levels.

I don't think rising sea levels is a problem to the extent people think it is. Besides, a few years from now pollution will start declining due to clean energy.

tr6 says

I think coastal appreciation will be very limited in the next couple of decades.

Why is that? Coastal properties are the most desired.

28   someone else   Jul 21, 5:44pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

lostand confused says

One thing I didn't really acknowledge when I was renting, was that renting is throwing money away. Whatever I put into my mortgage, I have something of value-unless you live in detroit.

You should also acknowledge that a mortgage is simply renting money.

Interest is the rent on borrowed money exactly the same way that rent is the rent on a borrowed house. You get to use the capital (the money or the house) for a while, for a price.

Once you understand that, you can start to make valid calculations as to the relative value of renting vs owning.

The next step is to understand that your equity in a house is exactly like your equity in the stock market -- except that the stock market has a far greater historical return than housing equity does.

So (renting + stock market) make be less, equal, or more than (paying interest + bet on housing equity).

It depends on the numbers. Owners who overpaid during the bubble frequently ended up with zero and a damaged credit record, whereas if they had rented a house instead of renting money, and then put the equity that they would have put in a monthly mortgage check into the stock market instead, they would have ended up with something.

It all depends on the numbers.

29   bob2356   Jul 21, 10:35pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Rew says

When they are really young, not a very big deal. Soon as they are school age, you don't want to be messing with that. Destabilizing enough for an adult. Go put down some roots somewhere.

Plenty of families with school age children move with no problem at all. Like everyone in the military for an example. As a military brat I did the move every 2 years ting. No big deal. What's destabilizing abut moving?

30   bob2356   Jul 21, 11:29pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Patrick says

You should also acknowledge that a mortgage is simply renting money.

Interest is the rent on borrowed money exactly the same way that rent is the rent on a borrowed house. You get to use the capital (the money or the house) for a while, for a price.

You need to acknowledge that when you rent you are paying back someone else's rented money. A big very point.

Patrick says

So (renting + stock market) make be less, equal, or more than (paying interest + bet on housing equity).

It depends on the numbers. Owners who overpaid during the bubble frequently ended up with zero and a damaged credit record, whereas if they had rented a house instead of renting money, and then put the equity that they would have put in a monthly mortgage check into the stock market instead, they would have ended up with something.

Why would someone who overpaid during the bubble end up with a damaged credit record? Only if they overextended in the first place, used the house as a piggy bank, and were forced to sell or walk away. That kind of person wouldn't do any better renting since they would just piss any extra money anyway. If they weren't overextended they can just continue to pay the mortgage and live in the house. It would suck being under water, but long term it would be fine.

then put the equity that they would have put in a monthly mortgage check into the stock market You do know there is very little equity the first 10 years of a 30 year mortgage don't you? You don't hit 50% equity until the 20 year mark. After 10 years on a 30 year 200k at 4% the equity is $36,000. The first 5 year is $17,500. That's not a hell of a lot of stocks. Unless you can pick the next microsoft, facebook, amazon you aren't going to be retiring early on those numbers.

I've never had a 30 year, I only go with 10 or 15 year mortgage. My current mortgage is 10 year at 2.65% and didn't pay any points. I could have paid cash but I'm getting 10%+ (considerably plus where I'm buying right now) net yield in rentals and paying the bank 2.65% for my mortgage. Duh.

I don't have a dog in this fight. My (now my wife's) consulting career makes moving every 1-3 year a fact of life the last 35 years. With kids the last 15. I buy where it makes sense to buy and I rent where it makes sense to rent. Houses are just big wooden boxes.

31   Strategist   Jul 22, 8:01am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

bob2356 says

As a military brat I did the move every 2 years ting. No big deal. What's destabilizing abut moving?

Look what happened to you?

32   bob2356   Jul 22, 10:49am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Strategist says

bob2356 says

As a military brat I did the move every 2 years ting. No big deal. What's destabilizing abut moving?

Look what happened to you?

Having a very successful career, living all around the world, and managing to have an immense amount of fun pursuing large quantities of things like surfing, skiing, windsurfing, wakeboarding, kitesurfing, and hard partying along the way is a bad outcome some how? Not to my way of thinking.

33   Strategist   Jul 22, 11:05am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

bob2356 says

Strategist says

bob2356 says

As a military brat I did the move every 2 years ting. No big deal. What's destabilizing abut moving?

Look what happened to you?

Having a very successful career, living all around the world, and managing to have an immense amount of fun pursuing large quantities of things like surfing, skiing, windsurfing, wakeboarding, kitesurfing, and hard partying along the way is a bad outcome some how? Not to my way of thinking.

I'm glad for you, and i would like to enjoy life even more. Next Saturday I am going with my sister to jump out of a plane, and am looking forward to it.

34   bob2356   Jul 22, 11:42am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Strategist says

Next Saturday I am going with my sister to jump out of a plane, and am looking forward to it.

I was never inspired to jump out of a perfectly good air plane. Dancing on the water/snow and being very good at things that few people can do well is where it's at for me. Like pretty much all my friends I've arranged my work life around my play life.

35   ThreeBays   Jul 24, 6:17pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Patrick says

lostand confused says

One thing I didn't really acknowledge when I was renting, was that renting is throwing money away. Whatever I put into my mortgage, I have something of value-unless you live in detroit.

You should also acknowledge that a mortgage is simply renting money.

Interest is the rent on borrowed money exactly the same way that rent is the rent on a borrowed house. You get to use the capital (the money or the house) for a while, for a price.

Once you understand that, you can start to make valid calculations as to the relative value of renting vs owning.

The next step is to understand that your equity in a house is exactly like your equity in the stock market -- except that the stock market has a far greater historical return than housing equity does.

So (renting + stock market) make be less, equal, or more than (paying interest + bet on h...

For the numbers on our home in San Jose, purchasing with a mortgage was the best idea.

Yes the stock market has greater historical returns - but how much do you really earn after taxes and rent? The S&P returns for the past 10 years average 7.0%. Take out taxes, let's say minimum 35% (my marginal rate is closer to 50%) and you're left with 4.5% at best 3.5% at worst. Rent in the Bay Area is 3~4% of home prices. Renting to invest in stocks is not a gain at all.

36   ThreeBays   Jul 24, 6:40pm     ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

FortWayne says

With family you or your wife might want more "stability" and not worry about changing schools, just make sure if you buy anything you don't put your entire salary into it otherwise the house will own you instead of you owning the house.

If you can save A LOT of money renting you will save a lot. You just have to be frugal and know how to save, that's a key. Saving is important, especially if you could put it into stock market. Stocks will get you between 6% to 9% on average over years if you don't go crazy or too cautious.

We saved for something like 8 years to buy with cash. It took serious thrift on our part. So hope this helps.

Why buy with cash when you can borrow money for 3% and get 6% to 9% in stocks? Also while saving up to buy with cash, you probably need to invest way more conservatively than a long term retirement portfolio. And as I mention above, I recon taxes and rental costs end up eroding their investment gains more than most realize.

My philosophy is to borrow money while the money is cheap. Bought with 20% down (now have 40% equity), paid the damn rent on the money (2.75% in my case), and then investing other savings in a portfolio targeting retirement (much more aggressive than the downpayment savings).

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