id def keep renting and put that cash into investments. homeownership is misleading...unless you buy it outright you are still renting...only now your landlord is the bank and you have to come up with a BIG security deposit
If you're single I'd say stay on the island. Your time in the water will definitely benefit. Who wants to sit in traffic @ hotel check-in time on a summer saturday just to check a minimal swell. But, if you have a bike you'll catch those swells that often only break during a small tide/wind window. Packing all of your crap in a car is still packing all of your crap in a car whether you're driving 10min or 40min. Plus you then have to find parking.
Better to park your car on fri. and not get back in til mon.
Plus, the amount of resort property is limited so it will usually hold more of its value when the market goes down and will be faster to regain value when the economy recovers.
My two cents and I will be as succinct as I can...
I bought my first home (townhouse) after college a couple of years ago. I happen to live in VB. I passed up other places. I miss out on biking to the beach to move a few miles inland. You save money, avoid some of the issues as floods, corrosive saltwater, noise and the notorious condo fees. In terms of getting to the beach, one can adapt. Help a guy fix his boat or home and perhaps you can park at his place or find a place about a mile from the beach the lazy tourists typically miss/avoid, bring a bike (or chain it there if its feasible) and bike with your board to the beach.
Don't get me wrong, I am just getting by, but it beats living with the parents and answering to a landlord. You call the shots! That is just dope. There are pros and cons of course. You are responsible for everything. I suggest one to be very picky. Check out those appliances. Find a home owned by old folks (they seem to leave a lot behind that can be of use). This is a buyers market no doubt. You will surf when there is no surf to save money (i.e. paddling down the beach). If you can live on the beach, afford it and out of the flood zone, I would do it. The beach is an addiction.
It is stressful to say the least. If you are a handyman, its a good idea. All improvements will help you out. Equity, equity, equity! It's like Monopoly. Use the home as a launchpad for future endeavors. If they fail and you've rented that house out, move back to that particular beach town. Although there is much one can say about living in the East, you're still at a beach and that beats the lives most in this world must endure. Heck, you just might get that island one day and have everything to yourself (assuming that's your style)!
I assume you're about my age and I hope this helps. Getting a home is an epic journey. Elementary science teaches that humans REQUIRE three things in order to survive...food, water and shelter. Good luck
Last edited by KillaKiel; Jul 10, 2012 at 05:38 PM.
Bad advise. The best thing I ever did financially was to buy my first house. I bought it back in the early 90's and paid $85,000 with a mortgage rate of 10%. Yes 10%! I lived in that house for 5 years refinanced once during that time to a lower rate. After those 5 years I sold the house at $92,000. Not a big jump even by late 80's standards. After it was sold I did the math and figured even with the expense of the interest I had completely broken even. By even I mean other than some minor cost of upkeep I had gotten all the money back that I put in so it was as if I had lived rent free for 5 years. I took that money put it in the bank and shopped for my current house. I bought a piece of land and built a house with the original money and now own my current house, have a piece of land as an investment, built a business and am considering buying another large tract of land to build a new house. I did all of this because of that original investment.
I think a lot of it depends on what you like to do outside of the water, too. I'm married now and in my 40's but I could not possibly imagine being single and living on one of the barrier islands in NJ. Maybe some people could. But I needed a place where I could get more access to nightlife and the ability to meet a wide variety of people (women). Hell, even to just be able to see a decent movie besides multiplex garbage. I chose to live inland and find super cheap Sept-May rentals that gave me access to surf during swells. If you're content to tie fishing ties or shape boards or work on your novel all winter, then this is not an issue. But man, life in some of these shore towns seems deadening to me (just my preference, though)
That said, I cannot emphasize enough how awesome it is to have a short commute. If you work near the beach, then, wow, the possibility of having work, home and surf all right there in biking or short drive distance is really, really enticing. And I also have to say that one of my all time regrets is not buying a house when I was younger and single. You can build up massive equity by maybe renting to a roommate. they're basically putting money in your pocket. Good move looking to buy no matter where you wind up.
I'm hemming and hawing. But the middle ground in my scenario would be to buy a fixer upper in a town that has both beach and some culture/nightlife. For 250k you can find it.