End of 2015 I decided to buy a condo in order to lower my monthly overhead. At the time I was spending around $950/month on rent knowing that the landlord was going to raise it every few months.
Overall it was a great purchase and it has served the purpose I wanted, lowering my monthly expenses. I’m weird in that I like to have the least amount of financial liability possible so that I don’t have to feel dependent on a job.
Should a day come that I find the perfect job which I would even do for free then I might change my viewpoint. For now, having a small overhead is an absolutely amazing feeling of liberation.
What My Expenses Would Have Been If I Continued Renting
I have owned the condo now for almost a year. If I had continued to rent I would have spent about $12k for housing in 2016. This would include my basic utilities such as water and electricity.
The location of the apartment I was renting was fairly close to work so there wasn’t any extra savings or loss by moving into my own condo. Though I saved quite a bit on utilities, paying only $20/month for electricity.
Most definitely my rent would have been increased had I stayed longer or renewed my lease. I suspect by around $100 per month.
How Much I Spent On My Condo This Year
I will ignore the purchase price of $142k of the condo since I can’t predict the future of the housing market. There are also other variables such as closing costs, taxes, major repairs… all of which are hard for me to predict.
In the past 12 months of owning this condo I have spent:
- $1932 on property taxes (I can deduct about 33% of this)
- $3,977 on home decorations and improvement
- $2,006 on my monthly HOA dues
That’s a total expenditure of $7,915. It’s $4,000 less than the $12k I would spent on rent which was exactly my goal.
I got a little eager with my home furnishings but I got the things that I wanted, environmentally friendly items which were made locally.
My Predictions For 2017
As of this writing in 2016 my condo seems to have appreciated some. Online real estate sites value it at $165k but recent sales in the building puts it closer to $150k.
Depending on my living situation next year, whether living in California with my partner or living with her in Portland, I should not have any major expenses for the condo besides taxes and HOA dues.
I realize that a primary residence is not an asset but a liability, I’m not deluding myself to think that I am profiting in any direct way. However, indirectly I should be saving about $7,600/year or $630/month by having a paid off inexpensive condominium versus renting an apartment from a landlord.
Lastly, I will be doing the majority of my work from home next year, I anticipate being able to take a nice deduction for a home office for 2017 (when I file 2018 taxes).