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Natalie Bender
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Rent or Buy in San Diego

Posted Jan 24 2022, 01:21


I apologize in advance for the long back story....

I'm a stay at home mom and have been following my husbands Oil career around the world for the past 8 years, we have 1 preschooler and 1 one toddler. During this time we have saved money for a downpayment to be used when we returned stateside, bought two rentals and were gearing up to buy our 3rd. With rates so low we pulled cash out of one of the properties and we're going to use those funds to buy the third and keep our savings.

In a huge turn of events, my husband will be transferring to San Diego this spring, and looking at the price of homes is an absolute sticker shock. There are so many unknowns and I am just curious what other people would do in our position.

-We can afford to buy a decent home around $800K with a mortgage of roughly $400-$4500, but that would drain most if not all of our savings including the funds from the cash out. On one income we can't afford 5% down and a lot higher mortgage payment. I will be looking for work but we don't want to count on that money till I have a job. 

-There are no multi families in our budget so house hacking is not an option. 

- We are confined to a certain radius due to schools and commute which is keeping the house price high.

-The homes in our budget are small and out of dated but with all of our savings in the downpayment we couldn't put in the sweat equity for a few years. 

To make matters more complicated we do not want to live in CA and once we are back in the US my husband will be looking around for other opportunities that would take us closer to our family in Texas, but nothing is guaranteed. 

We could rent for a year, figure out the area and buy that 3rd investment property with some cash flow and still have some cash in the bank. However rent prices are fairly close to a mortgage so not a ton of cost savings. It would give us more flexibility to the better schools and time to get on our feet and figure out life back in the US and specifically how to budget in CA. However we run the risk of CA prices continuing to go sky high and rates are already going up and no other job offer that would take us out of CA. And now we're going on year 2 facing a 10% rent hike. 

Everything I read says don't buy at the top, who knows what the top is in CA but a 17% increase in one year is insane!

What would you do?

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