No. But actually… no. Maybe? Still no.

It has felt a little weird to be renting at this stage in our lives… grownups own their homes, don’t they? And besides, we like looking at houses, and moving, decorating, etc. We should buy. Or should we?

We’ve mostly gotten over the initial sticker shock we felt at Auckland housing prices. Economists will say the market is overvalued, but that doesn’t change the facts on the ground: you gotta pay a lot for a house here.

So this spring we’ve been looking at more open houses, including the apartment in the picture, which is literally across the street from us. It wasn’t right, but on another outing we did for the first time find a place that was both (kind of) in our budget and livable. It had a good layout, enough room, enough privacy, not too far from work… and the price is lower due to a steep driveway… but that’s something we’ve dealt with before, in places with actual snow and ice. Should we make a bid???

Luckily, cool heads prevailed. We put all our MBA powers to work and calculated how much we “throw away” in rent vs how much we would be throwing away in mortgage interest, the cost of selling if we had to do that, and everything else we could think of. Given that we still don’t really know how long we’ll be here, what that overvalued market will do in 5 or 10 or more years, etc., it didn’t actually make quantitative sense. If it were only a few hundred thousand less.

But oh the temptation…

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