My First Mortgage Payment

By Carlos Portocarrero

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signing a checkYesterday I wrote out my first check to make my first payment on the mortgage to our new place. It’s a big check—bigger than any rent check I’ve ever had to write. And I started to think about whether or not it was a little too much higher than my rent used to be.

Doesn’t everyone always say that you should try to pay less than your rent when you buy?

But this place we’re in now is nicer, bigger, and has amenities we didn’t have before—so we moved up in the world by moving here. Which means we should expect to pay more. I did a little digging around and found that I’d probably be paying around the same amount if I rented a place just like this one. So that made me feel better.

Then I read an interesting piece in the NY Times about this very debate: is it better to rent or buy? Usually articles like these try to go against the grain to show people that renting offers more flexibility for less money. This article does the opposite, making the point that in most markets buying is probably the way to go.

And they have a fancy calculator to prove it.

As analytics as I like to think of myself, this is a decision that considers so many other life factors that a cool calculator can’t really do the math on why you’d want to buy.

  • By buying we are putting our money towards something for the future
  • Renting gives us flexibility to move whenever we want, but I hate moving
  • Buying got us a bigger, nicer place
  • Renting usually means you’re not living in as nice a place, unless you’re paying a premium
  • Buying gives me that unmeasurable feeling of ownership that is hard to describe
  • Renting made me feel like I was still in college

These feel things are hard to quantify, especially with so many money ratios out there that we’re “supposed” to follow. And that’s probably whey there’s so much debate about buying vs. renting—you just can’t properly weigh all the pros and cons when you don’t know that feeling of walking in the door, looking around, and going “this is my place.”

I know it’s cheesy and probably very unhelpful, but it’s true.

Image by helloturkeytoe

2 Responses to “My First Mortgage Payment”

  • Kevin M Says:

    Congrats on the first payment, only 359 more to go!
    We were in the same boat last year, going from about $850 mortgage payment to $1,350, but our house is 3x as big as the old one, so we didn’t think that was a bad deal.

  • Lennova Says:

    Thanks for such wonderful advice. Always interested to read your articles.

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