We’ve been contemplating buying a place, we are currently in the SF Bay Area. We currently live in a pretty solid rent-controlled apartment that is 15-30 minute walk to work for both of us. So the rental situation is quite ideal.
Honestly, the reason why I want to buy real estate of some kind is fear of inflation and the desire to have some hard assets to diversify my investments. It’s not really for lifestyle reasons as I like where we live now and I’m not one of those people that has any interest in “personalizing” my home and I sure as heck don’t want to do yard work.
If we buy in the SF Bay Area, we are already looking at going from a 30 minute walking commute to 1 hour DRIVING commute, and that’s probably for a 2/2 type townhouse. If we want a small 3/2 SFH, we are looking at moving further out to a 1.5-2 hour commute.
We have about 300k saved up for a down payment. I mean we still may just end up buying our own residence as we think that’s the best option.
But I’m also thinking alternatives. I could buy a small SFH in another city and use that as a rental property. I was a bit more interested in this idea BEFORE COVID. Now hearing the nightmare stories that the foreclosure moratorium caused, I’m not too sure. And there’s no guarantee it won’t happen again. And I’m not sure if I want to deal with all the work/headaches of being a landlord to begin with, even besides the whole moratorium issues.
So then a 3rd option we’ve been kicking around is buying a vacation property. As an investment it’s probably the least desirable option, I’d say I would see it more as a way to diversify my overall investments and a place to park my money to protect against rampant inflation.
We vacation in Southern California about 3-4 times a year, so we could buy a 1 or 2 br condo in the Orange County or San Diego area. I’m not sure what prices are looking like down these these days for 1 br condos, but I’m wondering if maybe 300k may be enough to buy a place with just cash.
We’d leave the place empty (or MAYBE Airbnb?) when we aren’t using.
Anyway, I’d like some input on the 3 options I’ve laid out and what might be the best one.