What’s a better investment for a 25 year old?

November 21, 2008

As a first time 25 year old home buyer, is a condo, duplex, or single family home a better live-in investment?

This question was asked using our "post a question" button and while a little broad, we’ll try to answer it here.

The individual situation of buyers varies greatly, the location of the property and the length of stay will affect how good an investment something will be. Plus, there is the ever changing real estate market that no one can predict. 

Each property types has its pros and cons.

For example, condos might be the right choice for a 25 year old first time home buyer – one who doesn’t want to spend free time on lawn work.  You can find hundreds of condos listings here, be sure to try the mortgage calculator at each property to see what seems affordable.  I chose the condo for my first home and it was right for me. I was told condos did not appreciate as quickly as single family homes.  Which at the time turned out to be correct.  But the condo worked for me because it was affordable TO ME, and I stayed several years.  I made money on the sale, and I was not paying rent.  There are a ton of condo opportunities in Wisconsin and many new and exciting projects in Milwaukee’s downtown area.  Now may be the time to snatch one up, while prices are on the low side. 

Duplexes can be tempting – Think YOU can be the landlord now and roll in all that rent money that will pay your mortgage.  You can search for two family homes here. But be careful to also think about if you could afford it with unit vacancies.  And do think about some of the landlord/property management duties you may incure.  Location, rentability, the market and length of stay will all affect how good of an investment this would be. I know many people who have made duplexes work for them – even after they move out, keeping the property as strictly income, not a live-in situation.

Single Family Homes have "always" been good investment and up until recently, returned almost guaranteed returns.  The current market is different, but real estate is cyclical and some say is on the up swing again.  Buying now while prices are low will certainly make the most of this investment, you just have to stick with the house a little longer.  Owning  a single family home has the benefit of freedom, but also does carry the reponsibility of upkeep/maintenance.  

That’s a general answer to the question. A local realtor in the Wisconsin town you are thinking about buying in will be able to share much more detailed information.  Plus, talking with a loan officer about income and borrowing potential is also key.

Are you leaning to either of these property types more than others? It is a good time to buy.Prices are LOW right now and do not forget about the First Time Buyer Tax Credit!

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