Buy a House or Rent? Leaving Parent’s in 4mo. My Income, Assets & Debts.

SO and I have been staying at her father’s house last 1.5 years for health reasons/being close to her family (my SO has cancer). We’re ready to be living on our own together again, and move out of her father’s place. We’re unsure if we should be looking at buying or renting. We’re both 26. Plan to move out in ~4 months.

Location: Carolinas USA (rural-ish area). Homes that fit our needs (& wants) are around $175k-$285k. We would look at renting for around $1500/mo total (including utilities and such) (Also – we have a large dog).


**Income (pre-tax):**

Me: $86,000/yr ($4,600 take home/mo after taxes)

SO: $44,000/yr ($2,700 take home/mo after taxes)

Combined: $130,000/yr ($7,400/mo take-home after taxes)


**Total Monthly Expenses** *(food + loan payments+ car/pet insurance + ‘everything else’ .. on average)*

Me: $1000/mo

SO: $850/mo

Combined: $1850/mo




* $4,500 checking (usually keep checking balance around here & move money elsewhere)
* $6,000 Emergency Fund/General Savings
* $20,000 stock/ETF mix in personal investment account
* $9,000 in Roth-IRA
* $13,000 in 401K.


* $11,000 in bank account.
* No investment accounts. (as I’m typing this noting to prioritize helping her setup an IRA)




* $11,000 auto loan balance (5.9% interest) remaining on car ($250/mo payment, car’s value is $25,000 – I have been pouring extra money into this loan/mo due to 5.9% rate)
* ~~$24,000~~ $4,000 federal student loans in covid forbearance (I am subject to $20k forgiveness should it go through)
* No revolving credit card debt.


* ~~$22,000~~ $2,000 federal student loan debt (subject to $20k forgiveness as well)
* Car is paid off (car is worth $4,000)


At this point, we do not pay rent as we’re staying at SO’s father’s house. **We are also expecting an additional ~$1,500 in added monthly expenses through Nov 2022-Nov 2023**, as my SO will be getting specialized medical treatment outside of US (not covered by insurance).

We had more saved up, but had spent around $35,000 in medical costs over last 1.5 yrs. More than half of this number being payment to prepare her specialized medical treatment overseas.

We have never owned property, only rented. I know the market isn’t prime for buyers at the moment. Realty is not my specialty, and there’s a ton I don’t know about this entire experience. Have just started researching first time homebuyer tips.

Based on our current financial situation, should we consider buying a home? As I mentioned, we’re planning to move in ~4 months or so, giving us time to save more for a down payment. We do not plan to continue staying with her father.

Please let me know if any additional information would be helpful – just looking for general advice as we will be moving in 4mo.. to seriously look into buying and building equity in a home, or just plan to rent somewhere as we build up our wealth? Thank you!