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Personal Finances / Buying or Selling a Home

URL:  http://boards.fool.com/how-did-you-do-it-13795117.aspx

Subject:  How did you do it? Date:  11/28/2000  6:12 PM
Author:  AliFool Number:  15373 of 128688

We make "decent money," but also have some debt. We each have about $10K student loan debt, I have $8K car debt and he has $12K credit card debt (which is now at 2.9%, consolidated and paid down since last year, when it was $30K at 20%!!!).

I have immaculate credit -- no late payments, etc. He has great credit, maybe a few points below mine because of 1 or 2 late payments... but he also used to have about 10 credit cards. Luckily now he only has 1 at a great rate. His credit report shows that all the other accounts have been closed by him and paid off.

Thing is, right now we are broke. We just got married and paid off my ring, our honeymoon, some wedding costs, and also just bought an older 2nd car with cash (rather than taking on a loan for a new car). We are basically tapped out as far as cash goes. Lucky for those decent salaries which could build it back up... if we weren't putting so much away for retirement.

We have money going into various retirement accounts -- 401K (mine has matching, his doesn't), ESPP, Roth IRA, etc. Because of this, our actual cash flow doesn't allow us to save too much outside these retirement accounts. Certainly not in the past year, when we had those expenses and more -- we attended 5 out-of-town weddings!!!

So, my question is... if we want to buy a house in the next year... does it make sense to put a hold on contributing to our retirement accounts in order to build up a down payment? This is taking into account that our currently available down payment funds stand at $0.

I know that we will lose compounding power on any money we DON'T put into our retirement accounts, but this (buying a house!) might be one of those cases where it makes sense to STOP paying so much into the retirement kitty, keep the money in a money market account, and build it up for the down.

Some things that may have bearing on our situation are that we DO want to stay in the house a long time, and that we are disciplined and will start putting money back into our 401Ks as soon as we can. There is one more thing, which is that we are in California, land of the $500K home. If we were to buy a condo I think it would be about $350 to start... and a home would go up from there.

Any comments and/or advice, and/or personal triumphs are welcome. I want to hear how YOU were able to raise funds for your first home.

Cheers....

--AF
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