When Buying a House is the Frugal Move – EP 67

Housing is one of our biggest expenses in life, and oftentimes we’re not asking the right questions to determine the best and most affordable living solutions! There are great arguments on both sides for renting vs. buying and we explore it all to help you determine what’s right for you! In this episode we’re taking a look at the factors to consider when buying, the benefits of renting, whether we should be focused on paying off debt or investing, and a few alternative housing ideas!

Here’s the Key and Peele skit about “cute aggression” we talked about 🙂


  • Rakuten: We love and use Rakuten all the time so we wanted to give them a shout out. If you’ve never used it, Rakuten is a shopping portal where you can get cash-back on purchases from your favorite stores. We use it for Groupon, Amazon, Walmart, travel sites and more. And, if you haven’t tried Rakuten yet we’ve got a $10 welcome bonus for you on your first purchase of $25 or more when you sign up through frugalfriendspodcast.com/rakuten
  • Co-Parenting: Have you recently had a baby and you’re desperate to talk to tall humans again? Want to contribute something to society that doesn’t poop on you? Try co-parenting. Hand your child to your spouse, leave the house, and say “good luck” co-parenting, it’s not just for dirty diapers.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Frugal Friends Meet Up in Washington DC, Sept 7 @ 5:30pm at Kalorama Park

Notable Notes:

What the Internet has to say:

This article from Two Cents lays out the arguments for renting and for buying, and ultimately explains why the whole debate is pointless! Spoiler: it’s not black and white – we have to determine what’s best for us!

What Jen + Jill have to say:

  • Arguments for buying 
    • When you pay off your home, it’s yours. You eliminate the expense of housing once you’ve paid it off.
    • If the home appreciates more than you’ve paid in mortgage, interest, taxes, and maintenance over time, you’ve earned a return, or you break even.
    • Tax credits help offset some of the cost of homeownership
  • Arguments for renting:
    • You own your house, but you pay quite a bit in interest and taxes.
    • Renting isn’t throwing money away—you get a place to live.
    • Buying has an opportunity cost—the amount you can invest and earn on the down payment, taxes, insurance payments, and interest.
    • You don’t have to pay for repairs, maintenance, or other issues that come up.

“The answer hinges on specifics: rent prices, interest rates, and so on. Buying a home can indeed be a bad financial move, but for many people, it isn’t.”

  • Individual factors make it impossible to simplify

More from the Internet:

This article from Bank Rate provides us with 5 questions we would be asking ourselves when considering purchasing a home.

More from Jen + Jill:

  • Five questions to ask when considering renting vs. buying
    • What can you afford? (total monthly costs should be no more than 25% of take home pay. 
    • Do you want stability or flexibility?
    • What are your financial, career and family goals? (retire early? Big family? etc)
    • How long do you plan to stay in the home? (Minimum 5 years to recoup costs.)
    • Can you afford to be responsible for home repairs/maintenance? (Marry rich or marry capable!)

Bottom line: There’s no right time or wrong decision. Everyone has to figure out what’s right for them.

BILL OF THE WEEK – Thanks Tony for sharing your bill! We are so glad you are feeling reassured with living off of 1 income while pregnant! AND we’re celebrating with you about your unexpected maternity bill and how being nice on the phone dropped $2000 off your bill!!!

Lightning Round

Alternatives to renting and buying! 

  • Live in an RV!
  • Live with family
  • Long-term house sitting!
  • Build your own home out of earth bags

Frugal Friends Book Club:

It’s August and we’re reading The Simple Path to Wealth by J.L. Collins for book club!

  • If you want a free copy, leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher, screenshot the review and send it to frugalfriendspodcast@gmail.com.
  • We’ll select the winners at the end of the month!

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