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I am 22 years old and I am a recent graduate from college and I have been offered a job that will start me off at $50,000 a year. My question is, can I afford a house and if it is a good idea to rent or buy? Since this is my first job out of college I am a bit reluctant in buying a house because I am very new to this.

I live in a rural city in Georgia. I also am in debt from college loans, but I plan on staying with my parents to pay off those debts before moving out for good.

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    To answer "can you afford a house", much more information is needed. Where will you be living? How long do you plan to stay in that area? How much do houses cost there? What other expenses will you have? Do you have debt? – BrenBarn Aug 9 '15 at 0:48
  • @BrenBarn I have edited my question that includes the answers to your questions. But other than my debt, I wont have any other expenses. I wont plan to buy a house until I pay off all my debt which should take about less than a year. And I plan to stay in that area until my job says otherwise so hopefully a long time. – Robben Aug 9 '15 at 0:57
  • How much do houses you would be interested in cost in that area? What are your savings after the debts are paid off? What's your cost of living; how much of that $50k, after taxes have been taken out of it, and after you cover your needs and a reasonable entertainment budget, will actually be left to save tkward the down-payment and to cover loan payments? – keshlam Aug 9 '15 at 4:25
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Buy a house when you are sure you will be living in it for an extended time (at least 3 years, preferably at least 5, generally not true this early in your career), you really want to live in a house rather than an apartment(it does consume a chunk of your time and effort that the landlord would deal with in a rental), and you can afford the major up-front investment and long-term ongoing costs (depends on where you are but also rarely true for someone early in their career).

Renting is not always significantly more expensive after everything is figured in. And even if you have the cash on hand to put 20% down on the purchase price, that's going to tie up a major chunk of your net worth in a form you can't easily access.

See past answers re financial priorities. Make sure you have enough readily accessible funds to support yourself for at least 6 months, in case you suddenly find yourself out of work. Make sure you're getting every dollar of the company's contribution to your eventual retirement that you can. After that you can start thinking about investments and houses, probably in that order.

For what it's worth, i'd been out in the working world for 24 years before I bought a house... and then only because i wanted a very specific neighborhood where I expect to spend the rest of my life, and because I wanted some things that don't make sense in an apartment. I grant that this is overkill; many folks do buy houses much sooner... but it certainly isn't something i would recommendbas a top priority for you right now

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