Need Advice on a BIG Decision

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Need Advice on a BIG Decision

Post by CASH XRS on Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:33 pm

As most of you guys know, my fiancee Jennifer and I are getting married June 8, 2013. As of now we are living between both of our parents houses with no specific schedule in mind (except for Wed nights when I stay at my house so I can use my wheel Wink ). We are saving a really good amount right now each month for the wedding to the point where our wedding should be paid for in full by the end of April next year. It is an expensive wedding (in my mind) and I'll share this number with you guys, we are budgeted at $38,500 for everything including honeymoon (I have a really big family and we are looking at about 250 invites).

So here's my dilemma. We don't have a place of our own. We were stuck between renting an apartment or buying a house. But renting in my honest opinion is a waste of money, especially since we know we are going to be staying in our area. Buying a house seems to be too expensive (on a monthly basis) at the moment with our combined salaries. So it looks like we are back to my original plan which is to buy a duplex, become a landlord, rent one half and live in the other half. Basically the perfect combo of buying and renting.

My question to you guys is this. Jen and I are kinda stuck in the notion that we need the entire wedding paid for ahead of time. It technically doesn't and if we needed any extra cash we could always apply for a small loan to help pay off whatever balances necessary and pay that back monthly. Do you guys think we should focus on saving for the wedding in full first and once that is good to go, then focus on getting a place? Or do you think if we find a good place, dip into that savings account to purchase and make up the wedding balance via a loan?

I'm an accountant and a numbers guy, and I know it would make way more sense to have the wedding paid in full and wait instead of paying interest on a loan while also buying a place. But I know with real estate and investing, the sooner you get in, the better. Be totally honest and don't feel you are being rude. I wanna know what you guys think, a good handful of you already owning homes, having been through marriage and one of you JUST purchasing a new place.

Thanks for the support as always!!

- Cash
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Re: Need Advice on a BIG Decision

Post by BiggLou55 on Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:45 pm

Weddings can be great, but they don't have to be uber expensive... $35k (including Honeymoon) isn't that bad (the honeymoon is probable 1/3 the cost there)... Our wending was awesome, and we had it in my Mother-in-law's back yard (very nice back yard mind you) and we only invited our closest family and friends (we started planning a traditional big church wedding and both ended up wanting it small in intimate).

My 2 cents:
The wedding is a ceremony and a memory. A home is something you need. The home trumps the party. I'd say start looking and if you find the right place, get it. If you need to scale down the wedding, elope then have a celebration party later, postpone the honeymoon, take out a loan, or whatever, then do it. Very Happy

cheers

(and I'm now hearing Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" in my head!) Very Happy

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Re: Need Advice on a BIG Decision

Post by swviper on Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:49 pm

I'm not the best person to ask finacial advice from tbh....but dude, that's a lot of $$ for a wedding...or maybe it's not...but damn.

My wife and I had a Justice of the Peace, and reception at local restaurant which was 'come if you want, you're paying your own way'. We started life together debt free....that was 20 years ago, we have added some since Rolling Eyes

In the end dude, as corny as it sounds, doesn't matter what anyone here thinks, ultimately you and Jen need to figure out what is going to work best for the new 'YOU'.
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Re: Need Advice on a BIG Decision

Post by CASH XRS on Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:51 pm

Hahahaa I was waiting to see who would be the first to make a "don't do it" or "sucker" comment hahaha.

And honestly, our honeymoon, well my budget amount in my is only 10% of our cost. Our reception is at a country club and that is about half our cost right there.

I know the wedding is happening the way it has been planned so far. I would've liked a smaller wedding but too many people we'd have to ignore in order to make that happen that I didn't want to ignore. So basically I need to decide if I just keep saving for that or if I find a good deal go for it and just do what I can to save up whatever I can beforehand and take out a loan if necessary.
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Re: Need Advice on a BIG Decision

Post by CASH XRS on Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:55 pm

swviper wrote:I'm not the best person to ask finacial advice from tbh....but dude, that's a lot of $$ for a wedding...or maybe it's not...but damn.

My wife and I had a Justice of the Peace, and reception at local restaurant which was 'come if you want, you're paying your own way'. We started life together debt free....that was 20 years ago, we have added some since Rolling Eyes

In the end dude, as corny as it sounds, doesn't matter what anyone here thinks, ultimately you and Jen need to figure out what is going to work best for the new 'YOU'.

Yeah, I wanted to just do something super small and simple but Jen really wants the traiditional wedding. Which I am totally fine with. So I couldn't really go that route. And I just like hearing all different ideas lol.
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Re: Need Advice on a BIG Decision

Post by swviper on Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:57 pm

Very Happy Alright, if you are tied to doing it....

Umm...the duplex thing...have done that for the exact same reason you mention, would not do it again...but again, we are prolly different people, so maybe you would be suited to it.

Our recent house, we moved about 30 mins away from where I work,and saved about $100K initially on the cost of the house. The property value is not 'skyrocketing' like it is where I work, but it's rising steadily.

What are your options for taking 'less' of a house to make it affordable?
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Re: Need Advice on a BIG Decision

Post by B08MATH on Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:01 pm

My opinion is to worry about the wedding first. My thought is if your looking for a place while saving for a wedding thats twice as much stress. What if you find a place? You have Inspection costs and Closing costs but with the inspection costs(Roof, Electric, Windows) you have to go debate with the original owner of whose going to fix it or who is going to pay for it. I stress the stress, beware. This is my point of view only.
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Re: Need Advice on a BIG Decision

Post by CASH XRS on Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:04 pm

swviper wrote:

What are your options for taking 'less' of a house to make it affordable?

Like basically a 2 bedroom 1 bath rancher with a small yard and nothing I want in a house basically lol. I'm not too picky but I know that if I get a house I want to be able to grow into it, not feel limited. The thing I like about duplexes is you are only paying half if not less than half of the mortgage payment. Not to mention I have wanted to get into real estate investing as part of my reitrement plan. So this is a great way to jumpstart that.

But I know with a house I at least want 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bath, basement and garage (or at least a driveway where I could build a garage). That's all. Not asking TOO much, and there ARE house in our general price range I like, it's just we would really struggle to afford them. And I would rather build equity into a duplex paying $800/month with the help of a tenant than $1600/month on my own.

I just dunno if I sohould take out "wedding" funds to use as a down payment or not pretty much. IF I find a good enough deal that is.
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Re: Need Advice on a BIG Decision

Post by CASH XRS on Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:06 pm

B08MATH wrote: My opinion is to worry about the wedding first. My thought is if your looking for a place while saving for a wedding thats twice as much stress. What if you find a place? You have Inspection costs and Closing costs but with the inspection costs(Roof, Electric, Windows) you have to go debate with the original owner of whose going to fix it or who is going to pay for it. I stress the stress, beware. This is my point of view only.

Yeah, it would definitely be alot all at once. I know it would be really tough, but I'm in the process of I guess "passively" searching. I would just love to be able to come back from our honeymoon to our own place and not my parents place. I wanna be able to live on my own terms once I'm married, not my parents lol.
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Re: Need Advice on a BIG Decision

Post by beefsupreme42 on Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:16 pm

I am with lou when he says if money is going to be a problem then you can always postpone the honeymoon. The duplex idea sounds pretty good but I have no experience with that, so I can't provide any info about how that could work out...

It would normally work to buy a small house and then sell it in a few years when you make enough money to "upgrade" to the kind of house you are looking for, but it is nearly impossible to sell a house for more than you bought it for these days... I suppose buying in the next year or so and just waiting it out for a couple years until the housing market improves could work, but it is tough to predict what could happen to the market in the next 5-10 years...

I don't think renting an apartment would work out well because there is absolutely no chance of making money off the place when you leave it, so I would say it would be best to go with a small house to start.

honestly, it is going to be tough to make money off of buying a place, so these are just guesses of what could work out.

Hope this helps and Congratulations! cheers

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Re: Need Advice on a BIG Decision

Post by BiggLou55 on Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:34 pm

Bottom line CASH... It's not an easy decision... You are a money guy, and you know what is flexible and feasible for you and Jen. At the end of the day, you need to be focused on what is right for the both of you PERIOD. Worrying about everyone else will only get you in trouble. AS a matter of fact Dana and I called off the wedding at one point because it was getting too big, and we were inviting people because we felt we had to. In the end, we invited the people that were most important to us, and made sure that those that were left out understood the need for us to keep it simple.

And $17.5k for a Country Club reception? OMFG... IMHO that is WAY tooooooo much cash for a party that you will be leaving early from and barely remember!!!! Spend the cash on the Clothes, Photographer and Honeymoon.... thats where the memories are! Your head will be spinning so fast during the reception that you won't really remember much. You'll be looking forward to getting on with the Honeymoon! Very Happy

Honestly... Look for a Rent/Lease Townhouse, condo or single family home. One where your payments will go towards a potential purchase. If you like it, buy it. If not, move on! Wink

Congrats and however you do it, it will be good. Just remember the most important thing is your relationship with Jen and you'll be fine!

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Re: Need Advice on a BIG Decision

Post by CASH XRS on Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:54 pm

Yup, that is always priority number one to me. And Jen REEEEAAAAALLLLYYYY has her heart set on this place. It is actually the median price of the country clubs we looked at. Everywhere around here is anywhere from $95 - $105 per plate to start. And like I said, the only reason it'll be that much is because I have such a big family.

And that's what I plan on doing, whatever I feel is right pretty much. Even if my family may not agree, if I see a place that will work great for us, but may not be the "wisest" decision to other people, if it feels right to us, I'm going for it.
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Re: Need Advice on a BIG Decision

Post by marmuttlebow on Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:56 pm

I've got a lazy man's mentality. So take this as you want.

I wouldn't want a duplex. I don't want to deal with tenants. I don't want to deal with their problems. I got enough on my own. It's just added stress to you as you find your way through marriage and getting your career going.

As for taking money out of your wedding funds, I can't say much as I've taken on quite a bit of debt. That decision is yours to make.

Just from an ownership perspective, if you want a house, then go for a house. If you like working, then go with a duplex. As I said, I'm lazy. So when I get home after work, I just want to chill (family priorities notwithstanding). I don't want to come home and have a laundry list of stuff to do for the tenant.

Best of luck in your decision.
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Re: Need Advice on a BIG Decision

Post by CASH XRS on Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:04 pm

yeah, I actually wanted to and planned on getting into real estate investing Marm. So I feel this may be the time to start if I'm in this predicament. And my stand on it is, as long as you take all the proper precautionary measures BEFORE a tenant moves in, you shouldn't have TOO much to worry about while they occupy the space.
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Re: Need Advice on a BIG Decision

Post by Lowflyinmx3 on Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:06 pm

I really can't help here. My wedding cost maybe 1000 bucks. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a trailer trash wedding or anything like that. We did alot of the stuff ourselves, like creating our own invites and decorations. I built the archway myself and some other stuffs for the big day. Hell my wife even made our wedding cake. We had the actual wedding at a park where I carved our names into a tree the first year we were dating. Being a public park, it didn't cost a thing. The reception was back at my in laws. The honey moon, I guess you could say we are just now having it this september lol. We had our first daughter about a month before the wedding so our finances went straight to saving for a house. Looking back, I wish I could have given her an extravagant wedding, she deserves it. But you can't really take anyones advice but your as the circumstances will be different for everyone. Congrats tho, its a ride!

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Re: Need Advice on a BIG Decision

Post by CASH XRS on Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:07 pm

Haha, that's cool Low. ANd thanks I'm enjoying the planning so far, one day at a time!!
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