A lot of people decide their home purchase based on what their neighbors are doing. They buy what is popular, clean, easy, safe, and expensive. They mortgage themselves into a life-long of debt slavery to pay off their presumptuous investment. They do not even have time to enjoy living in their mansion because they are slaving to pay off the loan. If you do not want this to be you, you should consider your income. The average U.S. household income is $73,298, according to USA Today. The average home is $188,900. This is almost twice the annual income of most U.S. citizens. Many Americans refuse to just get it all paid off over a few years, and they commit themselves to decades of mortgage without thinking about the consequences of doing so.
If you do not want this to be you, prepare to make some sacrifices. Try Warren Buffett’s investment mantra: avoid what others love, and love what others avoid. What do the people around you pursue when they are buying a home? They buy houses with high prices, nice locations, safe, affordable, easy, loans, quick, low effort, close to work, and luxurious. When there is a scarce quantity of a popular item, the price is high. This is basic economics. In order to make the laws of economics work for you, you need to compromise your purchase behavior. What virtues are absolutely essential in your new home? Perhaps it should be safe and close to work. In order to get a home you can afford, you need to compromise the other virtues. Buy houses with low prices, ugly location, safe, expensive, hard, no loans, slow, high effort, close to work, and poor. If you do this, you will get what you absolutely need with minimal debt and cost.
The problem that most home buyers suffer from is an unwillingness to compromise their buying behavior on any virtue. They must have all. They thus are enslaved by the laws of economics to paying off decades of mortgage.
Make your life easier by using economic laws to your advantage. It is helpful to know your personal investment strengths and weaknesses. An example might be work ability. Many people simply cannot become engineers. They do not have the mental capacity to do so. They are limited in their professional salary because they are not able to get a job that pays extremely well. These natural investment handicaps are what you need to compensate for when making your purchases.
Where the engineer need not prioritize a low price home, the salesman might. If the salesman looks at his friend the engineer for investment tips, he will be indebted for life. The salesman must compensate for his lower market labor price by buying a lower priced home. Then he and the engineer have an equal handicap. The engineer buys an expensive home that takes him years to afford, even on his high salary. The salesman buys a little apartment that also takes him years to afford on his low salary. If the salesman wanted to instantly afford a home, he could move internationally where demand for his services as an English speaker are even higher, and the housing market is cheaper. The engineer can stay in the United States because his high income overcomes the market handicap of high housing prices. The cleverest engineer would maintain his high income and move overseas. Then he would be a super wealthy man, because of the lower cost of living.
If you do not want to be like one of your indebted neighbors, compromise your value equation when buying a home. Decide what your home must have. Be flexible on the other things. You will end up with a decent situation at a price that lets you take it easy while your friends are slaving all day to pay off their mortgage.