Priced Out Forever
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So now that you have learned the truth about being priced out forever (you did read the "learn" page, right?), what should you do? Here are a few suggested do's and don'ts that will help you make the most out of what you have learned.


Educate your friends and family.
When you hear friends, family members, coworkers, or even strangers on the street sharing their frustrations about real estate and worrying about being priced out forever, tell them about this website. Explain the concepts you have learned here. You'll be doing them a huge favor that they'll likely thank you for later.

Find a nice place to rent at half the cost (or less!) of owning.
In most places where real estate prices have gotten out of hand, you can find a nice single-family home or condo to rent for around half the monthly expense of what you would pay to "own" a home (when you're really just renting money from a bank anyway). Don't forget that when you buy a home you not only pay the mortgage, but taxes, maintenance, and homeowner's association dues in many cases.

A good place to start your rental search is your local Craigslist. Also, remember that asking prices for rent are just that, a request. Most of the time—especially with people on Craigslist—you will be able to negotiate a lower rent just by making a counter-offer.

Invest wisely with the money you save by renting.
If you can afford to buy but have wisely decided to rent instead, make a plan for what you will do with all the money that you are saving each month. Decide what your financial priorities are, and stick to a plan to reach your goals.

If you want to save up to buy a house some day, you should live frugally and put most of the money into investments with risk levels you are comfortable with. Index funds might be a good place to start your research. If saving for a home isn't as important to you, you can afford to rent a nicer home or splurge on nice gizmos and entertainment. Go on a nice vacation, buy that big flat-screen TV you've been eyeing, refurnish your home, whatever.

Whether you invest, splurge, or do some combination of the two, just about anything you do with your money is likely to be a better choice than paying twice as much as you need to for a roof over your head.


Buy a home out of fear (or at all, for that matter).
The absolute worst reason to buy a home is "I'm afraid that if I don't buy now I'll be priced out forever! The biggest financial decision in your life should be based on reason, logic, and sound financial planning, not fear.

If you believe you are on the brink of being priced out forever, try to take a step back to assess the situation without letting your emotions get in the way. You will most likely find that the best thing you can do right now is to get your financial house in order and save your money until the housing market settles down to a reasonable level.

Withdraw equity from your home (if you own already).
Although it is certainly tempting to take advantage of the wild appreciation your home has seen in the last few years, you will be much better-served financially if you leave your equity alone. If you can't afford to buy some thing without withdrawing equity, then you simply cannot afford it.

If the value of your home goes down, your equity is there to protect you against having to pay money when you sell your home. If for some reason your home's value continues to rise, you'll just have all the more money available to upgrade your house in a few years.

Write your senator, representative, governor, county council, mayor, or dog catcher.
To tell you the truth, they couldn't care less. Besides, even if they try to fix things, they will only make things worse. This is a problem that will take care of itself with time. The solution is patience, not government meddling.