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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Jan 28, 2013.

Question

i''m 56 years old and on my disability benefits for over 2 years now. i used to earned $56,00.00 gross yearly. my husband is a retired reserved in the military and going to received his retirement this year in the military. he is 59 years old and working in another company for over 12 years now his yearly gross income alone is $56,000.00. we are planning to buy a house under VA home loans which is 0 down and we have $21,000.00 in savings and the only payments we have is is our apartment for $1,300.00 monthly and for his truck of $441.11 monthly. every time we use our credit cards we pay it off. my question is: is it the right time for us to get a house now and be a homeowner?

thanks a lot and we''ll be happy to hear about your answer and i''m so excited now and can''t wait.

Answer

Thanks for the question. It sounds like you are in good shape to buy a house. As far as timing, most likely you can still get a pretty good deal on a house. In most parts of the country housing prices still haven't reached their peaks from a few years ago yet.

Your monthly cash flow seems to be in order; the main advice I would offer is don't overspend on the house. If you are comfortable paying $1,300 rent and have been doing so for a long time, then I wouldn't buy a house with a $1,700 mortgage. You need to make sure that you can make the payment now and during retirement. At 56 and 59 years old, it is probably unlikely that you will pay off the house prior to retirement. There is a "homeowners" section to the website www.360financialliteracy.org that you may want to check out. It has some calculators and budgeting tools.

Good luck and congratulations when you buy that home!


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