Sometimes, it’s just not the right time to buy a home.

For example, if you have an uncertain future ahead of you, say, if you’re a student (unless you’re willing to potentially become a landlord, when you graduate).

The Globe analyzes the lives of a young couple to determine if it makes financial sense to consider buying, right now.

When Katie Helke moved here last summer with her MIT grad student boyfriend, the two took one look at their monthly rent and started thinking, “Let’s buy.” Given the battered local real estate market and the $1,300 in monthly rent for their Somerville apartment, they worried that they were missing an important opportunity.

The benefits of homeownership are a common topic of conversation among students tied to a college for at least four years. Having watched the recent real estate boom, they tend to view each rent check as money that might otherwise be used to build equity.

As their real estate debate continued, Helke and boyfriend Greg Dokshin decided they needed help figuring out if they could make the numbers work on their annual income of $60,000 a year. So they applied for a Boston Globe Money Makeover saying, “We don’t know exactly where we should be allocating our funds, especially when it comes to real estate.”

The financial planner’s opinion was that there was too much uncertainty in the futures, plus their rent was low enough that they could make more money by putting the difference in monthly expenses into savings and investments.

Source: Students learn pros and cons of ownership – By Lynn Asinof, The Boston Globe

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