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Lives of Doctor Wives: To Buy or Not to Buy - That is the Question

Friday, August 14, 2015

To Buy or Not to Buy - That is the Question

I have helped over 100 physician families decide whether to buy or rent. Like any other investment, it is a personal decision. You can make money but you can also lose money. If you don't like to take risks or if you aren't sure where you want to live, then you definitely should rent.

I like to share my personal experience. We bought our first house during medical school and owned it 2 years. We made $40k. We then bought a house during residency and it owned it 3 years and we broke even. We bought a house during fellowship and it owned 2 years. We made $130k. Our first house during practice we owned for 5 years and lost $50k.

We are now in hopefully our final house. We have owned it for 4 years and if we sold today we would make about $200k. My husband is 10 years into practice and we have also bought 2 vacation rentals as investments and have partial ownership in the his practice's buildings. Our vacation rentals have been our favorite investment because our family has built many memories at the beach. Even if the value went down on the vacation rentals, we wouldn't sell because we enjoy them and we make money yearly from the vacation rentals.

I like sharing my story because we have made and lost money in real estate. Overall, we have made money investing in real estate. Personally, I understand real estate much more as an investment than stocks. We have lost much more money in the stock market over the years. I have gotten much more personal enjoyment out of real estate than I have ever gotten out of owning Google or any other stock.

I read one comment that said real estate was the "worst financial mistake" for a doctor. I would always look to see who is giving the advice. Financial advisors typically make money selling stocks and insurance while realtors make money selling real estate. When making a decision to buy or rent, seek out expert opinion and then pray what is the best decision for your family. I am happy to give advice. I have told many people over the years it is better to rent making a decision to buy or rent, seek out expert opinion and then pray what is the best decision for your family. I am happy to give advice. I have told many people over the years it is better to rent.

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