Yeah our primary reason for wanting a house is to do what we want with it without having to ask or simply not being able to, as well as living near people but not WITH people (i.e. in duplex as we are now)–our neighbor below us PLAYS SAXOPHONE AT MIDNIGHT. It’s things like that that make me just done with renting, not to mention having to move for whatever reason or not being sure if people are going to come through to fix things or deal with things. I’d rather spend the money to have someone do it for me or just do it myself than to rely on someone else to get it done in a rental. And that’s all on top of the fact that I’ve just never had a rental that wowed me in terms of quality of the space. I don’t mind having to pay for this or that that might happen occasionally, and I’m not too worried about valuation and whatnot, as job security for me isn’t all that much of an issue.
And, to be sure, we don’t have 20% down but we’re considering it. Once I have an income (1-2 years), it won’t be much, but it’ll jump up after that, so the PMI won’t really be a big deal.
The thing that I’m curious about is the “four times the median income” rule of thumb… Some of the places we’re looking (e.g. Brooklyn Park) have nicer homes for what you pay, aren’t TOO far away from the city, and are close to work for Mrs. Rowshkex… But they are definitely more than four times the median income.