Should a First-Time Buyer Be a Landlord?

Q. I am a single professional in my 20s who rents with a few roommates. I read your comments about how Austin is a good place to invest in property, given the volatility of the stock market. I, too, am considering it. I am thinking of buying a three-bedroom, $150,000 house in a good neighborhood. With help from my family, I can put 20% down. If I rent out the extra two rooms, the income will cover the property tax and mortgage. But I travel a lot for work and I am not sure whether my company will transfer me or if I even want to stay in this area. Should I do it?

–Austin, Texas

A. I applaud your desire to invest in your financial future. And landlords get generous tax breaks while collecting rental income. But from what you’ve told me, I recommend holding off buying a home….READ MORE


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