My husband wants us to buy a house as soon as possible – is he right?

Published: August 29, 2022 at 6:00 am

Last Updated on August 29, 2022 at 8:29 am

A reader who prefers anonymity asks, “Sir, I am a big fan of your articles. Thanks to you, we have started investing in a goal-based manner. We are not yet investing as much as we should for these goals. We live in rented accommodation. My husband wants us to buy a house as soon as possible. This would mean a further decrease in our investments. I would like to delay the house purchase a bit longer. I am not sure what to do. Is my husband right? Can you please advise?”

Buying a house is a highly emotional decision and depends on our experiences. There is, of course, nothing wrong with making emotional decisions as long as we do not rush into it and take a holistic view first. To clarify, “buying a house” in this article only means “buying a house to live in” and not letting it out to rent.

As a kid who spent the first 14 years of my life in a bungalow/mansion and was forced to abandon it for a flat, I can empathize with the urge to own a roof (at least a part of it). Growing up, I was also surrounded by relatives who lived in rented matchbox-style houses in Triplicane/Parry’s areas of Chennai. I knew how they felt and when their kids grew up, the first thing they did was to get a house.

Yamini Sood, senior VP DSP MF argues that buying a house is more important than investing or building wealth as it is an animal instinct in this fantastic post: Home IS where the holy grail is.

Join over 32,000 readers and get free money management solutions delivered to your inbox! Subscribe to get posts via email!
🔥Enjoy massive discounts on our robo-advisory tool & courses! 🔥

Let us first consider the general pros and cons of buying a house early.

Buying a house as soon as possible


  • A sense of security. Peace of mind to focus on other issues. Those who are well educated, skilled and with a reasonable chance of income growth can opt for this.
  • A home is a utility when lived in and an asset if we choose to sell it (either in one shot or via a reverse mortgage). While reverse mortgage eligibility diminishes for early purchases, a home can always be sold for a decent sum of money to fund retirement or other goals.
  • We get satisfaction (true or otherwise) that by buying early, we will not have to pay more if the purchase is delayed.


  • The sense of security might result in not having enough money to fund other goals and aspirations. This implies working for more years. Being chained to the desk (although most people do not recognise this).
  • If a person’s skills are not indispensable, they face the prospect of job loss or low-income growth.
  • We have emotional strings attached to a house. Many people view it as a legacy and want to leave it to their children (in the hope that they will take care of them in old age). A house is an asset only if we wish to sell it at the time of need.
  • Logistics matter the most when it comes to a house purchase. A 1000 sq ft flat in a well-developed area of a city could be more valuable than a 3000 sq flat in the outskirts built in a marshland. An emotional/hurried purchase can blind us from these aspects.
  • The prospect of changing jobs, cities and even countries can complicate matters.

Buying a house later

The idea here is to consider house purchases only after we are firmly established in our jobs or career.


  • The EMI could be lower if we decide to build a corpus for partial down-payment
  • If we recognize the need for investing early and investing right, goal-based investing would be on auto-pilot by now
  • delaying can sometimes get us a better deal as we may be in a better position to judge.
  • They can get a better reverse mortgage deal as the residual life of the property would be relatively higher.


  • prices could shoot up; interest rates could be higher
  • Getting a home loan later in life implies we are chained to our desks for longer.
  • The probability of job loss, lifestyle diseases etc., is higher.

Now let us try and come up with a generic “if-then” combination for buying a house early. “you” in the following sentence refers to a couple if relevant.

If you feel strongly about sleeping under a roof that you can call your own, and if you are qualified enough or have the skills to be continuously employed with reasonable salary growth, then you can consider buying a house asap, provided the EMI outgo each month is not more than 40% of your take-home.

The ideal mix is,

  • expenses = 30% of take-home pay
  • EMIs (home loan + car loan + …) = 30% of take-home pay
  • Investments = 30% of take-home pay
  • emergency fund = 10% of take-home (in addition to a separate stash).

The EMIs can go up to 40%, reducing investments by 10%. A EMI higher than this is unhealthy and should be avoided. Investing and accumulating a down-payment corpus would be better to reduce the home-loan burden as soon as possible.

The EMI can also be lowered by choosing a longer home loan tenure as long as both partners continue to work.

The goal should be to find “some sort of balance” among expenses, EMIs and investments without feeling suffocated by the loan burden. For a more complete framework, see: How to buy a house with a home loan: Tips to maximize benefits.

Once the EMI deductions have started, continue investing as much as possible. Do not try to aggressively pre-close your home loan. It is unnecessary unless there is a special work or health-related reason for it.  As your income increases, pre-pay the home loan in small chunks. Focus on investing for long-term goals. See: Why this Kolaveri to pre-pay home loans?!

In summary, the couple can take a chance and buy the house asap as long as they have stable jobs with reasonable salary growth. They must, however, ensure the EMI does not exceed 30% to 40% of their total take-home pay.  Finding a balance between needs (expenses today and investments to handle expenses tomorrow) and wants (emotional desire to own property) is crucial.

Do share this article with your friends using the buttons below.

🔥Enjoy massive discounts on our courses, robo-advisory tool and exclusive investor circle! 🔥& join our community of 5000+ users!
Use our Robo-advisory Tool for a start-to-finish financial plan! More than 1,000 investors and advisors use this!
New Tool! => Track your mutual funds and stock investments with this Google Sheet!
We also publish monthly equity mutual funds, debt and hybrid mutual funds, index funds and ETF screeners and momentum, low-volatility stock screeners.
Follow Freefincal on Google News
Follow Freefincal on Google News
Subscribe to the freefincal Youtube Channel. Subscribe button courtesy: Vecteezy.
Subscribe to the freefincal Youtube Channel.
Follow freefincal on WhatsApp Channel
Follow freefincal on WhatsApp
Podcast: Let's Get RICH With PATTU! Every single Indian CAN grow their wealth! 
Listen to the Lets Get Rich with Pattu Podcast
Listen to the Let's Get Rich with Pattu Podcast
You can watch podcast episodes on the OfSpin Media Friends YouTube Channel.
Lets Get RICH With PATTU podcast on YouTube
Let's Get RICH With PATTU podcast on YouTube.
🔥Now Watch Let's Get Rich With Pattu தமிழில் (in Tamil)! 🔥
  • Do you have a comment about the above article? Reach out to us on Twitter: @freefincal or @pattufreefincal
  • Have a question? Subscribe to our newsletter using the form below.
  • Hit 'reply' to any email from us! We do not offer personalized investment advice. We can write a detailed article without mentioning your name if you have a generic question.

Join over 32,000 readers and get free money management solutions delivered to your inbox! Subscribe to get posts via email!

About The Author

Pattabiraman editor freefincalDr M. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He has over ten years of experience publishing news analysis, research and financial product development. Connect with him via Twitter(X), Linkedin, or YouTube. Pattabiraman has co-authored three print books: (1) You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) for DIY investors. (2) Gamechanger for young earners. (3) Chinchu Gets a Superpower! for kids. He has also written seven other free e-books on various money management topics. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India,” an organisation promoting unbiased, commission-free investment advice.
Our flagship course! Learn to manage your portfolio like a pro to achieve your goals regardless of market conditions! More than 3,000 investors and advisors are part of our exclusive community! Get clarity on how to plan for your goals and achieve the necessary corpus no matter the market condition is!! Watch the first lecture for free!  One-time payment! No recurring fees! Life-long access to videos! Reduce fear, uncertainty and doubt while investing! Learn how to plan for your goals before and after retirement with confidence.
Our new course!  Increase your income by getting people to pay for your skills! More than 700 salaried employees, entrepreneurs and financial advisors are part of our exclusive community! Learn how to get people to pay for your skills! Whether you are a professional or small business owner who wants more clients via online visibility or a salaried person wanting a side income or passive income, we will show you how to achieve this by showcasing your skills and building a community that trusts and pays you! (watch 1st lecture for free). One-time payment! No recurring fees! Life-long access to videos!   
Our new book for kids: “Chinchu Gets a Superpower!” is now available!
Both boy and girl version covers of Chinchu gets a superpower
Both the boy and girl-version covers of "Chinchu Gets a superpower".
Most investor problems can be traced to a lack of informed decision-making. We made bad decisions and money mistakes when we started earning and spent years undoing these mistakes. Why should our children go through the same pain? What is this book about? As parents, what would it be if we had to groom one ability in our children that is key not only to money management and investing but to any aspect of life? My answer: Sound Decision Making. So, in this book, we meet Chinchu, who is about to turn 10. What he wants for his birthday and how his parents plan for it, as well as teaching him several key ideas of decision-making and money management, is the narrative. What readers say!
Feedback from a young reader after reading Chinchu gets a Superpower (small version)
Feedback from a young reader after reading Chinchu gets a Superpower!
Must-read book even for adults! This is something that every parent should teach their kids right from their young age. The importance of money management and decision making based on their wants and needs. Very nicely written in simple terms. - Arun.
Buy the book: Chinchu gets a superpower for your child!
How to profit from content writing: Our new ebook is for those interested in getting side income via content writing. It is available at a 50% discount for Rs. 500 only!
Do you want to check if the market is overvalued or undervalued? Use our market valuation tool (it will work with any index!), or get the Tactical Buy/Sell timing tool!
We publish monthly mutual fund screeners and momentum, low-volatility stock screeners.
About freefincal & its content policy. Freefincal is a News Media Organization dedicated to providing original analysis, reports, reviews and insights on mutual funds, stocks, investing, retirement and personal finance developments. We do so without conflict of interest and bias. Follow us on Google News. Freefincal serves more than three million readers a year (5 million page views) with articles based only on factual information and detailed analysis by its authors. All statements made will be verified with credible and knowledgeable sources before publication. Freefincal does not publish paid articles, promotions, PR, satire or opinions without data. All opinions will be inferences backed by verifiable, reproducible evidence/data. Contact information: letters {at} freefincal {dot} com (sponsored posts or paid collaborations will not be entertained)
Connect with us on social media
Our publications

You Can Be Rich Too with Goal-Based Investing

You can be rich too with goal based investingPublished by CNBC TV18, this book is meant to help you ask the right questions and seek the correct answers, and since it comes with nine online calculators, you can also create custom solutions for your lifestyle! Get it now.
Gamechanger: Forget Startups, Join Corporate & Still Live the Rich Life You Want Gamechanger: Forget Start-ups, Join Corporate and Still Live the Rich Life you wantThis book is meant for young earners to get their basics right from day one! It will also help you travel to exotic places at a low cost! Get it or gift it to a young earner.

Your Ultimate Guide to Travel

Travel-Training-Kit-Cover-new This is an in-depth dive into vacation planning, finding cheap flights, budget accommodation, what to do when travelling, and how travelling slowly is better financially and psychologically, with links to the web pages and hand-holding at every step. Get the pdf for Rs 300 (instant download)