College or house?

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    College or house?

    I never went to college. I liked messing around with car so after high school i got a job washing cars in a body shop. Paid attention, started working in the shop and learned fast. Changed jobs and went to another shop when I was 21 years old. Worked hard and 25 years later I owned the place. I have 14 employees and am doing pretty well.

    My wife went to college for 11 years and got her PhD. She's now a college professor and does pretty well too.

    We have two kids, 6 and 9 years old. We are militant savers and will have $300k+ saved up for college for each of them by the time they need it.

    We're paying off our house this week and I got to thinking....If I had the choice when I was 18 of money for college or money for a house I would have taken the house. Not having to pay a mortgage for the past 25 years would have opened up a whole bunch of options for me.

    I think there is too much emphasis on college these days and not enough on trades. If my kids want to go to college, great, but I think there is just as much opportunity working with your hands and learning a trade. And if they already had a house paid for, it would be huge leg up.

    Given the choice when you were getting out of high school, would you have taken college 100% paid for or a house free and clear?



    #2
    Easy, College - Engineering has been good to me.
    ....Just Add Lightness...

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      #3
      House. Hands down. Learn a trade. No question.

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        #4
        house, no question. If you are late on your student loans, they don't take your degree away. Your house, can be taken away. And depending on what line of work you want to get into, a degree may or may not actually be of help to you. And just on an educational level, man some colleges seem to teach some dumb ass degrees.

        Fortunately though, I was raised pretty well to handle saving and what not with $ (even though we weren't rolling in it). I see some folks doing stupid stuff with $, like buying a new truck every few years, and a new iphone every year, and stuff like that, and then can hardly pay their rent/mortgage and complain about the rent prices.
        Last edited by dnsfailure; 07-14-2020, 02:43 PM.
        - Buck

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          #5
          Originally posted by Mercedesrover View Post
          I never went to college. I liked messing around with car so after high school i got a job washing cars in a body shop. Paid attention, started working in the shop and learned fast. Changed jobs and went to another shop when I was 21 years old. Worked hard and 25 years later I owned the place. I have 14 employees and am doing pretty well.

          My wife went to college for 11 years and got her PhD. She's now a college professor and does pretty well too.

          We have two kids, 6 and 9 years old. We are militant savers and will have $300k+ saved up for college for each of them by the time they need it.

          We're paying off our house this week and I got to thinking....If I had the choice when I was 18 of money for college or money for a house I would have taken the house. Not having to pay a mortgage for the past 25 years would have opened up a whole bunch of options for me.

          I think there is too much emphasis on college these days and not enough on trades. If my kids want to go to college, great, but I think there is just as much opportunity working with your hands and learning a trade. And if they already had a house paid for, it would be huge leg up.

          Given the choice when you were getting out of high school, would you have taken college 100% paid for or a house free and clear?

          At the time I would have taken the money and spent it on hookers and blow. I didn't settle down until I was close to 30. Moved a couple times too so tying myself into a house somewhere might hamper career mobility

          Really depends on the kid. If they want to go into a trade then a house might be a great nest egg. If they want to head into a white collar job market a 4 year degree is really only the start these days. Over the last 30 years a Masters has become the new Bachelors in a lot of sectors. Even low paying museums, like I work for, are getting plenty of applications with masters and even PHDs. I wish I had gotten a MS when I was young.

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            #6
            My public university tuition was approximately $4000 a semester. What house can I buy for $32,000? To go further rent was about $350 a month, so add on another $18,000 for good measure. What house can I buy for $50,000? Considering inflation that's about $60,000 today. Still a far cry from anything but a tear down in the ghetto.

            I'm self employed, but make a living through contacts I made in school. If you offered me a $300k house, I wouldve taken it, but the math doesnt add up for me.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Mercedesrover View Post
              We have two kids, 6 and 9 years old.
              I think you have at least 9 years to think about it. College and housing could be completely different by then. Unless you are going to force the kids to do what you want them to do, maybe they should have some input when the time is near.


              or just waste the money and let them work for it.


              .

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                #8
                Originally posted by Johann View Post
                Really depends on the kid. If they want to go into a trade then a house might be a great nest egg. If they want to head into a white collar job market a 4 year degree is really only the start these days. Over the last 30 years a Masters has become the new Bachelors in a lot of sectors. Even low paying museums, like I work for, are getting plenty of applications with masters and even PHDs. I wish I had gotten a MS when I was young.
                Big thing here too. Depends on the kid. Buddy of mine that is full on blue collar, has three boys. Hard worker. Does alright for himself. Two kids are tradesmen. The third is a brain. Blew through school with all honors, got scholarships, and is doing some genetic research lab work at a level I couldn't even begin to understand. My buddy laughs because he has no idea where this kid's smarts came from. Their entire family are all blue collar, but this kid is a freaking genius. Makes a killing.

                Even though its still early, we're pushing trades with our kid for sure. My wife and I both have degrees, and they haven't done a thing for us for our careers.

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                  #9
                  People who don't pay for college have no skin in the game and don't appreciate it or take it seriously.

                  (Not just college, but extends to all things).

                  You want to do your kids a favor, make them pay their own way.

                  Don't give them college or a house.

                  They'll get the money when you die.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by TRINDU View Post
                    My public university tuition was approximately $4000 a semester. What house can I buy for $32,000? To go further rent was about $350 a month, so add on another $18,000 for good measure. What house can I buy for $50,000? Considering inflation that's about $60,000 today. Still a far cry from anything but a tear down in the ghetto.

                    I'm self employed, but make a living through contacts I made in school. If you offered me a $300k house, I wouldve taken it, but the math doesnt add up for me.
                    You have to look at how fast college prices are going up. Its wayyyy past inflation. $50k is around the number for a 2 year school, 4 year is averaging around 80-90k for the low end. If you go to a "nicer" school or one in a more expensive area it can easily hit $120-150k for 4 year now. You can buy a decent starter house in many places for that.

                    Where the price is going up, the quality of education is stagnant or delicining at most universities. I think the rona may have been one of the final straws where we can see the education bubble start to burst. Way overdue, but unforuntatly the people who got suckered in and have loans get stuck with them

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                      #11
                      2 year community college/trade school/military or to fuck off just for some diversity, then house. at 18 you may not know what/where/how you want to be and it sets you up for the option of exploring and traveling a little bit.

                      home/land ownership is historically and will continue to be the #1 driver of 'generational wealth' globally. other option would be to buy a 4plex or duplex now that can be used as a rental and then transferred to the kids. they can live in one half, rent the other or whatever you like. if they decide to go on, they can sell or rent out their half a bit easier.

                      i bought my first house with an FHA loan when i was 21. it was fucking expensive as shit and kind of tied me down for a bit but i'm very glad i was 'house poor' for a couple years.


                      Up is difficult, down is dangerous

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                        #12
                        College because when I was 18 you NEEDED a degree to get any job, I think that is changing now, and my dumbass 18yr old self would have destroyed a house and it would be a colossal waste of money. 18yr old slander would have had skull and crossbones painted on evrey wall, a slayer effigy in the living room, a constant bonfire going, alchohol bottles as decoration and a Sex dungeon in the basement. Shit I think I just described the house I was living at in college lol!
                        Every major institution is against you and will let you die!
                        - Tim Dillon

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                          #13
                          Take money for house, throw in index fund, learn trade, live like broke college student, retire at 38.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by grumpy356 View Post
                            People who don't pay for college have no skin in the game and don't appreciate it or take it seriously.

                            (Not just college, but extends to all things).

                            You want to do your kids a favor, make them pay their own way.

                            Don't give them college or a house.

                            They'll get the money when you die.
                            This ^

                            I went to a traditional college for a bit only to find that it really wasn't the thing for me. Some of it I paid for myself and some was paid for me. The courses I took that I had to pay for I appreciated much more and paid more attention in.

                            I bought my house with some down payment help but paid it back within a year. After that it was all on me, and I'm 100% positive I appreciate it much more than if someone had bought it for me.

                            Help your kids get started, but don't give it to them.
                            Last edited by vikingsven; 07-14-2020, 03:12 PM.

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                              #15
                              Would not have been an option for me. I was a smart kid but not a good student in high school. I liked to party a fuck around. In my senior year, my dad said:

                              If you want to try to go to college, your mom and I will help you all that we can. If you don't, you'll need to find a full-time job that has an opportunity to grow. If you don't want to try college, I won't kick you out of the house immediately. You will pay rent, your share of utilities and groceries and your mom will not be doing your laundry. I don't think an offer to buy me a house was on the table.

                              I chose college and have done very well. I'm happy I did not have a house option.

                              My experience was in the 1980s. College and 4-year degrees are much different today. Unless you're motivated to learn, you can pretty much skate by at just about any college, get a degree, and learn nothing in terms of knowing how to perform at a job that requires a degree--just a piece of paper. That was not the case when I went to college. Kids today should make an honest assessment. If they are not excited to go to college, willing to work hard, and have an idea of what they will get out if it, they should consider finding a job in a trade for a few years and see if it's for them and whether they are good enough to advance.

                              So many kids finish college today with a meaningless degree, mountain of debt, and no prospect of a real job. I'd like to see colleges and universities up their standards, downsize their classes and have trade-based businesses go back to running apprenticeship programs.

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