These are directed at IAFG's post:
True re savings/family help: the thread seemed to have a baseline assumption of "significant debt and no current assets," and that's what I was going on.
Re: higher prop taxes being factored into rentals - yes, that is true, but if higher prop taxes make the place you're renting go up in rent too much, you can pretty easily move. The same isn't true for owning.
Re: Your first point - if you stay in a condo for 5 years, and sell it for what you paid, you've still paid property taxes, interest on the mortgage, condo association fees, etc. There are "rental vs. ownership" calculators out there (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/busi ... lator.html
). I've done a lot of playing around with that one, and 5 years seems to be the point where the total cost of living in a place starts to tip in favor of ownership.
For what it's worth, I really am interested to know if I'm "missing" something in this calculus. Basically, due to Chicago's IBR, my student loans are "free" for this coming year, and then I have a clerkship bonus coming to me when I start in 2012. I've done a lot of research into the "should I save all I can during my clerkship year, and use that + bonus for a house in 2012 (I would have about $35k to marshall into a down payment, I think,) or should I put it all into loans" question. Everything I can conjure up points to "kill the 8.5% loan," because if I apply everything I can marshall, I'll knock out my one 8.5% GradPLUS loan and put a dent into my 7.9% GradPLUS loan.
Re: Having to "pay the debt eventually" - unless you're going to take a public interest job (which will be *incredibly* difficult to get after being Lathamed, because you won't have public interest bona-fides) or are OK with being in IBR for 25 years (and suffering the massive, massive DOI hit at year 25 - assuming the discharge is still around in 25 years,) you will have to pay it back. Emergency living expenses and such, on the other hand? If those really get bad, you actually *can* discharge those.
This is directed at albus' post:
There is a compounding effect on paying down loan principal more quickly, too.