Is it Ever OK to Ask Friends How Much They Paid for Their Home?

published Jun 30, 2015
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(Image credit: Heather Keeling)

My husband and I are in the process of saving for a house. We’re among the last of our friends to buy their first place and, since friends know we’re looking, we’re getting some great advice about home ownership. The people in our lives have been very forthcoming about their budgets and payments, something that’s tremendously helpful as we figure out exactly how much house we can afford.

I’m comfortable sharing details of our monthly rent expenses with nearly anybody, but I also recognize it’s generally a faux pas in many circles to talk about personal budgets.

So I pose the question to you, Apartment Therapy readers: is it ever OK to ask friends or neighbors how much they paid for their home?

This isn’t just about discovering the dollar amount — house sales are public record, after all — it’s about starting a discussion. A discussion in which friends can be totally frank about what their home is worth and how they figured out what kind of expense was right for their budgets, their neighborhood, and their home’s expected value.

A helpful resource: What is My Home Worth? Home Value Estimator from Redfin

In addition, we all know there’s a lot more to affording a home than a mortgage, and you can’t always discover it on Google. Things like insurance, maintenance, and homeowner’s association fees can come into play when it comes to a homeowner’s monthly budget, and it’s helpful to have different peoples’ perspectives on how to make it all work — especially when those people are local friends from similar walks of life.

So tell us: Would you feel comfortable sharing with friends how much you paid for your home? Is it OK to ask others? How would you broach the subject?

Re-edited from a post originally published 6.30.2015 – TW