Dear E. Jean: I’m 25 and lucky enough to have been given a not-insignificant amount of money by my family. I have a great job that pays my bills, and I live a pretty normal life—my friends know I’m comfortable, but they don’t know how comfortable. I’ve been looking for a new apartment, and I’m considering buying instead of renting. It’s financially feasible for me—I can easily afford the down payment with the money I’ve inherited, and a mortgage payment would be just slightly more than what I pay in rent.
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I want to put down roots, have my own place, and be able to really feel at home, not to mention make a great investment. But I’m worried that this will alienate me from my friends and boyfriend, who are in their midtwenties and just making ends meet. I’m also worried that 25 is too young to be making such a huge commitment. Should I buy a place of my own or put it off for a few years? —Big Decision
Miss Big, My Begonia: The tragedy of your real-estate dilemma is not that you’re too young to buy an apartment, but that you’re too old. You could have started investing even sooner. Buy it!
You hail from a famous American family. (I looked you up.) You have rule-breaking in your blood. Your friends and boyfriend already know you’re well off and still love you, so just let Auntie Eeee know where to send the housewarming gift.