Warren Buffett paid just ,500 for his home of nearly 70 years. Read his 8 best quotes about buying a house.

Warren Buffett paid just $31,500 for his home of nearly 70 years. Read his 8 best quotes about buying a...

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Warren Buffett.

  • Warren Buffett has lived in the same family home in Omaha for almost 70 years.
  • The billionaire paid just $31,500 for the house, which is now worth about $1.4 million.
  • Here are Buffett’s best quotes about buying a home, which he says can be both a great and terrible idea.

Warren Buffett, one of the world’s wealthiest people worth almost $130 billion, has lived in the same unassuming house in Omaha for nearly 70 years.

The penny-pinching investor paid just $31,500 in 1958 for the family home, which Zillow values at about $1.4 million.

Buffett put off the purchase for years as he was certain he could earn a higher return by investing his money elsewhere. He even dubbed the house “Buffett’s Folly” once he eventually bought it.

Even so, the Berkshire Hathaway CEO has joked about his deep fondness for his home, and ranked it among the best buys he’s ever made. But he’s also warned that owning an unaffordable home can be hellish.

Here are Buffett’s 8 best quotes about homebuying, lightly edited for length and clarity:

  1. “He was building a house at that time a few miles from here, and 62 years later, he’s still living in the same house. Now that was interesting because I was buying a house just a few months before, 62 years ago, and I’m still living in the same house. So you’ve got a couple of fairly peculiar guys just to start with in terms of their love affair with their homes.” (Buffett was speaking at Berkshire’s shareholder meeting in 2021 about his since-deceased business partner, Charlie Munger.)
  2. “When I got married, we did have about $10,000 starting off. I told Susie, “Now, you know, there’s two choices, it’s up to you. We can either buy a house, which will use up all my capital and clean me out, and it’ll be like a carpenter who’s had his tools taken away for him. Or you can let me work on this and someday, who knows, maybe I’ll even buy a little bit larger house than would otherwise be the case.

    “So she was very understanding on that point. And we waited until 1956. We got married in 1952. And I decided to buy a house when the down payment was about 10% or so of my net worth, because I really felt I wanted to use the capital for other purposes.” (Buffett believed he could invest $31,500 and turn it into $1 million in about a dozen years, so “he felt as though he were spending an outrageous million dollars on the house,” author Alice Schroeder writes in her biography of Buffett.) (1998 meeting)

    Warren Buffett's house in Omaha, Nebraska.
    Warren Buffett’s house in Omaha, Nebraska.

  3. “Home ownership makes sense for most Americans. The third-best investment I ever made was the purchase of my home, though I would have made far more money had I instead rented and used the purchase money to buy stocks. (The two best investments were wedding rings.) For the $31,500 I paid for our house, my family and I gained 52 years of terrific memories with more to come.” (2010 letter to shareholders)
  4. “Anybody that knows where they’re going to want to live, and has a reasonably assured income, I think they’re making a terrible mistake if they don’t buy a single-family home now and get a mortgage at these rates — and they should get a 30-year mortgage. It’s really a golden opportunity. You’re not going to see a chance like this five years from now, I’ll guarantee you that.” (CNBC interview in 2012)
  5. “A home’s a wonderful thing, but I wouldn’t buy one if I was going to move in six months, and I wouldn’t buy one if I was terribly nervous about my job.” (2012 interview)
  6. “A house can be a nightmare if the buyer’s eyes are bigger than his wallet and if a lender — often protected by a government guarantee — facilitates his fantasy. Our country’s social goal should not be to put families into the house of their dreams, but rather to put them into a house they can afford.” (2010 letter)
  7. Buffett described a 30-year mortgage as “the best instrument in the world. Because if you’re wrong and rates go to 2%, which I don’t think they will, you pay it off. It’s a one-way renegotiation. It is an incredibly attractive instrument for the homeowner, and you’ve got a one-way bet.” (CNBC interview, 2017)
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