He spent a lot of money to buy a house.
He spent a lot of money buying a house.

In my head both of the sentences are correct. What's the difference between these sentences?

  • 1
    The second sentence, with 'buying', sounds right to me. – David Garner Mar 24 '15 at 7:36

Spending a lot of money "to buy" a house would be taken the same as spending a lot of money on/for a house, meaning that the price was high. (Of course, few people buy a house outright; they take out a mortgage and pay it off bit by bit, paying much more, over the years, than the price; however, one still speaks of the price as "how much you pay" for the house.)

But paying a lot "buying" a house can refer to paying a lot WHILE buying the house. This means the down payment, plus all closing costs, which are the additional up-front expenses incident to the purchase transaction. Closing costs can include many types of fees (legal, registration, title search, appraisal, termite inspection, earthquake report, to name a few), plus "points" if applied. In some times and places, these costs could run several thousand dollars—a big deal

  • Can 'spend money to buy' be interpreted as spending money on something so as to buy a house? E.g, she spent money [on searching for a real estate agency which could help her] to buy a house? She spends a lot of money [on investing in new building projects in order] to eventually buy a house for herself? – user109460 Mar 24 '15 at 10:43
  • IMO, no. Your first example is about spending money on "finding a house"; the second is trying to "save up to buy a house". – Brian Hitchcock Mar 24 '15 at 11:41
  • The second one is about investments in ventures to make profit. After completion of the projects, the investor could make more money than she had before. Afterwards she can buy a house for herself. She made investments worth N dollars to get much more money. The purpose is to buy a house worth K dollars. So she **spent N dollars** to buy a house. In your opinion it is incorrect, isn't it? – user109460 Mar 24 '15 at 13:13

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