I think I’m ready…

…to buy a house.

This conversation is going to sound like I’m rationalizing.  I tend to think that if a person feels the need to rationalize his or her actions, it’s probably a bad idea in the first place.  Or they have a great need to have their actions approved by the people around them.  This is neither of those.  So don’t mistake this conversation for rationalizing.  I’m clarifying my thoughts.  Another one of those journal, self-therapy posts.  🙂

Here is why I think buying a house would be a good choice for me right now:

-It’s financially responsible to put money towards something I will own, something that will build value, and that I can sell someday, rather than putting money towards the owners of my apartment complex, which is money I’ll never benefit from again.

-I don’t need to wait to do this until I have a husband.  It would be easier, maybe, but since there are no current prospects, I would estimate that I have a year or two, if not more, until I could possibly be married.  I’m willing to take the risk that it might be a year or two, because it also might be five years.  Yes, it would be a hassle to sell a home after living there only a couple of years.  But there are many factors that I just can’t predict.  My future husband may not own a home, or he might sell his house and move in with me, in which case I could live there longer than a couple of years, regardless of when I get married.  If I were to move out of my house when I get married, it still could be several years before that happens, in which case it would be good to have some years of mortgage-paying behind me when I sell.  However it turns out, I think it would be good to come into a marriage with this asset.

-And the reasons that won’t make or break the deal:  It would be easier with Pal, especially if I had a fenced backyard.  I could paint the walls.  I could change the flooring/woodwork/countertops, whatever I wanted.  I probably will have a garage.  I could plant things.  My computer probably wouldn’t have to share space with the dining room.  My bike wouldn’t have to share space with the living room.  All the reasons that make it attractive, but really don’t count.

The conditions under which I will buy a house:

-The house will be priced such that my mortgage/insurance/taxes/extra utility costs will be affordable within my budget.  I will not “give something up” in order to have a house, such as internet or fun money or whatever, because I will need to live with this new budget for a LONG-term committment. 

-It won’t be too much of a fixer-upper.  If it’s something that I can’t afford to do immediately, it has to be something that I can live with until I can save up for it.  Painting is okay.  Replacing ugly kitchen cabinets are okay.  A cracked foundation is not.

-It must be in a neighborhood where I feel safe and comfortable.

-I really don’t think it should be any farther from my job than I am right now.  It would have to be a really sweet deal.

-The things I would like, but won’t make or break the deal:  Fenced backyard, washer/dryer included, windows in the kitchen, windows in the bathrooms (less important), garage, non-creepy/dirty/leaky/dark basement.  I have a feeling this list will get longer and more picky as I go about this process.  🙂

So, here’s the current plan:

-When I have the option next month, I will not renew my lease.  I will go month-to-month so that I can take my time looking for a house, and get out of this apartment whenever it’s convenient.

-I will go to the bank and find out how much house I can afford.

-I will begin to look at houses, and take it from there.

I envision that I will end up in an older, small house in an older, charming, safe neighborhood.  I think the “typical” house for my area, which is less than 5 years old, 1500+ square feet, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2-car garage, multi-level, some version of beige/tan/cream, and in a neighborhood of houses with the same floor plan would end up stretching me a bit too far.  I’m all by myself on a teacher’s salary, for pete’s sake!  Which means I will be exploring neighborhoods that I know slightly less about, but where lots of people have found wonderful places to live.  Wish me luck!


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chad
    Jul 11, 2007 @ 18:58:11

    When are we going to start looking?


  2. Becky
    Jul 12, 2007 @ 13:24:41

    yay! good luck!


  3. Doris
    Jul 12, 2007 @ 14:41:22

    The list of requirements may get longer but will change as you look. You will see something and say “I gotta have that!” or “That is just not so important anymore.” I think this is excitingbut don’t wait to talk to the bank until you give up the lease or to start looking at realtors or houses. These may be your best allies in this adventure.
    Have Fun!
    Doris J


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