Thursday, September 12, 2013

Five reasons we won't buy a house until we're ready

1.      Tens of thousands of tiny reasons in the form of dollars that we owe to banks that so generously helped us pay up front for educations we couldn't afford at the time.

2.      Budding, but location-dependent careers that could make life intensely difficult if we tied ourselves down geographically. Imagine you've bought the house of your dreams and suddenly a better job materializes over 50 miles away. Sometimes when opportunity knocks, you need to be able to pack your bags and simply move.

3.      We have barely enough space right now. We're champing at the bit to get out, and have two cats who seem to be constantly underfoot. I can't tell you how many times I've almost pulled a hamstring or twisted an ankle in efforts to right myself again after tripping over a cat. One even bit me on the ankle after I stepped on her tail, which she placed right behind me as I stood at the stove. Yet, it's still enough space for us. We haven't turned to a self-storage and decluttering and donating seems to be doing the trick for the time being.

4.      20%.  Call that 100%. We don't really have a 20% down payment on the type of house the bank thinks we can afford. And we don't have 100% either. And the bank thinks we can afford a whole LOT of house. They think we should buy a 3 bed, 2 bath monstrosity with a garage, a front and back yard, and perhaps a gazebo. Honest. Well, we don't have the first dollar for that. Not if you don't count our emergency fund and our baby emergency fund (in case someone dies and leaves us a baby or the stork brings one). We wouldn't want to put our emergency fund toward a house and then find ourselves in an emergency without a penny to our names, now, would we?

5.      We're too picky. We want a house we can live in until retirement. Not that we plan on it. We, like many reluctant West Indian transplants, dream of sunnier climes for our golden years. Every year it gets a little bit harder to deal with the utter destruction cold weather can wreak. But if it turns out we don't wind up in sunny Orlando, or mild Virginia, perhaps we need a house we think is valuable, meets our needs, and we can grow into. The realtor we contracted with told us that most people's dream house is the second or third house they buy. What dreams eh?!You know what that means. . . someone's getting a big fact commission every time. I'd rather do what my parents' generation did , or should have done. Save until you can afford a house, then buy the best house you can afford without assuming you'll always be in a position to trade up.


And there we have it, all the reasons I can think of right now why buying a house is not in the cards for us. I know what everyone is saying. Think of the interest rates! Think of the low low prices! That is alright. I stand firm. We know our budget better than they do, and it's just not in the picture.


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