I couldn’t think about what to write for this post.
This is my tenth (!!) week of writing – it feels important.
Then I remembered, oh right – we’re buying a house.
Let me say that again.
We. Are. Buying. A. House.
I know. It sounds insane. It sounds crazy. Wait, what!? Why? How? Haven’t you been mad this whole time about moving to a new place and now all of a sudden you’re buying a house in said new place!?
Let me explain.
The thought of buying a house started off as a joke. We weren’t thrilled with the apartment, rent is super inflated, and it is damn near impossible to find an affordable apartment that will allow not one, not two, but three furry animals to move into it with their humans.
So when it was clear that the apartment was not our “forever” home, [REDACTED] did what he generally does when inspiration strikes and he started researching new apartments. Then, [REDACTED] did what he also does and took his research a step further.
I love this man, but while I daydream and Pinterest-dream home images, he tallies up facts and makes spreadsheets. It’s part “balance-each-other-out” and part “drive-each-other-insane.” Did I mention that I love him?
I forget when it stopped being a joke. Was it after we got pre-approved for a mortgage or before? Who really knows.
One night, [REDACTED] and I were getting drinks with some of his law school friends. I was tired and a little buzzed and I thought to myself “I think we’re going to buy a house.” In that same moment, [REDACTED] and I locked eyes and he said “I think we’re going to buy a house.”
It was settled. Almost.
While we were feeling pretty sure of our intention to buy rather than continue to rent, [REDACTED] and I did what any adult couple looking to buy a house would do and we called our parents.
[REDACTED]’s mom is a real estate agent, so she knows a lot about the process of buying a house. His dad is an electrician, so he knows a lot about what to look for when viewing a house.
My parents aren’t in real estate or home improvement, but I love them and usually look for them to weigh in before I make a huge decision – like buying a house.
When [REDACTED] and I thought about why we wanted to buy a house, our reasoning went something like this:
Reason 1: We are nesters and do small improvement projects on our rental units anyways – why not put that energy towards something more permanent?
Reason 2: We want to love where we live and not have our happiness affected by noise bleed from neighbors/a busy street
Reason 3: The cost of a mortgage + insurance + taxes was less than our rent.
Let me say that again.
According to every calculator we found, our total monthly payment for our mortgage, home insurance, and taxes came out to less money than paying rent to a landlord. Plus, that money would be an investment towards our future rather than money disappearing into someone else’s pocket every month.
But wait, you might be saying, what about a down payment?
Money is complicated and I will write a whole other post about it some other time.
The quick answer is this: my grandmother left me some money when she passed away, the rest of the down payment is coming from my entire life savings.
I am buying [REDACTED] a house.
Does anyone else think that’s a funny joke?
I kept expecting our respective parents to shoot down the idea of [REDACTED] and I buying a house. We’re so young! We just moved! We don’t know where we’ll be in five years! Buying a house sounds so permanent, and aside from the three years [REDACTED] will be in law school, nothing in life feels very predictable right now.
When I posed my concerns to my parents, my mom pulled out a pen and did some quick math on a napkin “If you are paying rent every month for the next three years, that’s over $50,000 that you are losing.” $50,000 is a lot of money.
We don’t know where we’ll be in five years! “You can always rent it out if you move” my dad said. And that was pretty much that.
With our parents’ blessings, [REDACTED] and I started our house hunt.
Another reason that buying a home is so enticing right now is that I am craving something that feels solid, and totally ours. Law school feels “his.” The apartment isn’t “mine” or “his.” There aren’t a lot of other major life things to take stock of.
We saw 10-15 different homes over the course of about a month and a half.
The houses ranged from “Can we move in tomorrow?” to “Someone got murdered in this basement.”
(No one actually was murdered in any of the house we saw – to my knowledge.)
We knew we needed a place that would be an easy commute to/from work. [REDACTED] sometimes goes home for lunch and to walk our pup. Our time limit was 35 minutes by public transit. (For us, driving isn’t really an option.)
We knew we wanted a place that had a real guest bedroom where we could comfortably host visitors. (Our apartment’s “guest bedroom” boasts a moderately uncomfortable futon and doesn’t have room for much else.)
I dreamed of a galley kitchen, safe streets to walk our pup at any hour of the day, and space to host guests for dinner and board games.
[REDACTED] wished for a garage or off-the-street parking, a workshop space, and a fenced-in backyard.
Two weeks ago, we put in an offer on a house. It didn’t have everything we were hoping for, but it had enough of the things we were hoping for. It was a little higher than our ideal price, but we low-balled the offer since it had been on the market for some time.
The day we made our offer, another house popped up on the market.
The new house was a ten minute walk from a favorite dog park. It was in a quiet neighborhood. It had a galley kitchen. It checked all the boxes on our list. (No fenced-in yard, but there was a yard and [REDACTED] said he could build us a fence!)
The house was a little further from work/school than we hoped, but not by much.
This new house isn’t official – yet. Our offer was accepted, our inspection went smoothly, but it still has to be “appraised.”
Once that’s done, we can schedule our closing (the day we get the keys).
Nothing is set in stone. But this feels so good.
This time, I am really looking forward to the move.
I already have two boxes packed.