Friday, April 23, 2010
My two cents :: Becoming homeowners.
D and I have been thinking, talking, etc. a lot more about buying a house. Since myself, as well as many of my other friends, are growing up, getting married, and making major life decisions, I've been having all kinds of adult conversations. D and I bought our first car together at the beginning of this month. Now neither of us have stellar or "important" credit that agencies look at when approving you. We're pretty excited about having our payments on the car boost our credit and get us in better shape for a mortgage. Whoa. I mean we are REALLY adults...buying cars, rationalizing our credit scores, thinking about mortgages, etc. I never thought I would be thinking so much about buying a house.
Now I think boys have a different mentality on house buying that girls (or maybe just girls like me who are super afraid of such a HUGE financial commitment). For D, he is anxious to buy a house because he despises the idea of "throwing away" money on rent. My mind is more worried about the money it would cost us, and not a landlord, to fix anything that went wrong around the house, buying a washer and dryer, etc. etc. Once I made THE big commitment of marriage, maybe I started thinking a little more about long term plans like owning a house. The move to Raleigh really started getting me excited about exploring a figuring out areas in town where we may like to live in the future. So....I've jumped on board with the house search (not that we are seriously searching or even close to buying a house). We still know absolutely nothing about buying a house.
It's funny how things change though. When the idea of buying a house in Raleigh was thrown out (before we even moved here), I was thinking we'd probably want to look in a surrounding county of Raleigh. Why? I work in a surrounding county so my commute would be lessened. Cheaper houses. Better schooling system (if kids were ever in the picture). You get the idea. This was before we moved here. We decided to rent a house really close to downtown Raleigh, which is where we are living now. I absolutely adore the location of our house. As far as we can tell, the neighborhood is pretty safe, and we haven't had any problems thus far. This is what I am talking about with things changing. After we moved here and I've lived in this area, I would never want to live anywhere different. Now, I will note that I think we are at a unique point in our lives. We're married, but we are still young. Kids are no where near the forefront of our minds. D works for a beer company, and we go out a lot. That being said, I could not imagine having to drive 20 minutes to get to some of our fav downtown bars and restaurants. I wouldn't exchange a lessened commute for living farther from the downtown area. For me, I learned the importance of living somewhere first before making a commitment to buying a house. This is not to say that in three years I wouldn't change my mind since we may be in a different place in our lives. If that is the case, we may very likely be shit out of luck if the housing market still hasn't picked up and we own a house near downtown.
Another conflict though is our small budget. Now we have obviously driven around some of the areas near downtown. Let me tell you...most of the houses are fucking huge! I mean we obviously have not started pricing houses, but I'm not sure that it's even likely that we could afford a decent house near downtown. Find a foreclosure? Eh...this post is getting too adult for me. But my two cents is that I'm glad we have six months or more (our lease is six months and we'll renew every two months) to check out the area and decide what our best house options are.
*Oh, and it should be a given that this is MY two cents...it doesn't mean it applies to everyone. Opinions and advice are welcome :)