Thursday, October 7, 2010

Am I brave enough.. buy a house? That is the question that is making my stomach churn churn churn today.

I am 41 and have never owned my home, and I have always had a valid reason excuse why I haven't done it. Now that the kids are out of the house and I have tenure, those excuses are really dwindling away, and yet I still haven't done it and to be completely honest, I am pretty sure I don't want the responsibility.

At first, buying a home wasn't an option for us. We either didn't make enough money or our credit was too atrocious to even consider it. Well, those things are changing. We make a good living, and with that I have managed to rebuild our credit to a decent level.

But for the first time in my life, I feel like I only have to be responsible to myself and Mr. P, and I am not convinced I am ready to give up three times a year vacations for a new roof or wiring. I don't know if I want to spend weekends doing home repair and yardwork, when I can just call the rental people. I know, I is a tax deduction...BUT, my argument there is that the mortgage I am willing to take on with the rate I am thinking I will get, will not put us into the Itemized Deduction category no tax break...we could be building equity, not just paying rent, true. But if anything catastrophic breaks, I am not responsible...I call the people...not sure I want to be the people.

But all that aside, we have an appointment to go look at a house tomorrow at 1pm. It is a great location on a street we love. It is a bizarre, cute, older house---big kitchen, fireplace, deck. Big yard. But the price is WAY too right--about $20 a square foot less than the norm around here...

I know what we spent to get a RENTAL to my standards...what the hell will I want to spend to get a home I OWN to standards when I don't have the fall back of..."it's just a rental"... ugh.

Why did you buy?


--V said...

I bought because after living in the same dark, dank hole-in-the-wall apartment for 15 years, I had nothing to show for it.

And because the management at my complex pissed me off. It had to do with deadlines on lease renewals.

I also wanted to garden. And? I liked the idea of being the only person who had keys to the place. Maintenance could (and did) come in any damn time they pleased, no warning, no nothing. What if they'd accidentally let out my animals?

I bought a condo. Someone else takes care of the yard work, the snow removal, repainting, or (this past summer) the powerwashing. I'm only responsible for things from the studs in.

I'm paying twice what I did in rent, but when I sign the check and send it off, I'm actually buying something with it. Before I was just paying for the privilege to pay again the next month.

wafelenbak said...

Well I'm a happy renter, so I'm not really giving you the answer you're seeking. It actually was nice to hear from someone else who is hesitant to buy.
I know people say renting is throwing your money away, but I get a nice place to live + yard care (on the tiny strip of lawn we have), on-call maintenance, and a regular bug guy. How is that throwing my money away?? No muss, no fuss, and no condo association. And I can pack up and leave any time. The only reason I would seriously consider buying is to have laundry in my place.
Granted, it is only me, but if there were just one other person I'd still feel perfectly fine in my rented apartment.

Swistle said...

We bought because if we had rented, we'd have paid ever-increasing rent forever; but if we bought, we'd pay "fixed-price rent" until our house was paid off, and then we wouldn't be paying any more rent.

Shelley said...

We bought to have control. No body raises our fact, our mortgage payment has gotten lower and lower because interest rates have gone down over the years. Our first house was a 30 year mortgage at the low low (ha!) rate of 9.9. This one is a 15 year mortgage at 4.875. We have paid more than half of the principle already and will own it outright in a few years, unless we move to a different area. Yes, you have unexpected expenses with homeownership, but a lot of them are your choice to pay or not. Roof leaking? Fix it. Dishwasher racks rusting? Shoot, I've been going on 4 years of needing a new dishwasher - many times I could have bought a new one but chose not to. Although this Christmas...

You can always sell it if you really hate the whole process. But I bet you will end up enjoying it more than you realize.

creative kerfuffle said...

we only rented for a short time before our first purchase. and, both times we had bad experiences--ie craptastic landlords. we bought because we saw it as an investment (not necessarily one we'd make money on) for our future. something that was permanent. since both of us are army brats i think the idea of something permanent, something our kids and grandkids would grow up in, was appealing. granted there are pros and cons to both sides, but i prefer owning. if you do decide to buy--get american home shield. it sounds like just one more thing to pay for, but rocks. you pay a small monthly fee (depends on your coverage, $20-40) and then if something goes wrong (plumbing, dryer, fridge, etc.) you pay $60 and they come out and fix it or even replace it.

lol--my wordify is SPERMiti

Tammie said... probably not the best person to be asking this since right now im renting and waiting for my house to sell.

i agree with all the other commenters, both the renters and the home owners. but i will go out on a limb and say this: you could have a great house in a decent location, but if you cant find someone to buy it when you need to get rid of it, that great house isnt worth jack shit. trust me.

as for now, im a happy renter. im enjoying taking a break from major house projects and lawn work. im sure i'll end up buying again at some point, but it will be after serious thought as to where i want to spend the rest of my life. i REALLY have no desire to do the selling part again.

(as a side note: i actually read this yesterday but didnt leave a comment because i really wasnt sure what to say. i admit i can be a bit of a debbie downer when it comes to real estate. but last night i had a dream about leaving a comment here. weird. anyway, i wish you the best no matter what you decide. home ownership can be fun, but i dont think renting is bad either. and really, home is where you make it, right?)


Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

The real reason I bought? My dad said he thought I should be a home owner before I turned 30. So, I bought my first condo when I was 29. Good reason, eh?

For me, renting always felt temporary. I never invested in good things (all hand-me-downs, some of which were falling apart), because I never knew where I'd be next. I had no loyalty to any particular property and, in return, my landlords and management companies had no loyalty to me.

I've felt much more fulfilled as a homeowner. I will admit I was scared shitless that first year - always worried something big would break. But, that fear has eased with time.

Now that I'm 7 years into home ownership and living in my second condo, I don't think I'd go back to renting. I look at home ownership as an investment in the future. The equity I build in my homes will either fund some of my retirement or be a legacy I leave behind for my child/children. And both of those things fill me with pride.

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