Thursday, September 27, 2012

Operation: Buying a House

Four years and one month ago my (then) boyfriend bought our home

Five months later, we got engaged.

Eighteen months after that we got married.

We've been married for two years and two months.

We've had many great times in our home but I feel it's (nearly) time to move on.  Why?  Let me count the ways.

Our condo is 798 square feet.  There is no storage.  If you put one thing out of place an entire room can look cluttered.  Five things out of place and you may as well be living in a hovel.  I feel like I'm constantly trying to jam things in the closet or in a drawer.  I dread friends coming over because our only space for entertaining is also where we do most of our daily living and eating.

We have two cats and one litter box.  And please, I know this is bad but there is literally no other place to put a second one.  I'm thisclose to just buying one and putting it against a door to a closet that we never open.  When we had one cat I felt like cleaning the box was no big deal.  Now I think my cats are engaged in an Olympic sport of competitive pooping.  They poop all the time.  I need another solution to this problem and the only thing I can think of is to move.  We already have the fancy thing that makes your litter box look like furniture so that's not the issue.  The issue is floor space.  We don't have any.

Our income has dramatically increased.  When he bought the condo, my husband was making $80k a year.  My income wasn't factored into the equation because we were unmarried and I was also paying rent at my apartment - and continued to do so for nearly a year.  Now we have a household income of $170k and it may rise some more in the next few months (fingers crossed).

We always agreed that our current office would serve as a nursery for our first child until they were one years old and then we would move.  Well, we've been trying to get pregnant for over a year and I feel like we've waited long enough. My husband needs his office and the idea of trying to fit baby stuff in that room in addition to all the stuff that needs to be in there makes me not want to have a baby at all.

I'm sick of condo living.  I want a yard!  I want to be able to run the blender at 10 o'clock at night (don't ask) and not worry I am disturbing someone.  A neighbor in a nearby building has a dog who has taken to barking after midnight all of a sudden.  I can't pinpoint who it is and why they allow barking but I'm sick of it.  I also feel our condo fees are way too high (even though my husband is the building treasurer and assures me there is no misappropriation).

So we have decided we will aim to move by early next summer.  Our budget will be between $300 and $350k.  Right now the main priority will be saving the $17,500 we will need for a down payment.

I am going to look into alternative income and hopefully my husband will get the raise he has been promised.  Now I need to start researching locations, needs, wants, etc.

When should I talk to a realtor?  We didn't use one last time around (FSBO) so that part is all new to me.  I would attempt FSBO again but I think I need a little handholding this time.

Wish us luck!

4 comments:

Fernando Bouley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fernando Bouley said...

This is truly a testament of how the two of you started from the basics of building a flourishing family life. :) I’m happy for the both of you! :) And, good job on setting your budget limitation as early as now, as it could help you narrow down your choices. Also, make sure to choose a neighborhood that you’re happy in and can answer your needs. Your realtor would be able to help you find the right one for you.

Fernando Bouley

Kathleen Salazar said...

I suggest you to get a new and experienced professional realtor, Sallie's niece. An experienced realtor will tell you exactly what to expect in your total monthly payments. Come to think about it, it won’t even work to the advantage of the realtor should they keep from you the costs that you will incur. Moreover, the realtor can offer tips on how you can get more money off the total cost, or more features and amenities added in.

Sara Owens said...

Having your own house is certainly a good idea, especially since you are planning to have a baby. I think it’s great that you know exactly what you want to put in your house, though I it would be a smart move if you explore all the financing options out there. There are actually loans and mortgage that are based on the household income, so you can choose a payback rate that you can be comfortable with. I hope you do find a house that’s to your liking!