Man, oh man, this weekend has been a whirlwind of emotions! We’ve been dreaming and scheming like crazy and I have not shared any of it with you, yet! Well, today I’m going to share what we’ve been up to!
Remember this post about our personal resolutions for 2012? If you haven’t seen it, you should click on over and point and laugh at my flaring nostrils that act up throughout the entire video. If I wasn’t against most plastic surgery, I would totally do something about those nostrils, but I’m stuck with them. But, I digress . . .
Smack dab in the first goal we said we want to buy a house. Although this goal was listed first because we are EXTREMELY excited about the day when we can own a home, we thought it would be one of the last things we would do this year, if we even got to it at all. Then, my friend Megan and Courtney (maid and matron of honor in our wedding) bought houses. Both on one income. Hmmm . . . that’s interesting, I thought, because right now we are living on one income. The more I talked to them, the better preapproval sounded to us. We are all about living a frugal life, so getting preapproved for just Mr. Converse Sneakers’ income meant that if one of us were ever out of a job (like me, right now, since I’m starting full-time student teaching for no pay in two weeks from today), we would still be able to afford the mortgage payments. Also, spending less on a house means we have more money to save, use for vacations, pay off debt, etc., which are all great uses of money in my book instead of putting huge chunks of change into a house for thirty years and being stuck. After giving it much thought, we decided to talk to a mortgage consultant, see if we could get preapproved for something decent (read: very small but doable) and then see what is out there. Thankfully, there is no cost to get preapproved our talk to a realtor until you purchase a house, so we won’t be out anything if we decide to wait to buy.
Well, last Thursday after a week of biting our nails in anticipation, our mortgage consultant preapproved us (well, technically just my hubby because right now I’m just a walking pile of student debt which is no good for large loans) for slightly more than we had anticipated. We got a great interest rate on an FHA loan and now we’re moving into the next stage: house hunting!
Sersiously, I was never the girl who dreamed about her wedding day (although I had big visions for marriage – those are two different things, you know), but I don’t think a day has gone by since I knew what the word “house” was that I have not dreamed of buying my first home. We are extremely excited but also incredibly cautious.
Because the price we want to pay for a house is pretty low, we will probably be looking at foreclosures and homes that need a little more work than a house we could afford if we were both working full-time. However, because the housing market is completely geared toward buyers right now, so many houses are in our price range that wouldn’t have been half a decade ago or probably in five years. We are not set on buying right now because we don’t want to rush into a purchase on something we don’t absolutely love that has a solid foundation and is in a safe neighborhood, but we really want to stay at a certain price because of the benefits later on.
Today we will be meeting with a realtor to discuss all of our wants, needs, and our price range. I’m hoping he won’t laugh in our face and send us toward the door. Here are some houses in our price range that we’ve been scoping out online:
Here are our needs:
- 3 bedrooms (or 2 bedrooms with room to add a third bedroom without adding on – we want room to grow whenever we have children)
- 1 bathroom (but preferably 2)
- A garage of some kind
- In a safe neighborhood
- Around 1,500 square feet
- A medium-sized yard
- A kitchen that is a good size so we can eventually update it (important since Mr. CS is a chef and we will probably entertain in the kitchen as well)
- A finished or finish-able basement
- Less than 20 minutes from Mr. CS’s job
Like I said, we don’t know yet if we will be buying before our lease is up in June, but we really would like to if we find the right house, since our mortgage payments (and insurance and taxes) will be the same or less than our current apartment at full price. When our roommate moves out when the lease is up, we would much rather be paying for a house than an apartment of the same price.
I will keep you posted on what happens! Let me know if you have any suggestions or advice for us two first-time homebuyers!