So we’re three weeks into our house hunting journey now, and I gotta admit – I’m starting to come around to it more :) Between y’all’s emails of encouragement, and my wife’s desire to finally lay down roots in the city I love, I can feel the excitement bubbling inside of me as well.
Even if it’s just to see how fast we can become mortgage-free again! Haha… (I swear, gamifying stuff makes everything much more fun to deal with, doesn’t it?)
And after another full day of house hunting last weekend, I’m proud to say that we finally found not only the right *schools* for our kids, but also the perfect little neighborhood too! Which will now make future searching a LOT more focused, however on the flip side it also means a lot *less* inventory to choose from – and we also happened to pick a pretty sought after community it looks like…
But we still have a couple more months to go until it gets down to the wire! So wish us luck!!! And if we have to go back to renting a while longer until we find *the one*, well, then I’m okay with that too… I’m not 100% a convert just yet ;)
But on to today’s main topic…
Stumbled across this old post we did here on whether you’re financially ready to buy a house or not, and after seeing the “PS” section again I had no choice but to re-share it ;)
PS: For all new readers to the site, we ended up selling our house in January of this year and are now back to renting blissfully again… You never know what the future holds, but should we go down this path again you better believe we’ll be coming back to this checklist!
Whelp, and here we are again! Haha… Guess you never really do know what the future holds ;)
Here’s the list of questions I originally snagged from a Business insider infographic, followed by my current answers which is pretty much night and day from what they were 10 years ago…
If only I actually read these – and cared! – during that first experience!
9 Questions on whether it’s (financially) smart to buy a home
or continue renting
#1. Do you plan on being in this home for five or more years?
Yup! It’s time to finally settle down!
#2. Do you have an emergency fund?
Double Yup! Been stashing a lot lately for any opportunity that may arise…
#3. By the time of purchase, will you have enough cash saved for a 20% down payment plus fees?
Yup! And it’s a buyer’s market right now so most sellers are covering the fees for people which will hopefully be the case for us too (although not sure how it plays out in hot communities?? The last one we saw go up was sold within 48 hours and heard the buyers ponied up 100% of the closing costs to seal the deal! Dang!)
#4. Are you saving for other major goals?
Nope! We were on the hunt for a minivan to replace Mrs BudgetsAreSexy’s dying car, however that’s been put on pause until we figure out the housing arrangement or it becomes an emergency… And hoping the former happens before the latter ;)
#5. Will buying a home wipe out all your savings?
Not all of it, but a good chunk! We’ll definitely need to tap our $50k in brokerage funds to help pump it back up again for sure… Especially since we plan on dropping that 20% off the bat.
#6. Can your budget handle not only your mortgage but also the taxes, maintenance, and incidental costs on a monthly basis?
Yup! Provided we stick to the budget and don’t over do it… Though it’s always that “maintenance” part that tends to keep me up at night, haha… I swear every day someone tells me about a $2,000 or $5,000 repair they need to do on their house!! Literally just received this one recently,
“The next time some jackal starts the whole own/rent debate you can tell them some homeowner in Internet Land has to pay $1,200.00 to get his furnace fixed today. Woohoo, put that in your pipe and smoke it buddy.”
(I love you readers so much, haha…)
#7. Do you have a credit score in the mid-600s or above?
Indeed! We’re both hovering around the 800 mark which should land us a pretty decent rate…
#8. Have you lived in the area before?
Yup! Not in this particular neighborhood, but in the general area for sure. And have lots of friends and family there too helping us navigate through the stuff we don’t know which is nice!
#9. Are you willing to be your own super (or pay someone else to do it)?
Nope!! Haha… okay fine, yes – but again the part I am least looking forward to. I will have no shame outsourcing the tricky work that needs to be done because I can’t do that and watch these babies and write this blog all at the same time! It’s pretty much adding a whole other child to the mix! And one that’s just as expensive! ;)
(That reminds me – remember the time I tried tracking all baby expenses until they turned 18??? LOL.)
Okay, so what’s that – 8 or 8 1/2 out of the 9 questions answered successfully? I’d say that points favorably towards owning vs renting compared to the first time when we got a 4 ;)
Although of course decisions like this are more than just the numbers and I will forever be reminding people of that as well!! Just because it might make *financial* sense to own, doesn’t mean it will emotionally or lifestylely! (Real word!). Don’t let anyone shame you into the “American Dream” as they don’t have to live your life – you do!
Alright – your turn… If you own a house, how would you have scored on this had you answered these before you last bought? And would it have changed your decision at all?
Hard to stop the excitement when you’re on a mission, but hopefully anyone new to the house game is reading this so they don’t make such a lame decision like we did the first go at it! As you can see there’s a lot more to this stuff than just a quick “mortgage vs. rent” comparison!
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!