3.24.2011

.Are we C R A Z Y.

Here are some "stats" to help you answer the above question:

Adam: Age 25
Katie: Age 24
Married: Almost 2 Years
Pets: 1 Dog
Kids: 0
Properties Owned: 0
Current Residence: 1 Rental Property
Questioning Status: Should we BUY A HOUSE?
Experience in this department: 0, Zilch, Nada!
C R A Z Y ? {I think so!}

Adam and I recently met with a good friend who is a financial advisor. We found out some really good (well GREAT) news--WE CAN BUY A HOUSE! It certainly will not be our dream house BUT it can be a house..a house we will actually own! This thought alone gives us butterflies in our stomachs and headaches all at the same time. 

We have so many thoughts..

How long do we plan to stay in VA?
Will Adam's business be around in 5, 10 years?
Do I want to finally become a teacher or keep the job I have now?
How far do we want to commute to work?
Is it better for our monthly payments to go towards an investment vs. our landlord's pocket?
Should we start a family first or buy a house first?
What's more important to us..the property the house is situated on or the quality of the interior of the home?
Mountain view vs. wooded setting vs. 1950's neighborhood?
Lynchburg or Forest VA?
Can we even pay for the down payment?
How would we furnish an entire house?
Should we only look at houses with a fenced in yard or is this something we can afford to install ourselves?
Is it smarter to buy a cheap, fixer-upper or spend the money we would potentially put towards renovations on a home completely move-in-ready?
Bi-level or ranch?
Country living or downtown city area?
What counties have better public school systems?
Do we want to send our kids to private or public?
How close is "too close" to my in-laws?
Should we really give up our amazing rental..our first home together..with so many of our precious memories?
Are we too young to be responsible for a house?
How can we better educate ourselves on the taxes owning a house would require..and the insurance we would need?!
Is it wiser to continue renting and keep saving saving saving?
If we buy a "starter home"...can we sell it in 5 years or get stuck?
Do we have enough money to replace a roof and all windows of a house?
Can we fit a second dog in this home as well as a baby?
Are we C R A Z Y ?

YES I THINK WE ARE. 

Friends, this list was typed out in less than 5 minutes. Do I have more questions, concerns, and thoughts--HECK YES! Did I want to bore you with every single one of those--NO WAY! I will simply state that the current "If, And, or But" list in my head goes "To infinity and BEYOND!"

 It is impossible to have answers to all of these questions. One thing Adam and I know for sure is to bring everything to the Lord. We need to pray about a house. That's it. God always sends us an answer..sometimes it is almost immediate, other times it takes years. Adam and I have to be patient and pray and keep God the number one priority in our home. We know the market for buying homes is awesome right now..we know..is it the right time for us? Only God knows. We look at our parents as examples and see my folks rented for 10 years before purchasing their first home..the home they still live in today. How did they know this would be the location they would have their children raised in and be content in as they grow older? I think it was a leap of faith. Can anyone really know a house is the perfect match for them in the perfect town/county/state to live and grow old in together? Maybe. Do I have that answer at the age of 24--NOT EVEN CLOSE! Faith. Prayer. It will happen..all in God's timing. Is it sometimes hard to wait for His timing--YES! We are human, it's only natural. Marriage is such a unique bond as well and there is never a dull moment! Adam has his "likes" and "dislikes" about a home and I have mine. Luckily for us, most of ours match but not all. Who should give in on their wants? When should you stand firm on your opinion? Friends, all I can say is I am so thankful to have God in my life and in my husband's life to help us with these decisions. Adam and I have had a really fun time checking out the local listings on Zillow, Trulia, Craigslist, and Yahoo--it really has been a WOOHOO experience :) Will this process always be fun?--PROBABLY NOT. It's a scary thing and the BIGGEST commitment Adam and I will make together..well, besides the whole marriage thing even though that decision was the easiest in the world to make! 

I hope you do not mind my ramblings. I am on cup #2 of my delicious Eight O'Clock Hazelnut coffee and with every sip, I feel my mind racing faster and my fingers typing more rapidly. As I look up from my laptop, I see my dog sleeping curled up in a ball on the couch and I see two of the most sweetest girls sound sleeping all cuddled with blankets and pillows on an air mattress I have in my living room. My life at this very moment is peaceful and I am truly blessed. Am I just minutes away from checking out more houses online?--OH YES! And I am happy to report it's with a big smile on my face.

Now comes the part where I need you..yes, you, the one reading these very words. I am curious to know if you are currently in my shoes with the whole "should we buy a house?" and what some of your thoughts are on the matter. I would also LOVE to hear from those of you who have purchased a home..or two, or three! Any advice you can give Adam and I? Encouragement is always welcomed with open arms ;) If you have any input to give, I would love to read it. Your comments are so dear to me and I look forward to each and every one.

I will leave you with this question to ponder..

Are we C R A Z Y ?

22 comments:

  1. Great post! I have the same questions! But I also think I have commitment issues to large purchases LOL. I also need to get over being picky. Because like your parents (not saying they are picky)I want the house I purchase to be a home for years and years and years to come. And well, I am indecisive too LOL.

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  2. i don't know if you're crazy or not...but my hubs and i are going through the exact same thing right now. (we actually have a lot in common...i'm a nanny, a newlywed (with one pup!) love everything house and home, love my Jesus, renting when we want to be owning! ha.) i'm excited/curious/interested in seeing where this takes ya'll. maybe i'll learn a thing or two about buying a house through you guys! ;) best of luck!

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  3. My husband and I waited 9 years before we bought our first home. Money was tight as we lived on one income and earned a second through being apartment caretakers. This is how I stayed home with my boys. The Lord worked out every little single detail in our first purchase. We appreciated it so much, having to wait so long.
    However, since housing is at an all-time low, if you can swing it and realistically see that you can make your mortgage payments, now might be the time to buy.
    Find people you trust to counsel with: realtors, appraisers, fix-it types, etc. Sounds like you had a good visit with your financial planner.
    Don't forget, however, that banks are a business like any other: they will always give you a figure that is going to make them money. Always try to come in under your budget to allow for fix-its and upgrades and believe me, they WILL happen. Count on it.
    Also, there are all kinds of hidden expenses with home owning: taxes, garbage, water, etc. Figure this into your budget.
    You're not crazy, you're just curious and excited. So do some looking, but be very careful and get lots of wise counsel.

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  4. You're not crazy at all. It's so funny because we've had the same thoughts. I recently went to an open house, fell in love with it, and was ready to buy. Thank goodness I have my sensible Brandon. We've decided to wait a little wait t save up a little more, but I so badly want to be a homeowner. It is so much to think about. We prayed a lot and God showed me the flaws in my reckless abandonment, He'll show y'all exactly what to do too :o) Renting gets pretty old after a while...

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  5. There is so much work to owning a house. In this economy you may be able to get a good deal on a house, but then you have to think about how long you plan on living there. I almost wish we rented instead of owned, just because we both know that we don't like the town we live in and its going to be next to impossible to sell this house and get anything out of it. PRAY...God will lead you in the right direction. love you!

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  6. you're not crazy! its fun and exciting.. actually, i think you should pray that God sends you $50K for the down payment!

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  7. We (Me, Husband & Baby) have been living in our house for 16 months now :) I have to say, It is AMAZING! We lived in an apartment before and I think the part we like the best is being able to change anything we want to in our home. We can paint whatever color, hang whatever and take out/add anything and everything we want! The ONLY thing i wish we had known to look for were the small things. We walked into our house and KNEW it was the the house. there are things we wish we would have looked for first though and asked the seller to fix. for instance- the wall paper that was starting to come up slightly in the kitchen (that the "fixed" by texturing and painting over), every single wall outlet was upside down. and none of the ones in the kitchen had the three pronged holes (im thinking.. did they not own a microwave??...) make a list of things that are important in your house and take it with you when you go to look. remember that you have to picture your things in the house even if someone elses things are in it when your looking (thats the hardest lol) think about where things would go.. would our huge bed fit in this room... stuff like that. We didnt know anything about buying a house but luckily had a great realitor. CONGRATS BY THE WAY!!

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  8. THANK YOU EVERYONE! I am LOVING your comments! So many of you have brought up different points and they are all so good--definitely helping out me and the hubs and we are grateful!:) We have a few homes lined up for open houses this Sunday..thank you to those of you who mentioned specific things to look for..again, all great points! I will keep you all posted and will be asking for more help soon..so very soon ;)

    HAPPY almost WEEKEND!

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  9. You are not crazy! I remember being in your shoes last year - truila was my friend. I have no advice - just encouragement that God will lead - He led us. We asked God the same questions about buying a home and had many people praying. We found ourselves in a situation where needed a new more reliable car. We felt God leading us to buy the car right out instead of going into debt - so we used our down payment money for the house to buy a reliable car for our family. Then God pressed on our heart to downgrade our standard of living in order to pay off our student loans. The apartment we are in raise the rent so we are off tomorrow to look at another apartment. Its hard but like Dave Ramsey says "Live like no one else so you can live like no one else". This is just our story to encourage that he will lead and the process is never dull :). I look forward to being able to own a home in the future (if God wills), and i look forward to reading about your journey.

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  10. We have actually purchased two properties since we have been married and have learned so much! Three of the most important things in my opinion...

    1) It is so important to have a realtor that you trust. You should never feel pressured or rushed. I know that you have a huge list of questions... pros vs cons. When we bought our first home, we originally set out to buy a fixer-upper at the lower end of our budget. We looked at SO many houses of all different types in all different neighborhoods. The more houses we looked at, the more we narrowed down what was important to us. In the end, we went in the opposite direction and bought a newer home toward the higher end of our budget! Our realtor was so patient and willing to show us house after house while we worked through all of the debates in our head about location, budget, style, etc. We had so many questions as first time buyers, and if our realtor didn't know the answer, she could always refer us to someone else who could help.

    2) You need a home inspector who really knows his stuff. You rely on your inspector to find defects that you might overlook because of your excitement about the house. His information is so valuable!

    3) A good relationship with your loan officer. We had a MILLION questions for our mortgage guy... I actually felt kind of bad him : ) He was so patient and willing to help.. he always took time to explain things and help us understand appraisal, insurance, interest rates, escrow, closing costs... and the list goes on : )

    It's definitely a great time to take the leap with lower prices and low interest rates... but only you guys know what is best for you.

    Sorry for the novel! : ) Feel free to ask me any questions!

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  11. Katie! My sister! I'm excited for you and Adam and your house-hunting adventures that are beginning! Actually, I think Scott and I were the EXACT same age when we started looking because we will have been here for three years the end of May. (It's crazy how time flies!)

    It sounds like you guys are in the right frame of mind--stick together and stick to prayer! It can all be so overwhelming, but just remember that you guys are in the perfect position right now to take your time and be. picky. Oh, and did I mention to be picky? :) It's a great market for buyers, and you guys are currently renting which means that you both hold the power in most situations (i.e. no house of your own to worry about selling). The most stressful thing for us has been the mortgage each month and the loss of my income due to being a stay-at-home mommy now. So, when you go to figure out how much you can afford to spend each month, take into account what your situation may become and not what it is at the moment (if that makes sense). Basically, it might be smart to only factor in Adam's salary when calculating the monthly mortgage you would be comfortable with!

    But, above all else, HAVE FUN!! (And be picky! Ha!) Love you! :)

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  12. Oh the house hunting adventure! It's like a crazy emotional roller coaster complete with twists and turns highs and lows. Somethings that came up when we went searching and bought our house: the actual cost of making a house YOUR home (little renovations, paint and supplies,things to fix up, fences to install) those all add up too, we put a 3500 down payment on our home and then spent another 3000 on improvements. Granted, we tore out and installed half of a new kitchen (sink, cabinets, counter tops, dishwasher) butdidn't really "budget" for there to be more expenses or so much that we'd WANT to do. Praise the Lord he gave us the money for the projects! Another piece of advice is BE PICKY we went into over 30 houses and were actually about 10 minutes from giving up our search for the time being when we found our house! It has everything we had our our - must have, would like, it would be awesome if lists and was in ou price range! I would also be realistic and firm about your range, it's tempting to think, "we could stretch it just a little further because I really like this house."

    It is a great commitment to buy a house but it doesn't have to be a forever home either. It's still a good investment even if you only live in the home for 3 to 5 years. You can turn your home into a rental property (a very popular move here in Lynchburg).

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  13. Hey Katie, sounds like fun. I'm a little jealous. We haven't bought house yet, but we did spend a bit of time looking a few years ago. We agreed early in the process that we each could veto any house for any reason, including "I'm not sure why, but no." No one wants to come home to a house they aren't comfortable in. Also, as a mom, I will say think seriously about using only Adam's income to determine what you can afford. Also think about the what if's, like will a 2nd dog make us too crowded, what about a baby, 2 babies? They come with a boatload of STUFF. If you do have a baby in this house, where will the nursery be in relation to your bedroom? Are you comfortable with it being on the other side of the house, or on a different level? Just some thoughts as I know that you will want to have kids eventually. Also, there is no rush. Take your time and pray!

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  14. (thank you for following my blog! it made my day! i'm still learning how this bloggin' world works...)

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  15. I'm so excited for you! Mike and I have been looking into buying a house also, because the interest rates are so low and the market probably isn't going to be like this again for a long time. We are probably crazier than you (you're not really crazy btw) because we want to go from living with our parents (which is what we're doing right now) to owning a home, sounds extra crazy right? Mike is still looking for an engineering job so it's really hard to even look right now because I have no idea where a central point between both of our jobs would be! It's fun look online though and imagine us living in a house together, hehe.

    I say go for it! Have Fun!

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  16. Yes! No greater time to find awesome deals! shop around....just got a great offer that BB&T is offering for good credit qualifiers. It matches in grant money......can forward if you want it! BTW....featured your "pea wreath" today. Enjoy your blog. Love, Me
    www.youaretalkingtoomuch.com

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  17. Haha! I remember asking this question. My husband and I actually jumped in feet first when we moved from KY to OH and couldn't find an apartment we liked. I love our house and am enjoying making it a home so much. There is a lot of work in having a house but there isn't a greater feeling to come and know that it's YOURS!

    Good luck with this exciting stage of your life! I'm excited to be a new follower and can't wait to read more about what you decide!

    Amanda @ Our Life on a Marquee

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  18. We bought our current house about 2 years ago. It was a foreclosure. The builder had gone out of business. This was very sad for him, but very fabulous for us! It's a great time to buy, because prices are super low. Maybe the lowest we will see in our lifetime.

    This is great because it means that you are buying low and will sell higher. However, if you aren't committed to staying there for a while, I might not do it. It's not easy to sell a house, in a good market. It's super hard to sell them now, while times are so tough for so many.

    It's because of this that we bought our current house. We spent a little more than we planned, but we could afford it. We aren't eating out much, but are super happy because we intend to stay here. Period.

    Hope that helps!

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  19. Oh! Also! Don't worry about having furniture to fill a house. We are big craigslist people, and have refurbished things as we could. Better to buy more house than have furniture for it in the beginning. You're newly weds! Nobody expects you to have tons of great furniture!

    As for buying before or after kids, I don't think that matters. I think it's more about finding a great deal that gives you what you want.

    A baby doesn't need a yard. But, your dog sure would like one...

    Okay, I'm gonna shut up now. You don't even know me!

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  20. Katie, Your list of questions were great. I've been a Realtor for over 25 years in CA and most young couples don't even take the time to think of all the things you and Mike have thought of. Ask around to people you trust and see if the have a good Realtor they can recommend to you guys. Interview those agents and pick the one you feel most comfortable with. That will be key for you. Then talk to a lender and get yourself preapproved. That will take away alot of the anxiety you are feeling. You will be able to know exactly what your payments will be and exactly what you can afford. You may also be able to purchase with FHA financing which is only about 3.5% down. Next step is to drive every neighborhood you are considering and check it out! Feel free to email me with any questions, I would be happy to help.
    www.LifeBuyTheBeach.com This is an exciting time for you guys. Have fun and good luck!

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