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Do I want a house??????

November 28th, 2007 at 02:30 pm

I do, and I don’t. I keep thinking about it, we got pre-approved… we almost submitted an offer and than I chickened out.

I do want a house, with a yard (even a tiny one), with trees seen from the window, a driveway of my own to park anytime, a WASHING MACHINE at home! (my dream). New York renters will understand what I am talking about.

But if we buy one:
No more month long vacations abroad.
No more ski trips.
No more eating out with friends.
No more nice wine.
No more shopping.
No more family nearby.
Right now we are renting apartments in the same building. They look after our pets when we are gone, I am not alone when my husband is on business trips, we get occasional hot meals, I can always borrow jewelry/shoes/accessories, tripling my wardrobe…

I can have a house, but would have to give up my life as I know it and count every dollar for many many years.
House would become everything – for 30 years! The loss of freedom that comes with such a drastic cut in discretionary income is scary. Right now we could live on one income in the event of a job loss.

I am looking at a beautiful house in a nice town, and I want it. I want to live in it. I am so tempted.

Is it a good investment? I don’t know, considering where real estate is headed.
Will we suddenly become “typical” people, chained to our house, able to only leave for 2 weeks a year? Does this mean the end of youth?

8 Responses to “Do I want a house??????”

  1. Marilyn Brodeur Says:

    I'll help you out here. No. You don't want a house Smile
    How bout this. Start saving up some money for a house right now. When you are ready to settle down, your mortgage payments won't be so high and if you get a 20% down payment you won't need to pay PMI. Set a reasonable savings goal for your future mortgage and enjoy your life!!!

  2. nika Says:

    Marilyn,
    We have 20% downpayment help from family.
    And, I have a fear that housing prices will eventually start to rise again. (maybe not for a year, but what if).
    Are we fools not to take the opportunity?

    And we could move closer to DHs commute. He now pays around $1,400 a month for his commute alone (and thats with no car payments - just tolls, gas, insurance for 1 car)

    On the other hand, property taxes alone on a 3 bedroom house are over 8K a year.

    And I like that house. Yet everything in my original post still applies.

  3. monkeymama Says:

    I am a big proponent of owning a home. BUT reading your post I certainly wouldn't bother. Ride the wave down and start thinking about it when the tide turns. There is lots of talk of this lasting through 2009, 2010, 2012. From my perspective seems very real. Just because most people are not going to default on their ARMs until 2011 doesn't mean everyone is suddenly going to start living within their means and turn things around in the meantime. I think the market has a long way to go to settle down. (For one in the Bay Area, similar in pricing to NY, prices haven't even started to falter but I hardly know anyone in my peer group who hasn't bought a home WAY over their heads. The piper will be have to be paid at some point. I gather NY City is very similar. Though it will always be an expensive place it completely defies logic at this point; more than usual. Save up lots of cash in the meantime because the only thing supporting sucvh high prices now is low interest rates.).

    I wouldn't buy a house if I had to count every dollar for many decades. That just sucks. We bought because it was cheaper than renting and it made life easier. I don't get the draw if it is such a struggle. Mostly not worth it.

  4. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Tough decision. And what is your mate leaning toward? Continuing to rent or buying?

    Are you sure you'd need to get a house that would tie you down so much? Maybe even smaller than you are thinking would be easier to afford and still hang on to some of your present lifestyle---a lifestyle which sounds very appealing, I must say. Maybe you don't need 3 bedrooms for example. You said tiny is okay, and even if you have kids a 2 bedroom might do. Especially if you find a house with a livable attic or basement. In some areas it is not legal to describe any of the rooms as bedrooms if they are in attic or basement, yet some houses have very nice attic or basement rooms.

  5. fern Says:

    If the house of your dreams means no more this, no more that, then the pricetag is too high. Find a more moderately priced house that won't necessarily mean you have to give up things you like. It often means scaling back somewhat, but such drastic measures as you described should not be necessary.

    This is a great time to buy as pricees are depressed. But as MM said, this downturn is likely to last at least another year or two, so don't feel like you have to rush out and make a decision. Keep saving for the house; the bigger downpayment you put on it, the lower your monthly mortgage payments will be and the lower your overall, month to month living expenses. I saved for years and put down 45%. I am so glad i did it that way becus my income has sometimes been up, sometimes been down, and i've been able to weather temporarily tight job markets becus my monthly expenses are lower than they otherwise would have been if i just put 10% down.

    Sometimes big changes like moving from being a renter to an owner, from apartment to house, is a big step. It's a little scary and anxiety-producing, but that's how it is with many things in life. Going thru life in general, you don't want to be so paralyzed by fear and worry that you never take any risks at all. Sometimes you have to go out on a limb and go for it. Not to say you shouldn't plan as well as possible for taking this step.

  6. scfr Says:

    I can't give you an answer, only you can find the answer for yourself. But I just have to say: Great questions! Good for you for asking yourself these questions now, before buying! It sounds like you will be able to move on with no regrets, whichever way you decide to go.

  7. baselle Says:

    Save like crazy, don't buy a house right now, don't catch a falling knife. Its not just the price of the house you have to think about - there's taxes, insurance, furniture, upkeep and maintenance. But I'd see if you can rent a place with a washing machine. Smile

  8. jj Says:

    I am in a similar situation, waiting out housing prices in an inflated market, and I'm someone who loves to travel abroad. I also worry about the trade-offs. Even if you don't buy a house that's too expensive, there will be trade-offs because maintanence, property tax, insurance eat up the money you could have spent on fun things. Most homeowners I know definitely limit travel and have to be more frugal. But I can't imagine not being able to travel for many, many years.

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