Is This The Perfect Time to Buy?
M and I want to buy our first place. Why? We want to build equity some equity, we want to take that “next” step, and we want that feeling of ownership that you can’t get anywhere else.
It’s been very stressful going out to see different places because we’re starting to see that what we want and what we can afford aren’t jiving as well as we’d like. Which makes us think that maybe it’s not our time yet. Or that we should wait. Or that we should compromise some things. Or that we’re going crazy talking about it and should rent for the rest of our lives.
But right now there are three really good reasons to take the plunge:
- Prices are down: Not too much, but a lot of nice stuff that we couldn’t afford last year is starting to get down to our price level. In a year we may not be able to afford them, which means the time to act is now.
- Rates are low: Not as low as they were a few months ago (sub 5%), but still historically low. This is a pretty big deal.
- The Obama first-time homebuyer’s credit: We’d get an $8,000 tax credit as first-time buyers if we buy before December 1. Is that enough of a reason to go out and buy a home? No, but it sure makes it tempting…
But we also have some reasons not to buy:
- We don’t have 20% to put down: Putting 20% down is the responsible thing to do, but what we’re looking at now has us closer to 13%. Also, putting down less means your rate isn’t as good and you can get dinged with other fees.
- We like our big pile of cash: It feels really nice to have a big pile of cash sitting in the bank making us some interest. We aren’t stressed out about what could happen because we know we have the money to get through any kind of rough patch.
- We’ll feel pinched: This is the problem with being frugal—we already feel tight. Throw in a mortgage payment and the liability that comes with owning all the appliances and things can get real dicey real quick. Broken A/C unit? That’ll cost you. A lot. A kid at some point? It’ll cost us.
What do all the current homeowners out there have to say? I need some words of encouragement to help us through this whole process.
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