We Will Buy Our First Place…Soon

By Carlos Portocarrero

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Maybe I’m jinxing it, but right now M and I are both on the same page that—relatively soon—we’ll be buying our first place. After all the ordeals and drama, we’re in a place where we feel confident we can find something affordable that we like in a neighborhood we’ll be happy in.

We feel we’re ready and we also feel like it’s the perfect time to buy:

  • We Can Afford To: We’ve been saving and preparing for this for a long time, and now it’s time for all that saving to pay off. The down payment is probably the most difficult element of this process to get, and we’ve got it.
  • Build Equity: Since we moved in together we’ve payed over $43,000 in rent—that’s money we’ll never see again. We are ready to build some equity with our monthly housing payment.
  • Tax Credit: It may not be that much in the grand scheme of things, but an extra $8,000 can always come in handy.
  • Prices are Down: Check out this nifty graphic from the New York Times—prices have fallen across the country, even in Chicago. We’ve seen this anecdotally as we hunt and search for places—most people are cutting their prices, some by tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Our Credit: Have I mentioned my credit score yet? It’s 807. Yeah, I know—this means M and I will get as favorable rate as possible (hers is just under 800).
  • Rates are Low: We have been pre-approved for a rate that’s almost sub-5%. That’s awesome (as well as very low historically).
  • Cushion: We will have enough money left over to maintain a comfortable cushion in case something bad happens. So even if we stretch our budget a little, our emergency fund will still be there, giving us that sweet peace of mind that is priceless.

We’re excited that we’ll have more room to have people stay when they visit us and to be homeowners! I know that owning is filled pains and hassles, but we feel those will be worth it…right?

Right guys?

4 Responses to “We Will Buy Our First Place…Soon”

  • Jackie Says:

    I think it’s worth it :)
    I don’t think there are really that many more hassles to owning vs. renting, although there definitely are a lot more expenses when it comes to owning vs. renting. And they always seem to come right on the heels of each other too.

    But my favorite parts of owning are no HOA/management people, and the ability to decorate however I like.

  • Nut Says:

    Thanks for the encouraging words Jackie! It’s always nice to NOT be confronted with the all-too-typical “Owning sucks because ___!”

    This helps!

  • Kevin M Says:

    Congrats, it’s a big step but it sounds like you’ve thought it through more than most people do. The low rates (we got just over 5 back in July) and the credit are certainly hard to pass up.

    One thing I would have done differently is not bought a “starter home” and traded up after having children. The transaction costs to buy and sell are so high and there’s always things you’ll want to change that cost more than you expect, it probably would have been easier and just as smart financially to keep renting.

  • Nut Says:

    Kevin, that’s a good tip. Not sure how that’ll factor in for us, but it’s good to know that it isn’t as simple as “we’ll move in five years.” I hate moving, and the added cost only add to that.

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