Brandon, Brooklyn and I live in an apartment, as my persistent readers already know. There's a big field to play in right outside our door, it's a gated community, all the neighbors are friendly (now that the murderous drug dealers are gone). We like it- it suits us just fine. For now.
Eventually we would like to have another child. And where would that child go if we were still living in this apartment when he/she would be born? I dunno- you tell me. Seriously. Come over and find me a space to even put up a port-a-crib, because I'm not seeing it.
This is not something that is on the horizon for us or anything, but we are planners, and looking into the future I saw a very tight fit in this little place we've got. And with hardly any 3 bedroom apartments out there that don't cost an arm and two legs, we realized it was time to begin thinking of a house.
This terrifies me, to be frank. Renting is all I have ever known. We do own both our cars, but have no car payments. Never have paid a car payment- always paid in full to begin. There's just something about buying a house that is the scariest thing imaginable.
I know the rules- you're supposed to put 20% down as a down payment, buy when interest rates are low and try to persuade the realtors to pay the closing costs for you. Buy in an area with good schools, low taxes and little to no homeowner's association fees. Yeah, yeah, I know all that, but I'm still horrified. And yet I don't want to rent a house. I want something to be my own. I want to be able to paint my walls without having to paint them back when I move out. I want to be able to do what I want to a place and not worry about what the new owners will think (the kitchen cabinet example comes to mind... some of you know what I'm talking about, and I don't care what the apartment complex says- our design is much more functional and we're not changing it).
Anyway, like FDR said in his inaugural address, there is nothing to fear but fear itself. So I have begun the basis of some research and searching for affordable houses in the area. This is a challenge because A)We live off one teacher's salary and B)We don't want to live in the hood. Cheap but safe is hard to come by.
There is a new neighborhood being built off Hwy 36 in Rosenberg just minutes away from where we live now. Brand new houses, from the 100,000's. Say whaaaaat? Something we can afford AND it's brand new? I'm not completely jumping for joy yet because the idea of home ownership is still somewhat ominous to me, but so far so good, right?
Who knows if that's where we'll eventually live. But it is an example; a shining light at the end of the "You-Can't-Afford-It" tunnel. So I am shrugging off my fears and setting a goal: by Christmas next year we want to be living in a house. Will it happen? Don't know. But we're getting stricter on our budget to see what we can do. Brandon asked me if I wanted ice cream the other night.
"No, I want a house".
I said I was craving tacos, so he asks me if I want Taco Bell.
"Yes. But I want a house more, so no."
With a little more saving and a little less spending, we may be able to reach our goal. Instead of telling myself, "You should get a passion tea lemonade from Starbucks today!" I'll be telling myself, "Just keep driving. You want a house".
So that's it. I want a house. I want it so bad I have a floor plan of an affordable one-story as my laptop background. I want a house. And I plan to get one for Christmas 2012. Any advice and words of wisdom are welcome.