My New Home Purchase, Update…
Hello Friends and welcome to the blog today.
Today I’m going to talk about the elephant in the room. My new home purchase and what’s happening.
As some of you may remember, I had this plan to purchase a home last year. I went into this blindly because interest rates were low because of COVID. Some imbalance in my brain told me that I was “Super-Woman”, and I could do it all, within a short period of time.
How quickly can dreams turn into reality? In a matter of months to be exact.
Initially, (at beginning of 2020) my plan was to move into a new rental (my current residence). Live here for two years and save for my forever home. It seemed like a good plan, and I would be in the same building but up three floors to a bigger space.
However, after a few months in, everything wasn’t what it seemed. Living in an older building that’s trying to put a bandaid on a bullet wound, was the first of many things. But this wasn’t new.
I’ve lived in the same building for 10 years and I knew the issues, but somehow I thought this condo would be different. What was I thinking? It was like out of the frying pan and into the fire.
I should be fair and not blame all the maintenance issues on the building but I do.
Fast-Tracking a Home Purchase
So this where I thought I was a superhero, but alas I was just a regular human, moving at a regular speed.
I thought I could fast-track my home buying because there are so many programs for first-time home buyers, and I qualified for each and every one.
Here is What They Don’t Tell You
There are several great programs for first-time homebuyers within a specific income range. I qualified for the down payment assistance program that gives you up to 3.5% towards the downpayment of a home. This was awesome news, however, there’s a but coming.
The standard downpayment is about 20%. However, now you can put down as little as 7%.
When you’re down less you will have a higher mortgage payment, and you will also have to add PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) in addition to your standard homeowner’s insurance. There is also a separate fee to pay back into the program to assist other homeowners.
What is a PMI?
Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI is a type of mortgage insurance you might be required to pay for if you have a conventional loan. PMI is usually required when you have a conventional loan and make a down payment of less than 20 percent of the home’s purchase price.
Now I don’t want to confuse folks because the down payment assistance is a grant and you never have to pay it back. But also remember there’s no such thing as free money. The extra money that you pay towards the program goes into a homeowners assistance fund. (So to speak)
Since I was preapproved for a loan I received a cost breakdown sheet that explained some of these expenses.
What I Didn’t Take Into Account
Ok, so I understood what I needed for the downpayment, the fees, the insurance, the whole gambit. What I didn’t take into account are housing prices, competitive offers, fickle mortgage lenders, and pushy real estate agents.
We all have to compete at some point, and I’m not saying that sellers are greedy, but they are into it to sell their home at the highest prices possible.
I can’t compete with someone outbidding me and putting down $50k on a home, but I didn’t let that discourage me.
I got discourged because there is more to a house than coming up with a downpayment.
There’s extra money for inspections that aren’t included and added contingencies for emergencies. But I couldn’t see the forest for the trees and all I could think about was being able to entertain (eventually), having a decent storage space, and decorating for the holidays.
So Much Stress and Anxiety
This game of ring-around-rosey was giving me anxiety and stress beyond belief. Oh yeah, and let’s add COVID to this gumbo. Last Summer I was the most unhappy than I had been in a long time.
I became depressed, because all I was doing was looking at houses, not seeing anything in my price range, and facing the cold hard truth that this dream wasn’t going to happen.
At this point, I had read so much information that I was on overload. I understand that a house is not just about decoring, and painting it the color that you like. It requires money, responsibility, and a bit of sweat.
Just because I’m ready now doesn’t mean that I won’t be in a few more years.
What Do I Do
At the end of 2020, my daughter (the wise soul) and I worked on a new plan. With the new year we would look for a new place to rent, and break from this building altogether.
I think spaces hold sadness. So much as happened over the period of last year that’s it’s time to make a clean break.
A break from the noise, from the nightly cigarettes, wafting through my space, the weed in the elevator, the shared laundry and the beating drum of shut off water, and constant maintenance.
New Plan of Attack
So now I’m in the process of looking for a townhome or duplex, close to the city. We are spoiled in this “deluxe” apartment in the sky. But I would take a smaller, older duplex that I can make nice over this any day.
The Other Stuff
I have weighed the pros and cons of moving, and THIS is necessary for my happiness and well being. The cost is more and yes I will be spending more on utilities, and the move in general, but I look at it this way.
At some point, you have to let go of your ideas about money and think about your happiness.
My happiness is worth way more than money, and I can sleep at night knowing that I made the right decision.
The Verdict…Am I Buying a House?
I do plan on buying a home, but first I need to find a place to decompress for the next few years. Continue to pay off my debt, and save money in a stress-free environment.
Then I can circle back to the possibility of homeownership with more knowledge, and more awareness of how the process works.
Thanks so much for visiting the blog today. Don’t forget to subscribe, like, and follow the blog. — Peace —