My fiance and I have been joking around about this (well, mostly me) recently. When you talk about your wedding with your friends and family, there seems to be three questions that always enter the conversation. Where is your honeymoon? When are you having a baby? And when are you going to buy a house? I love the questions and have a great time talking about them. I just think it is funny how they always seem to come up! I’m sure most of you out there that have gotten married know exactly what I am talking about. The first two are easy answers, and unlike DivHut, you won’t be reading about a Baby Diplomat dividend growth investing fund anytime soon. The purpose of this article is to focus on point number three, when are we going to buy a house? I spoiled the suspense with the title of the article, so let’s take a look into why we are in no hurry to purchase a house after our wedding.
Reason #1: The Mortgage – Ah, the mortgage. That long-term debt takes forever to payoff. You know, the one that is such a burden that Lanny is constantly trying to find the perfect balance of using extra cash to pay down his mortgage or invest. Right now, we get a great deal on our rent. We aren’t looking to purchase a starter home and then upgrade down the road and Ideally would like to move once and raise our family in this home. What this means is that our first home won’t be the cheapest and our mortgage will be larger as a result. Our price range will result in a mortgage payment of ~$1,000 without factoring taxes into the equation. Property tax rates in our county are out of control (ask Lanny), which could result in an addition $4,000-$6,000 annually depending on which suburb we select. Yeah, no thanks, I’m not in a hurry to incur those costs.
Reason #2: Increase Monthly Expenditures – The bills don’t stop at mortgage and taxes. What about homeowners insurance? On average, homeowners insurance is over $650 annually in Ohio. What about the cost heating/cooling an entire house versus the second floor of a duplex? I know one place that will benefit from this… FirstEnergy! Oh yeah, did I mention that we will have to start paying our own water bill? Fortunately for me, the water bills keep climbing higher and higher in our county! My head is starting to hurt just thinking about these extra costs on top of the mortgage and tax bill. Oy!
Reason #3: The Upfront, Start-up Cost – You can’t just buy a house and leave all the rooms empty that you can’t fill? What is the fun of that. You want to buy a house and furnish it so you can enjoy every inch of the place. However, if you don’t already own a house or have a parent/friend that is looking to downsize their property, chances are you are going to have to purchase a lot of furniture to furnish the place. There are many ways to do it frugally and trust me, we are going to exhaust those options. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a cost and it does not sting your wallet. I can assume that I won’t be purchasing a stock for at least 30 days when we first move in, and it won’t be for the reasons that Lanny mentioned in his article unfortunately.
Reason #4: The Unknown Repairs – Alright everyone, I have a question for you. Let’s see if you can guess the answer to it. One of the two of us are handy and the other is not. Can you guess which one it is? Bueller? Well, if you guessed me, then I would not recommend buying a lottery ticket because you couldn’t be more wrong. Lanny is much handier than I am (exhibited by some of his car repairs over the years). Obviously I can learn and I know that people would gladly teach me when the time comes. But if I am not able to easily repair many items in my house or friends/family are unavailable to bail me out, the what? The cost to repair can become very expensive. I’m not naive enough to believe that each house is perfect and the house inspector identified every single flaw in the house during the pre-purchase inspection. Unless you build new, every house has a few hidden/unknown repairs just waiting to pop its ugly head up at the worst possible time. At this time in my life, I don’t really have an interest in dealing with those moments or hiring somebody to take care of them.
Reason #5: We Want TIme to Relax and Enjoy Life – I know the title of this point sounds ridiculous, but our life has been busy as heck over the last few years and it is flying by. If you haven’t caught on over the last few months, Lanny and I have been busy as all heck with work since it is our busy season. Plus, for me, over the last year, I have changed jobs twice (For more information on this, see my articles about each chapter here and here) and lived through many busy seasons before that. My fiance has been a machine ever since we were engaged. She is working (was full-time and then switched to part-time), is a full-time student, and is planning a wedding. I really can’t complain when I see what she is going through. The point of this is not to complain or ask for sympathy. It is just that we haven’t had too much time to sit back, relax, and enjoy life as a young couple that was dating, engaged, and then married. Purchasing a house is a lot of responsibility and it will consume a lot of our time and resources. Before we settle down and begin our family, we want to take some time to soak it all in and enjoy life as a young married couple. I know it may sounds ridiculous, but if we don’t take the time now to enjoy ourselves we know we will regret it one day. It is not that buying a home will prevent this, but it sure as heck will get in the way of it.
I’m sure I could have come up with 50 reasons why I don’t want to buy a house right now. There are many pros and cons to owning a house. You build equity while getting to build a special place for you and your family. Just take a moment to think about how many memories were made at your home? The birthday parties, family dinners, etc. We can’t wait for that chapter in our life, but we are not in a rush to get there. Financially, it just doesn’t make sense for us to rush to become homeowners and we will take our time to find the perfect place, at the perfect time, and most importantly, at the perfect price.
What are your thoughts on the list? Do you have any advice for us? Can you think of any other important reasons why we shouldn’t rush to buy a house? Or do you think we are misguided on this list? Do you disagree with any of the items on my listing? Please everyone, share your home buying experience with us.