Our latest financial obsession has definitely been saving for a home. We want our home to be a place where our family can grow. We want it to be a place where we can play outside. We want it to be a place where we have enough room for all of the people in our family. We want it to be a place where we hold family dinners with our extended family; a place where memories are born.
However, there are several things we don’t want our home to be. They’re what make this saving process so important, as impatient as we may be.
We Don’t Want Our House to be a Starter Home
We plan on only doing this once. We don’t want to buy and then upgrade in a few years. We want to find something that’s modest, but can actually accommodate our needs long-term. There are a litany of reasons for this. Emotionally topping the list is the fact that at one point in my life, I moved five times in one year. Moving is such a drain, and I can’t even imagine the stress of it now that we have kids.
But there are financial reasons, too. We don’t want to buy a home, hope that it’ll sell for a profit, and then have to shell out ludicrous amounts of money in realtor fees in the process. We also don’t want to live somewhere for so short of a time that all of the money we’ve spent in the first few years “paying off our mortgage” has actually just gone to interest without building any equity.
We Don’t Want Our House to Be a Financial Burden
While we want to buy enough house, we don’t want to buy so much that it becomes a financial burden. Finding the right lender will be key when we’re shopping around for the best interest rates. Finding a good home inspector will be of the utmost importance so that we don’t hit too many costly and necessary home repairs right after we move in.
But another important factor in not buying too much house will be the utilities. Even if we have a super low mortgage payment, it will be all for naught if we’re spending a crazy amount of money just to heat our home. Buying too much land that needs to be manicured would be costly, too, even if we do want a place for our kids to play outside.
We Don’t Want Our House to Be an Investment
I understand why people get into realty. It can be a great investment if you manage everything properly. But when we’re buying a house that we’re going to be living in, I don’t want to look at it as an investment. To me, and investment is something I have the capability to sell off in return for financial gain. The plan for us is to buy a house, pay down the mortgage (either quickly or over the course of the loan; we’ll have to see what our other financial priorities are at that point,) and then live the rest of our lives only paying property taxes.
If we viewed our home as an investment, it means there would be a potential to sell it for money somewhere down the line. If we sold, we’d either have to garner enough of a profit to buy another house outright, take out a new mortgage on a new place, or go back to renting. The second two would cost us money monthly, which would kind of be defeating our goal. The first one I view as unlikely to happen. I may be very wrong. As we all have learned, housing markets can change in the blink of an eye, nonetheless over the lifetime we plan on living in this house that we’re saving for.
How do you feel about your house? Did you have a starter home or consider your house an investment?