Last Friday night, Johnny, Sally, and I ate at a barbecue place near our home. Sadly, it didn’t even begin to live up to my (and now Johnny’s) expectations of good barbecue. My Southern roots have spoiled us both. Afterward, we decided to take a drive around a new neighborhood development, “just for fun.” In driving, we stumbled across a different neighborhood — the neighborhood of our dreams. The lots were huge, the yards were private, and the views were incredible. It was love at first sight.
On Sunday evening, we decided to go look at the neighborhood again, “just for fun.” Our love grew deeper. So on Monday, once again “just for fun,” we decided to call and enquire about the empty lots. Sure, we’re not ready to buy a home yet, but maybe we could buy one of these perfect lots now and then build a home in a year or two. The real estate agent told us that the lots alone weren’t for sale — you had to build a house, too. She then offered to meet us over at the neighborhood to give us more information. What’s the harm in that? we told ourselves and agreed to meet the agent. Johnny and I met with the agent, going over the available lots and the different home plans we could choose from. We both knew the homes we were looking at were almost $100k more than what we intend to spend on our first home. But we found ourselves rationalizing this blaring fact.
Lots this size are hard to come by!
For the location and lot size, it would actually be a really good deal!
It’s more than we’d like to spend, but it would be our dream home!!
These lots aren’t going to be available long. If we don’t act now, we’ll never be able to live here!
A few hours after meeting with the real estate agent, our heads cleared a little bit. “Wait,” one of us said. “We aren’t even looking to buy a home! How are we even considering this?” “Yeah… but it would be everything we’ve ever wanted!” (might have been me… my memory’s fuzzy…)
Eventually, we both realized that while we could technically “afford” one of those homes, we wouldn’t feel comfortable spending that kind of money. We’d have a ginormous yard, but we’d also have a big mortgage and, frankly, a home mostly empty of furniture. And then we’d feel the need to buy a bunch of furniture to fill our much too large house. And we could very well find ourselves struggling to save anything each month. So we accepted our dream as just that — a dream.
“It kind of sucks knowing we’ve worked so hard for so long, and we still can’t afford a house.” I said, dejectedly. I am just a barrel of fun, folks 😉 Johnny is the voice of reason in these moments. “Jo, don’t you get it? We are ready to buy a house. We’re just not ready to buy those homes. There are plenty of homes in our price range, and maybe this is what we needed to get started looking for real.”
So after Monday night, I realized two things: we might not buy a house soon, but we might be ready to start looking for real now. And when we do start looking, we’ve gotta make sure we stick to our budgeting guns and get the house we can afford, not the house of our dreamiest of dreams. And who knows, maybe we’ll be able to find both.
Can you relate to our experience? Have you ever been tempted to overspend just because it’s your dream home/car/dress/shoes/dog/LEGO set? You catch my drift.