Everyone’s saying it: “Now is the time to buy!” It seems every financial show, blog, or article I encounter is telling me why Johnny and I should purchase a home in 2013. Word on the street is that housing prices aren’t going to fall any lower, so buy, buy, buy!
Johnny and I would like to be homeowners. Eventually. We look forward to the day when we buy our own home. I imagine it like a cheesy episode of House Hunters where we have our checklist of musts and find every last “walk-in closet” and “his and her sink” requirement on the list. We’ve talked it over and contemplated it over the past few months. But despite the green lights from all the financial experts out there, we’ve still got our foot on the home buying brakes.
And here’s why:
Significant Down Payment
Johnny and I would like to put down as much as possible on a home before we buy. Our minimum would be 20% to avoid having to get any private mortgage insurance. But we would hope to put down a higher percentage than that. And in our loftiest of dreams, we’d like to put down close to six figures. We want to be stone cold serious about our home purchase, and having more skin in the game seems like the way to do it.
Before we buy, Johnny and I want to make sure we’ll be there awhile. We buy into the philosophy of the “five year rule.” All it means is that only after five years does one actually start making serious progress on the principal instead of just throwing money at the interest. And while flipping homes was all the rage in the early and mid-2000’s, that’s not our style. So if and when we buy, we hope to buy a home that outlasts Johnny’s old, holey shoes that he refuses to throw away until they’re 5-10 years old.
Johnny works in a career field that can be kind of transient. There’s not much of a corporate ladder in creative advertising, so moving up usually means moving on to a new company. So while he can stay at one company as long as he’d like, it might mean not moving up as quickly as he’d like. That said, buying a house right now would mean we’d want him to stay with his current company for at least five years, which is totally within the realm of possibilities. But by us not owning a home, he’s completely open to explore his career options without the chains of a home and mortgage.
While we’re super excited for the day we have a property to call our own, we really enjoy the perks of renting right now. For instance, our over the range microwave broke a couple months ago. Two days after I wrote an email to our landlord, a new microwave was installed in our kitchen. Pretty much anything that goes wrong in our rental gets paid for by our landlord. For now we enjoy not having to budget for maintenance costs. And that noisy neighbor I mentioned a few weeks ago in this post? Our landlord is taking care of that issue as well.
So 2013 may be the year for a lot of people to make the leap into first-time home ownership, but for now we’ll still just be reading the instruction manual for our new baby and sitting this year out on the rental bench.
Is home buying in the cards for your 2013? Are you holding off like us? Or if you purchased in the last few years, what helped you make the leap? We’re all ears!
(Original photo by dno1967b)