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Personal Finances / Buying or Selling a Home

URL:  http://boards.fool.com/peoples-lives-would-be-so-much-easier-if-they-13815162.aspx

Subject:  Re: How did you do it? Date:  12/1/2000  3:36 AM
Author:  AliFool Number:  15461 of 128580

People's lives would be so much easier if they could only look beyond what is only staring them in the face. Your net worth is negative $40k, b/c you decided opted for the "ring, honeymoon, some wedding costs". But in the back of your mind, you knew you wanted a house for YEARS, probably since you were 8 years old. "Cross that bridge when we get to it"

I think this is especially interesting for you to say, because our net worth isn't negative. You didn't ask me if we have retirement savings, and I've already mentioned how well I've done with that. : )

Although I have always known that I'd want a house "some day," I wasn't always in the position I am now -- to begin to consider it. In the past I chose graduate school, a backpacking trip to Europe (albeit on a shoestring!), and more recently a ring and a honeymoon. I also chose to live my life debt-free, save for my master's and my car, both only acquired in the last few years. In addition I chose to put away a hell-of-a-lot of money considering what my income has been.

People make choices all their lives, yet don't even know it. You chose the "ring, our honeymoon, some wedding costs" instead of clearing debt and having a downpayment.

I've made it pretty obvious in my last few messages that we HAVE made our joint choices with our eyes open. I am a VERY deliberate person. But *I* didn't choose for my husband to have not known a whit about finances before, to the tune of $30K cc debt! However... I HAVE chosen to bring him back from that by living fairly frugally (and he has done GREAT, too!).

The wedding was an exception, as were most related things, but these are life choices, milestones, memories, etc. -- this is our opinion if not yours, and worth every penny. Incidentally, I got my wedding gown for 75% off and got married on a Sunday (cheaper)... weren't THOSE choices? Can't we choose to have a wedding and possibly LESS of a house than we otherwise might have? How do you know that wasn't a conscious choice?

Reality: You don't start to train for a marathon the night before. You are YEARS away from a house. Homeownership goes so far beyond scraping together a downpayment.

Absolutely, it does, but we already know that we could have a house by the end of the week if we tried. The point is, we don't want to yet -- not HERE, and not NOW. We are just warming up. We want to do it the "smart" way, and we are testing the waters as far as strategy goes. This is the next big thing to think about, so why not think about it now, knowing it's 1-4 years away, (and possibly longer if our priorities change)?

PS: I do applaud that you at least have the decency to not grub from your aging parents, like many shameless couples, who are simply pretending to be adults subsidized by their parents.

Oh, give me a break! (And I never said that I didn't!) : ) They helped with the wedding after all, and gave us a gift. But no, we don't take advantage. And yes, I paid for the master's, which is why I'm paying it back now.

One question: What is your total income and current rent ?

If I had felt comfortable disclosing it I could've done so by now. I will refrain from answering, in large part due to the hostility I sense. If you were trying to figure out our percentage debt load, suffice it to say that due to our persistence, it's "not so bad." Not nearly as bad as it was or could be, and a HUGE chunk of that will be gone in a matter of months.

Bottom line: Prioritize. How much of your life do you want to sign away to a bank for the big loan? How important are dinners out vs delaying getting a house? There is no "right" formula. Everyone is different.,

The occasional dinner out is MUCH more important to us than saving every last $10-$20 for our future home. The point is, you can't put off EVERYTHING 'til tomorrow. I've gone too much to that extreme... until the wedding came along. We did spend a lot in the past year, effectively pushing back any future home purchase, I guess... but that wedding and all that went with it was important to us... and you can't buy memories.

Obviously my choices aren't yours. Obviously you think we're ridiculous, and that's fine. But there is nothing wrong with me checking with the other people on this board about how to best reduce current retirement savings in order to start our down payment while finishing paying off the debt. I also don't think wanting a 3-br home in a decent neighborhood is shamelessly materialistic, and we DO think it's important to have a home in which to raise our future kids. We each grew up in houses, and were in the same one (each) for most of our childhoods.

So... thanks for your devil's advocate viewpoint of our questions, choices, etc. It serves to reinforce the position that we've made GREAT choices. For example, if you're going to be $40K in debt (thus reducing the chance for buying a home), it might as well be for a master's, professional degree, and Ph.D., as well as an economy car. : ) (Did I mention that the ring, wedding, and honeymoon are all paid off, and not part of that $40K?! : ))

Good luck figuring YOUR stuff out. Let us know what you come up with.

--AF
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