I know I’ve been talking about coming up with a job plan, and I have sadly no updates on that, but I have come up with a house plan!
A few weeks ago while I was working from home because of my leaky roof, I found my dream house on craigslist. Let me tell you about its glory!
It had 4 bedrooms, one of which was a huge finished attic. (So much room for activities!) It had new hardwood floors, a dishwasher, a double sink (this is very important to Elissa, but I’m indifferent to the number of sinks because THERE’S A DISHWASHER, WHO NEEDS A SINK EVER AGAIN?), a first-floor half bath, a new furnace, a nice patio, 3 parking spots. Let me tell you, this house was A+ and I spent a good 2 hrs walking around my own house trying to inventory all the things I would need to do to (in my non-real-estate-educated head) sell it in a hurry. I was going all HGTV in my head and theorizing the best way to stage my house. This was it. I was going to sell the house and move to…the other side of my own neighborhood, and there was no way I’d ever be convinced otherwise.
Of course, Elissa was at work during all of this and was completely unaware that I had found the home where we will grow old together.
Also, I wasn’t really looking for a house, because E’s in grad school and I’m looking for a new job, and everything’s just a little too unclear right now to go around getting a new mortgage. Additionally, because of the (totally reasonable, in my head) price of this house, I would need both of us to be on the mortgage, which is probably a grand idea for our next house (I have all kinds of opinions on this subject!), but we should probably at least be engaged-to-be-gay-married before then. Why buy the cow, put a ring on it, etc.
Oh, also, we don’t have tons of savings right now for inspections, closing costs, etc. When E came home and joined me in basking in Our Forever House’s splendor, she reminded me that approximately 60% of the houses in our neighborhood/this city were built the exact same way, and there will probably be one available to us when we are ready, but we just aren’t yet. She was right, and I’ve spent the past 2 weeks making peace with the idea that someone else is going to live in Our Forever House instead of us. I’ll probably still drive by it now and then on my way to Aldi, though, because you don’t need a new mortgage to be a stalker.
So my new plan is this:
- Refinance! Another portion of my work-from-home day was spent making phone calls that it is awkward to make while cubicle-bound, and one of these calls was to the mortgage broker who helped me get my first mortgage. People have been saying ‘you should re-finance!’ to me forever, but I’ve pretty much ignored all of them, because it sounded complicated, like I would somehow be personally involved in doing large amounts of math. Also, I knew that I’d have to talk to people on the phone, and that I’d have to fill out paperwork, and both of these things are pretty unappealing to me. Anyway, the guy explained that as long as I stayed in the house for 3 more years, refinancing would be worth it, and I’d be able to pay down my loan faster. If I was going to sell in less than 3 years, though, it wouldn’t be worth the cost to re-finance. In three years, I’ll be 31 (how did this happen to me?), and E will be done with school, and we will hopefully be able to make large financial decisions. Moreover, I will have paid down my house more, so I can potentially (gasp!) profit from its sale, which would be a totally cool and unexpected side effect, since I never really planned to stay there that long.
- Fix up my house. About a year ago, I went through a fit where I wanted desperately to buy a new car, but I didn’t actually need one. My car is six years old, but it barely has 60,000 miles on it, so it certainly has a lot of life left in it. Also, since it’s paid off, it’s kind of awesome to not have a car payment. The solution was for me to clean all the junk out of my car and vacuum it, and it made me feel so much better. Obviously cleaning and vacuuming my house will help me, but a few coats of paint and spackle here and there, and craigslisting some stuff that has just been sitting around will probably make a world of difference. This will also make it easier for me to sell when the time comes, and will help the next 3 years seem more bearable.
- Save money and pay off debt! With E working full-time now, we will suddenly have more money, and while making more money can lead to spending more money, I want to try my hardest for this to not happen. When we do want to buy a house, I want our financial path to be clear of weird old looming bills or unexpected expenses.
- Live happily ever after, etc.