(Closed) Saving and looking at the same time?

posted 7 years ago in Home
Post # 3
Member
3762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Well first of all I think you have to have a 680 credit score and 3.5% down to qualify for an FHA loan these days.  Maybe you can make 3.5% your goal? 

Those calculators are good, but you really need to know what you are even remotely going to be qualified for.  Its hard because the standards are changing ALL the time. 

Also, it would be best if you guys figured out how much in your budget you can afford to spend on housing.  Remember there are repairs, insurance, larger electric bills, etc.  You may actually qualify for more than this, but if you are already trying to pay off debt, you don’t want to go into more house than you can afford.

My husband and I started looking at houses in February (and were not ready) and my lease ended in July.  We ended up moving in with his parents for a bit (6 months) and bought our house in August. 

Its safe to look at houses before you are ready but you want to make sure you know what you can/can’t afford.  Kind of like dress buying, no sense in trying on a dress you can’t afford.  You will probably fall in love with it and then have to give it up. 

Post # 4
Member
2373 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

I agree with the others and say only look for a house that you can afford.  And if you can’t afford it, don’t be afraid to wait.  There will always be a house out there.  This past spring my DH and I found a house we LOVED and were so close to making an offer, but decided the timing wasn’t right for us.  We still wanted to have more money on hand for closing costs, more of a emergency fund set up, etc.  And you know what, we’ve found a house that we love even more…now…hopefully it doesn’t sell in the next few months. lol 

Also keep in mind that as you clean up your credit and get a better credit score (and your FI builds his) that you will get a better interest rate and therefore might be able to afford more house.

I think the bottom line is, even though you are ready to be a home owner, you might not necessarily be financially ready.  And there’s no sense in buying a house when you can’t afford it.  Unlike a lease, as a homeowner, you are on the hook for all the repairs, maintence costs, etc.  And it would be horrible to get into a house only to lose it because you got in over your head too fast.

My advice is to keep on looking….only if you can have the self control to not buy until you are financially ready.

Post # 5
Member
2030 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I don’t mean to dash your hopes, but if it is difficult for your to save $1,000, then home-ownership may be out of your reach right now. Many common home repairs and maintenance cost $1,000 or more (like replacing a broken refrigerator, repairing a damaged roof, etc). If one of these things went wrong you would need to have enough money to pay for it right away (you can’t live with a leaking roof or no refrigerator for very long). It’s ok to rent, and you can move to a different apartment that suits your needs better. We’ve been renting for 5 years so that we can live well below our means.

Post # 7
Member
5496 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2010

I agree with snmcdowell. The amount you spend in house repairs can be HUGE. A new HVAC for us will be $5,000 (and it could go anyday in our townhouse)!!! Appliances, roof, etc…all of these are super expensive!

I don’t quite get what you mean about your husband not wanting to develop credit? Did somebody advise him about this? I’m sorry, just never heard of this. I think it’s wise (if you are both going to buy a house and want to be on the mortgage and have a good interest rate) that you both need to have good credit scores. A good way to start for him would be to use a credit card and pay it off monthly. I don’t know too much about mortgages and credit, but I don’t think not having any credit or having poor credit will help obtain a decent or good mortgage. But I could be wrong…I don’t know too much. 🙂

Could you get a part-time job to help save? I’m thinking of doing that..working 2 nights a week waitressing to save up some extra cash. (We plan to sell our townhouse and buy a single family home next year and need to save an additional $15000). Would you be open to something like that?

Lastly, having a baby without a house is not irresponsible. Just know that once you do have the baby, it could be harder to save for a house. But I definately wouldn’t call it irresponsible. Many people I know got married and had a baby before buying a house! 🙂

Post # 8
Member
1363 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I know it’s been a couple of rough months, but those happen once you own a house too.  I would work on saving as much as you can now, but put off looking for a house for a bit.  I’ve read several articles that point to medical expenses as a large reason people end up loosing their home.  

It’s far more responsible to bite off something you can chew–like a baby in a two bedroom apartment–than a house that you can’t afford to repair if anything goes wrong.

Post # 9
Member
3762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Have you guys looked into the Dave Ramsey money/budget tool?  Its a great program to help get out of debt but still takes into account all the “what ifs” life can bring. 

Post # 10
Member
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

“But then I think about those people who bought homes with $0 down and make less than DH and I do. How the heck did they do it???”

That’s part of the reason for the housing crises we’ve been weathering in the US. The day’s of NINJA loans (No income, No Job/assets) are pretty much over because of it.

The best for now would be to save save save. Work on your credit (I can sympathize, my credit took a hit this year due to a medical bill they didn’t notify me of) and FI’s perfect credit saved us. Get your FI to establish credit, and save save save. It may take a while, but keep you eye on the prize! Who knows, maybe in the next year or two you’ll find higher paying jobs/get promotions/etc…  

Post # 12
Member
3126 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

I think you’ll end up with more regrets rushing into home ownership than continuing to rent and save up money.  So many things can come up unexpectedly with home ownership that might put a lot of unnecessary stress on you, especially in your first year of marriage. There is nothing wrong with waiting, if that is what makes most sense for your family. I know it’s hard, but it will happen someday. And you want to feel 100% great about your choice, when you do make it.

Post # 13
Member
296 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@Miss Snowflake: FI and I are pretty much in the same shape as you. I wish I could offer some additional helpful advie but I can’t. I just thought you’d take some comfort in the fact that other people out there are in your shoes as well for many of the same reasons (not being able to say no to family, health issues, etc) Just keep saving and someday you will get there. I know it’s tough and it takes a long time, but don’t give up!

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