Post # 32
@underwoohoo: Buy a house. I don’t think you can’t do both. As long as you’re smart and don’t become house poor, I think buying a home is the smart thing to do. Once you’re settled in you can TTC. Babies are expensive, yes, but realistically you don’t have to buy *that* much stuff for them. It’s tempting to, but if you save up for the necessities, it will be a lot easier. They don’t need 50 different stuffed animals. They don’t need clothes from Baby Gap etc. I’m no baby expert, but off the top of my head you need a crib, a toy or two, a decent stroller, money for food and diapers, a few outfits and onesies (Wal-Mart will do), a playpen, a car seat, a highchair, some sort of changing table, a baby carrier, and a diaper bag. I am sure there are more things, but you need to focus on the needs vs. wants.
You can make it work. If you have any obvious bad spending habits you can cut, do so (i.e. smoking, coffee shops each day, lunches out, etc.). I think most people have to sacrifice some things for when baby arrives, but if you really really want a baby, it becomes worth it.
Post # 33
The big questions are: how big is your apartment? and how much house can you afford for the same price?
Because, IF you’re living in a studio apartment, you probably can’t have a baby and be comfortable but maybe for the same monthly cost, you can get your perfect 5 bedroom house. Or vice versa (you can only afford a 2 bedroom house, but live in a 4 bedroom apartment).
Also, take into consideration what utilities would cost you on a bigger place if you move. My friends didn’t think about that when they bought their (gorgous, drafty, huge, in need of remodeling) home and were shocked at the first heating bill (in the middle of winter – of course) after living in small apartment.
As far as student loans, look into consolidation and graduated plans. Especially if you’ve in a career where your income will be increasing over time. Also look into paying off a lump sum of the higher interest rate loans to bring down your monthly payments.
Post # 34
@Mrs.Camera: We actually have a pretty big 2 bedroom apartment and we could find a 2 bedroom house for about the same price. I think we are going to try to look for a house first, but not wait too long before TTC.
Yes student loans are terrible. Mine are all private. I have tried to consolidate, but no one will do it because I don’t have any ‘assets’ to put up against the amount.
Thanks for all of the advice ladies, it helps to hear other points of view from people who don’t know us
Post # 35
@underwoohoo: Ugh. I guess I should be happy that my student loans are owned by Uncle Sam. 2022 cannot come soon enough 🙂
Another thought: take some time to talk to a financial advisor. We just went in and it was really nice to hear what we were doing well (and not so well) to get where we want to be. Having a “pro” tell you stuff makes it seem more real.
Post # 36
I totally get where you’re coming from. My husband and I were working through the same type of question, and we ended up getting a mortgage that’s very slightly cheaper than our rent was (Granted, our rent was ridiculously high since we live in London). We now live in a large flat–normal for Londoners as houses are millions of pounds in our area–that gives us twice the space whilst also giving us the stability that a house purchase would have done. I think we probably even pay less in maintenance costs since the flat we now own is an ‘eco home’, meaning that electricity bills are really low.
Living in the city, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being in an apartment with kids as long as you’ve got enough room and are in an area with parks and green spaces. I am VERY glad we didn’t spend any more than we did–buying within our means means that we’ve got the disposable income to comfortably take regular holidays and have a baby! I’d say to be very realistic about your finances and see what you can do with what you’ve got. Buying doesn’t have to be a crushing financial burden.
Post # 37
Can you find a house where the mortgage payments are about the same as your apartment?
Most friends of mine in apartments are paying what I pay in mortgage for a 4 bedroom house (some of them are paying more for their apt than my mortgage!).
Post # 38
Having grown up in an apartment- I HATED IT. But it could also be because my mother and I didn’t get along and she didn’t provide a stable enviornment. But I remember resenting that we couldn’t paint the walls like kids with houses, that the ice cream truck never came to an aparment community, that I couldn’t trick or treat in the apartments because no one gave out candy (had to go over to the town houses). It felt really unstable and not like a real home. My real home became my Grandpa’s house. I personally wouldn’t feel right about raising a kid in apartment because of my own experiences with it. But I also don’t see anything wrong with starting in apartment and moving to a house later. Just don’t keep your little one in an apartment their whole life would be my general feeling.
I say go ahead and do both. What the heck, you only live once right? Find a cheap house. Honestly paying rent is just throwing your money away. At least a house is an investment. Look at schools first though!!!! You don’t want to find out you have to send your kid to a private school or move because the public schools are terrible when the time comes.
Post # 39
@Mrs.KMM: agree with you and the quoted PP! If you can afford a house, do that. Then you are building equity instead of “throwing away” your money in rent (though that’s not entirely true). Getting pregnant isn’t as easy to control as buying a house….if you know for sure you want to be in a house someday, do that first. Like they said, a baby will cost the same either way, might as well be into your own home at that point!
Plus moving with a baby/kid will be more difficult.