Post # 1
We are newly married (just over one month) and it’s amazing how already I am looking forward to the next step. I SHOULD just savor this time in my life, but I’ve always been a busy be and ready to move on to the next challenge – masochist!
Anyway 🙂 We are living in an apartment whose rent is within our means currently. Compared to the local market, it is an absolute steal for the space but it is the third floor of a run-down New England house and its ON a MAJOR highway so it is so noisy and dirty. The neighborhood is horrible, and the apartment itself has never seen a renovation.
I’d love to move, but no amount of budgeting would allow it since my husband is unemployed so I have done my best to settle. When I lived here alone, it was my “bachelor” pad of sorts and I was proud that I found such a good deal. But now that I’m a wife and my husband lives with me, it not only feels small but I am embarassed to have any company over because it is so meager and unimpressive. And guests themselves are visually uncomfortable because they have NO place to walk – there’s just enough room for them to sit.
If my parents were to visit us from out of town, I wouldn’t want them to see it – that’s how modest it is. I’ve talked to my close friends and family and they tell me that although it FEELS like buying a new home is the norm for newlyweds, the previous generation didn’t do such a thing until they had saved up quite a lot. They all tell me that they all lived in the smallest of apartments as newlyweds and that it sucked but that it would be something “to laugh about later in life.”
Do you think that’s true what my family said? Is anyone in a situation like mine and what have you done to try to stay mentally and emotionally afloat? I put on the best of faces each day and like I said, it was fine when I was alone, but having a family now in 300 square feet makes me feel like a total failure as a wife, since I was the one that brought us here and I’m the current breadwinner.
It just feels like everyone is putting down roots and I am totally prohibited from doing so by this (and a few other) life circumstances. Life still in limbo, even after the wedding.
Post # 3
why don’t you look for a bigger apartment to rent in the meanwhile? renting means saving for a greater down payment.
We’re going to rent and then look for a condo. Keep in mind, I’ve been saving for a long time and have a down payment, we’re, thankfully, both working. But owning a home is no longer an investment nor will it change that soon…you have a couple years before you need to buy. There’s no rush for me or for you. Stay with renting, save money to buy what you want later, and most importantly- do not get in over your head.
Post # 4
The only ( and I mean only) reason FH & I bought a house was because we
a) had already saved up over 40k from INTENSE summer work opportunities (tree planting anyone?) & investments
b) found a cheap-cheap-super cheap (but nice-ish with potential) starter home.
Even with that kind of cash in the bank, we would NEVER have bought a house unless it was the absolute BEST choice for the situation.
Our old apartment was a DUMP. Super afforable ($500 per month flat, all utils incl.), but lordy lordy lordy! An old 1934, NEVER renovated or maintained mining home.. yeah, we could race oranges in the kitchen..
I was always SUPER embarrassed when my sister or friends would come visit, it felt like *the ghetto* to me. If we hadn`t bought, we would have looked into renting somethng a little bigger (we had flatmates), newer etc, but that would have come with a rent jump of nearly 500$.
People were actually ..disappointed? when we bought our house, we got lots of comments like, *but you two arent even married yet!* or *what about a flat just for YOU guys first?*
I totally understand the need|want to have your own place, but you definitely have to do what is best (financially etc) until you can really get the place you want.
Post # 5
Actually, I am the only one of all the newlyweds I know who has a home. The only other two couples I know who have homes waited awihle to buy theirs and are 4 years older than me. Everybody is still saving and paying off student loans, biding their time, waiting to buy
It’s A-OK. Look at it this way–if you DID have a house, you’d REALLY be struggling since he’s unemployed =]. It’s better to be save and be financially smart about it
But, in my experience, being a newlywed does not automatically equate to purchasing a home!
Post # 6
@missmouse – We also can race oranges, from the kitchen clear across to the livingroom. It’s SUCH a dump – I had never seen a place to live so small as this, and I still haven’t.
@mmuncha – I wish I could find a bigger place to rent – I look everyday, but nothing is affordable. 🙁
@ejs4y8 – I hope your experience is the most common one, because I’m on the opposite end. Of all the newlyweds I know, I’m the only one without a home. IN FACT, the majority of those home owners BUILT their homes even! It makes me wonder whether I’m doing something wrong, but maybe that’s just not the case.
Post # 7
My parents lived in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment right after marriage with 2 dogs, 2 cats and an aquarium full of fish. 🙂
They did buy a home shortly after that – but home prices were lower back then, compared to incomes today.
To me, I don’t think buying a home immediately after marriage is that much of the norm when you live in more expensive areas (New England being one of them!). For instance, we live in a nice condo now, and to move into a home of equal size, in an equally good neighborhood in our city, and in somewhat equal condition to our condo…we would be looking at home prices of at least $280k, and very likely up over $300k. That’s a down payment of about $60k (if you put down 20%), which we don’t have, and wouldn’t have right after the wedding.
On the other hand, one of my best friends lives in Indiana, and bought a home just after their wedding which was less than $90k. In addition, they didn’t put down 20%. Those numbers are much more manageable, even if you are on one income.
Point is – don’t get yourself down. Its no reflection on you, or your marriage about how well you are able to provide for your family.
Can you start a separate savings just for the future house? It might make you feel better if you could see real money (even small amounts) going directly to your down payment.
Post # 8
we bought a house because we were gifted the down payment money-otherwise, we would be renting for a long time! if i were you i’d either start looking for a new place, or maybe get some furniture/organizing/decorating stuff (try craigslist, especailly the free section if you’re short on money) to make my apartment feel a little better… your first home doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should feel like *home*, which it sounds like it doesn’t right now…
Post # 9
We have a teeny tiny apartment, and even after we get married that isn’t going to change. I guess it is a little easier in NYC since teeny tiny is perfectly acceptable, but you really need to stop being so hard on yourself.
Please do not attempt to purchase a house now if you don’t have a downpayment saved. You could redecorate, that always makes people feel better. Look on http://www.apartmenttherapy.com for inspiration. They have a wonderful series on decorating small spaces. I second the recpmmendation of also starting a wedding savings account and watching your money grow, it is amazing how good that will make you feel.
Post # 10
My fiance and I live in my condo, which he isn’t fond of, but I refuse to sell since I had the brilliant idea to buy it in 2005. 🙂 We’ll be there for a while. His parents married about 50 years ago and lived with my FMIL’s parents until they had saved up enough to put down on their house (where Future Mother-In-Law still lives). Future Mother-In-Law didn’t like the apartments that were in their budget, so the less-than desirable initial living arrangements were common, among them and all their friends anyway.
Post # 11
My fiancé had $40k saved up, $12 k for my ring, $20k for house, and the rest for our savings.
That plus the great buyer’s market in MICH = us finding our dream home.Without any of those criteria we would never have bought a house.
My best friend from college got married back in 2007 and they are just starting their househunting.
My best friend’s cousin is 28 getting married and won’t be househunting for another year.
My best friend’s college roommate just got married and they don’t have plans of buying a home for at least a few years.
The only reason I’ve been hearing more of people “buying houses” together recently, is the crazy buyer’s market and availability of a lot ‘fixer upper’ homes in our area.
I don’t think you should feel like a failure as a wife. I think you should be proud that you’re able to provide for you and your husband this early on in your marriage. If all else, like PP’s said, maybe you can look to find a new apt with more space?
Post # 12
We’re renting and going to be renting for a good while. Not only do we not have the money but I don’t really want to be tied down yet. Tied to my SO is one thing (happy thing) tied to a place… eh. I’d rather enjoy all the advantages of renting and buy only when I can afford what I truly want and someplace that I can stay for ten years if not longer. Houses are such an investment I think you’ve got to really know that this is it. Think about it this way, without a house you and your husband have more time for each other. A small place is easier to clean. 🙂 And small places can be mindblowingly adorable. I’d invest in some decorating. Even small stuff like super awesome bed linnens can make you smile more often when you come into the room.
Post # 13
I think your family is right on about not buying a home immediately. I went through a similar issue before we got married; just feeling unhappy with our apartment. I expressed my feelings to my then-boyfriend and he helped me get some perspective on it. For me, it wasn’t so much the apartment, but the feeling that I wanted something that I felt affection for, something that felt like a *home*.
My parents had me look back through photos of their newlywed homes and the homes we lived in when us kids were small (they lived with my Nana, a crazy small apartment, a trailer, a rented townhome, etc) to remind me that owning a home is something you work up to. My parents didn’t buy a home until I was in the 3rd grade – more than 10 years after they got married!
I agree with other posters who said you should look for ways to “redecorate” to spruce up your apartment. Don’t think that people are judging your home when they visit (if they are, don’t invite them over anymore!). Most importantly, whatever you do, DON’T buy a house until you’re financially ready. If you can’t afford to move to a new apartment, you most likely can’t afford a mortage and all the extra bills that come with a house.
Don’t worry, you’ll get there before you know it! My husband mentioned starting to house hunt next spring because we’ve been saving for so long (gah! 5 years!). It seems like yesterday that I was complaining about our apartment, but now I’m really fond of it 🙂
Post # 14
I got married in November and it’s going to be a few years before me and Darling Husband buys a house. We keep telling everyone that we are planning on moving back to the east coast and that we are staying on the west coast for a few more years. And that we aren’t buying a house because we will only be living in the house for a few years and that it won’t be an investment for that short period of time. But the real reason, me and the DH’s credit needs some time to improve, we need to save up money and at this point can’t take care of a house. I have a lot of student loan debt and some credit card debt that I want to take care of.
We are renting right now and it is a fairly big 2 bed/ 2 bath apartment for the price we are paying but having two people stay over can get a bit cramped.
We’ve actually decided that when our lease is up in October, we are going to rent a house. I already looked into it and I can rent a home for a $100-200 more than what we are paying now.
I’m sort of thinking it will give us an illusion of owning a house… maybe?? Plus, right now living in apartment complex, there’s a lot of things we don’t have to do as a homeowner and moving into a real house will get us ready for when we do buy our first home.
It’s ok, don’t feel bad.
Post # 15
Don’t worry, its ok to feel the way you are. Just think, at least the two of you live alone. I’ve had cousins and friends who had to live with one of their families until they could afford to even rent a place. I agree with the other posters who say that maybe a little redecorating can help uplift your sprits. When the time is right you will be able to buy your first home =)
Post # 16
@coconutmellie, that is too funny we’re so opposite. Nobody i know has any money yet to do that kind of stuff!
But there’s nothing wrong with wanting a place to feel like “home” and I think apartmenttherapy is a GREAT place to start!
I didn’t decorate our home for the first 1.5 years. I’m just now getting around to it (damn it’s expensive to do a house!) and it FEELS more like OUR home now. Rather than moving into another lady’s home.
You could rent a home, too. A friend of mine rents a house for $500/month!!!!!!