- 5 months ago
laureng1 : It’s absolutely great if you’ve overcome past obstacles to get where you are now, seriously. And I’m glad you had a mentor- perhaps your own growth and success can even allow you to be a mentor to someone else down the road….
But I would still be much more cautious in home buying. Absolutely home ownership is an understandable goal (and I know what it’s like to rent and dream of home ownership when I was younger). But it seems your life has been a bit of a whirlwind recently- in a good way. You say you only met your fiance last spring- but also attended a home ownership conference last year together. You’ve moved across the country, you’ve started new jobs. This all sounds exciting, but it also sounds like an awful lot of change already.
TBH in your position, I would definitely go with your plan to ‘aggressively save’ – for emergency funds and home ownership related costs. I would tuck your mom’s gift into an account toward a down payment (I’m Canadian and sounds like you are in the U.S., so I’m not certain the equivalent here, but we have Registered Retirement Savings Plans- contributions to this savings plan can also be used as a Home Buyer’s Plan, up to 25k, as well as give you a great break at tax time. Perhaps you could check with your own bank and see if there is something similar you could set up). But I would hesitate on purchasing a home right away, 3.5% is the barest minimum you can qualify for an FHA with and you’re also required, in addition to good credit scores which you say you have, to prove stable income which often requires you to not only be gainfully employed but to have been at your job for a minimum requirement period which your fiance and yourself wouldn’t have yet if you’ve just relocated for new jobs. And the smaller your downpayment, the higher your monthly mortgage and this is such an important factor because anything from pregnancy to job loss to illness can affect yours and your fiance’s incomes, even if you’re both hardworking people wanting to make this work.
So my most updated advice would be to focus on enjoying your upcoming wedding first, with your current plan for the courthouse and restaurant dinner (which sounds not just fine, but actually lovely), meet with your bank representative and decide the most beneficial account to put your mom’s $10k in as the beginning of your downpayment/ home ownership fund, then take another year or so settling into your new location, your new jobs, your time together as newlyweds, while keeping your eye on your goal of home ownership and saving toward it. When it’s time to look for your first home together, this will also give you the added benefit of having a year or more to become familiar with your area first and have a better idea where/ what you want.