Post # 1
You all warned me to not get my hopes up, and approach this whole home buying process with an open mind and level head…
I thought I was doing that. I also thought that the process wouldn’t be quite as hard as some suggested. I was wrong. I knew this would all be stressful and challenging, but I didn’t think it would be quite this hard.
Needless to say, the hunt isn’t going well. Homes that are within budget either need a ton more work than we have money for (or time depending on what the work is and whether it can wait a year or more, or whether it is an ASAP issue), or they are less than 600 sq.ft. which is painful, and seems unnecessarily small for the amount of money we’d be shelling out. And even then, they aren’t all that nice. There is just no middle ground. It isn’t even a major city… Just a small to average-ish sized city.
Even with spring coming, nothing worthwhile has popped on the market. I know there is still lots of time, but my SO and I would like to buy a home sooner rather than later, though there is no rush.
I’m so disheartened…It makes me wonder how anyone can afford a house.
Post # 2
alt_bride: Don’t get discouraged. All of those people out there who own their own home got started somewhere.
Post # 3
Have you thought about buying a duplex or a place with an in-law apartment? That would offset some of the mortgage and allow you to bump up your budget, although you would have to qualify for that higher mortgage. They do take the rental income into consideration when deciding what they can lend you.
Post # 4
I could have written this post!! We ran into the same exact problems. It was either shitty houses, small houses, or houses waaay out of our price range. There weren’t any “middle-ground” houses. You know, size we were looking for-maybe needed some work-but not a complete fixer upper. I still get listings every single day from my realtor but absolutely nothing has caught my eye. The ones that have are short sales and we really want to avoid those. It’s really discouraging. We’ve actually pretty much put a hold on house hunting…unless something amazing comes along by some miracle. Hopefully y’all will have better luck. Crossing my fingers for you because I know how hard it is!
Post # 5
alt_bride: I was feeling the same way. We searched online for months (8ish) before any homes we were even interested in seeing popped up within our budget. We disliked them all. So we eventually decided to move our search to a larger area rather than just our hometown and we found our dream home. Maybe try expanding where you would be willing to buy?
Post # 6
julies1949: Thanks; the encouragement is totally needed.
countingstars: We could qualify for a higher mortgage, but our budget is based on what we are comfortable with paying monthly when taking all of our expenses into consideration. We have thought of duplexes and in laws, and still have our eyes peeled for them, but not much success with those either.
IzzyBear: Thanks for the words of encouragement. While I wouldn’t want anyone to deal with how crummy this feels, its nice to know that others are dealing with the same issues. We’re honestly thinking of doing the same… We’ve just started checking out some very underbudget rentals (we don’t presently live together) so we can rent for a year or two and take the difference every month to bulk up our downpayment. That in and of itself is frustrating because we thought our downpayment was quite substantial… In any case, best of luck on your search! Hopefully you get lucky soon.
springbride23: Eeeep! 8 months! My SO and I are currently 4 months into the search.The idea of 8 months is heartbreaking… We have expanded a little outside of our original search, but we can’t go too far because of my work situation. I don’t have the option of finding another job. For him it doesn’t matter much because he will have to get a new job since he already lives in a city an hour from where I do. But ultimately he is tied down by where I can go. And even widening that search a little hasn’t proven fruitful. Thanks for the suggestion!
Post # 7
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
alt_bride: Take your time, save more money to put down, and keep an eye out for short sales. Unless you are building your own home, it’s takes a while to find something already built that will tick all or most of your must have boxes. Think of what you will need over the next 5-7 years and make up a list of minimum requirements and then some would love to haves under that.
There is nothing wrong with a fixer upper so long as the work that needs to be done is something you and/or your spouse can do yourselves. I learned how to paint and lay tiles in order to save money on my old fixer upper. The work isn’t perfect but only I can see the mistakes and I’m proud of the projects I was able to complete with my own two hands.
Post # 8
alt_bride: Be patient. I find that most first owners tend to rush things, they hunt for a few months and get impatient and buy out of ”love at first sight” instead of being rational and wait for the right one at the price they want. FI and I have been looking on and off for houses for the past 2 years, nothing serious though, but out of all these options, we haven’t found a house we liked, can you imagine ? It alwats had something off (the price, the renovations needed, the way the rooms were disposed or the square feet ratio, the lack of intimacy, too close from the rails (lots of trains around here, etc.). I think it’s a good lesson for me who was so impatient to get a house before meeting my FI, it made me realize that it’s such a big investment that I need to be happy with our purchase and when we are truly ready to buy (meaning we have more money for a downpayment, right now we have about 10% but we would like to get to 15% or even 20%), we agreed that we would wait up to a year or 2 if that’s what we needed in order to have the perfect house for us.
Your money isn’t lost while you’re hunting. You can save even more and that’s a blessing in disguise. Really, just let your head take the decision and not only your heart. The market wants to get to your heart because that’s when you’re willing to spend extra cash on something (or pay more than your budget because ”it’s the one”… like wedding dresses !).
Post # 9
We house hunted almost every weekend for 10 months before finding the right house. In that time, we were also able to significantly raise our budget. So chin up, be patient, compromise some but not too much, and it’ll happen 🙂
Post # 10
It’s ok! We went through the exact same thing. Keep in mind that this winter has been brutal, and spring inventory isn’t on the market yet. Also remember that not all renovations need to be completed asap. If you have functioning living space, kitchen and bath, you can update it as you go.
Post # 11
alt_bride: you must be in the GTA. My FH and I have been thinking about buying a home about a year after the wedding – but the prices terrify me. We’ll probably end up way over in the west end (we’re west anyways) in order to get anything worth having.
Post # 12
beachbride1216: We don’t have short sales in Canada. We continue to put more and more aside as we house hunt in hopes of increasing our downpayment, but its hard. Upping the downpayment by thousands only affects monthly payments by $10 or so, so if we hope that we can increase it as we house hunt, not much will change in that regard. We’re trying to take our time, but its hard when we’d like to buy a home together.
As much as we’d like to open up to taking on that requires a bit more work than we’d like and doing the improvements ourselves to help with the cost, it just isn’t realistic. My SO and I would have to hire someone. We’re both awful at any and all DIY — we’ve certainly tried — and the last thing we need is to end up with poor tiling because we were cheap, or something like that.
NauticalDisaster: We’re definitely patient and not willing to compromise on either the house or the price (except for in the case of minor things), even if we get frustrated and want to jump on buying something. The money just isn’t there to do it, and we want to love where we choose to live.
While we recognise that time spent hunting isn’t wasted because we can add to our downpayment, its a downer. We really want to move in together, so the longer it takes to find “the” house, the longer we have to put that off. We wanted to buy because we’d rather invest our housing costs into equity rather than hand rent off to someone else. We’re looking at rentals now in order to fix the not living together problem, but even that is frustrating because once we do that, the amount of money we can put aside each month for a house decreases, especially on my side.
ladyamalthea: Thank you!
MsGinkgo: No, not in the GTA at all! I’m about an hour away. Closer to the KW area. If anything, my SO will be moving away from GTA in order to move to my city. In comparison, it is hardly even a city. Even so, the prices… Geez.
Post # 13
alt_bride: lol – KW is practically the GTA these days. I used to live in Guelph, we were there for 3 years and then FH got a job in Mississauga. The commute made him a cranky POS so I decided we were moving and I would commute for my final year of school. We now live in Mississauga, and will probably end up buying in Milton (which is still insane – but less so than Mississauga) – FH refuses to consider going north of the 401 to Brampton, he’s not hearing of it (even though it’s cheaper). We’re both east coasters, FH’s family lives in a very small town where his brother bought a house (granted about 800 sq ft of house, but still a house) for just under 60k.
Good luck with your search – I’m sure you’ll find the perfect house 🙂
OR find Scott McGilvary and get him to come renovate you an income suite!
Post # 14
alt_bride: how long have you been looking? the year i bought my house, i started looking in november and found the perfect house in march, i saw 50 houses. my realtor told me she had clients that look over a year.
the good news is that, spring is just around the corner and many people put their houses on the market in spring. winter is a deadtime for selling, especially if people have kids.
good luck! don’t get discouraged. you will know when you find the perfect house for you.
Post # 15
- Wedding: July 2014 - Backyard
I am sorry this is so hard! SO and I often wonder how do other people do it? We have decentish jobs, multiple college degrees (that only makes us bitter) and we still can’t afford anything reasonable. REASONABLE. We are not looking for a McMansion! Just some solid walls with enough room to breathe.
Hang in there and try to be patient. It will happen!