Saturday, June 25, 2011

Location, location, location...

I realized I never published this. This will make more sense if you read this one before the next post I'll put up!

So since I returned from Kyiv, I have been busy looking at condos/townhomes to buy. I am ready to stop pouring my money down a hole each month by renting. Through the Lord's lavish provision, owning a home, a "pipe dream", has become a real possibility. My current lease is up 7/31, so I planned on moving 8/1.

I found a realtor based on the recommendation of a good friend and Annamari has been fabulous. We looked at 5 places last Saturday. I thought about what I had seen and decided I had fallen in love with my dream home. It was in a neighborhood literally across the street from my apartment that I have been driving by twice or more a day for the past 5 years...and thought each time, "ah...I so wish I could afford to live there..." The neighborhood is established with large trees and nice homes built in the 70's. It's on the edge of a very desirable area of Dallas and (not that this matters but it's a fun fact!) former President GWB lives on the other side of the neighborhood!

The townhome I fell in love with is one-story and is detached on the left side, so I would only ever have neighbors on my right. This is key for my physical issues - with Fibro I can't do 2nd floor place, but if you're on 1st floor almost always you have someone living on top of you - and of course you're at the mercy of whether this person is a "heavy walker" or not! That would not be an issue in this townhome as it's one story. It has a little patio with my own tree and flowers that my future Pugs, Petunia & Violet, will be able to enjoy since there's ground to potty on when needed.

This townhome has been on the market for a year and the owner has already moved out of state. The price we settled and executed a contract on Thursday is about $50,000 less than the price of the homes in the neighborhood - so once I fix it up and over the years, I could build a lot of equity in it. The major issue is that the owner was a very heavy smoker and so I will need to rip up and reinstall the floors, use special paint through the entire 1200 sq ft. of the house and have the vents and ducts cleaned (and replace the blinds as they're also stained with nicotine).

Last Friday, the day before Annamari took me looking at condos/townhomes for the first time, I had my lender Meghan run some numbers for me to see what the monthly payments would be. I'm not good with money so converting the sales price to a monthly mortgage payment is not something I can do. The numbers she ran, based on my down payment, were surprisingly very doable for this dreamhouse of mine.

So while it needed a lot of work, this past Monday I decided to put an offer on it. We countered a couple times and executed the contract on Thursday morning. I had the lender run the "real numbers" and what she came back with was MUCH higher than the original numbers that led me to the conclusion maybe I couldn't afford this place after all. I called the lender and had some questions and then a bomb dropped yesterday morning- she had assumed a different down payment than what I had. Several very stressful hours later, she did some more figuring and determined what the "final number" would be. That number is a LOT more per month than what I pay in rent now.

Last night I had a feeling (as did my very godly prayer-warrior mother) that this house was no longer in my reach. I cried and cried and cried. I knew I needed to call the realtor Monday morning and break the contract I had 10 days to get out of without penalty. I texted the realtor and let her know as much. Then I drowned my sorrows in a bowl of cereal (how's that for honesty?!?) and watched TV and went to bed early because I just wanted to sleep and forget how I was going to have to give up this dream house.

I got up today (notice I didn't say "this morning", ahem...) and had a voicemail from the realtor, saying she got my text and had some ideas about maybe making things work. I also had a text from my Mom that they were so sorry about the house and God had another one for me (true to her ever encouraging nature).

Now I'm conflicted. While the monthly mortgage payment for this house is much more than my rent payment now, I also am taking home more $$ this year in my paycheck (thank you Lord!) So hypothetically, it would be doable. Through no one's fault but my own, I have never lived on a budget, but have lived paycheck to paycheck. I'm not proud of that at all. So the idea that not only will I have to start living on a very strict budget, there is NO wiggle room at all. And if any unexpected house, car, medical expenses come up, it would be a problem.

Unfortunately, I have fallen in love with this house and so now the big decision as to continue in the buying process or terminate the contract is a VERY emotional one for me.

So if anyone happens to read this this weekend, please pray that I will hear the Lord's will clearly and separate my emotions and think logically about this biggest (financially anyway) decision in my 30-something years.

Because more than I want this house, I do want to know what God wants for me.

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