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On the Hunt for a Home

By Brittany Dale

Photo: kimberleyjoykelly.com

The battle between renting and buying a home seems like a no brainer to me. Yet, if you asked me if I wanted to buy a house 2 years ago I would have said “heck no”. My circumstances have changed and given our fondness of the valley, the stability of having a committed relationship and the idea of growing roots by establishing equity in a home, we are looking to buy a home rather than continue renting.

There are hundreds of calculators online that help you determine whether renting or buying is right for your wallet. We are new to the home buying process so there are a multitude of learning opportunities for us. Whether or not you can afford the mortgage seems to be just the tip of a very large iceburg. We are qualified to buy a home but there are so many other factors that determine if buying a home versus renting is truly worth it, and not just financially.

I believe financial security is measured in additional factors unrelated to money. This blog is about saving money but for me the motivation to save money is to live with less stress. As I discussed last week, budgeting can be stressful but does having more money make it any less stressful? While the saying is true that money doesn't buy happiness, I believe the ability to purchase things you need without too much effort reduces stress.

If reducing stress is the goal, there are also tests to determine how high your stress level is based on your current life circumstances. Determining how a particular financial decision will affect you can be a tricky task. While the thought of buying a house is exciting, I have started to have stress dreams as the process progresses. Keep in mind, I tend to be high strung and stressed out anyway but change is particularly hard on me, no matter how exciting.

A simple google search is enough material to read for months about the pros and cons of both renting and buying. The disjointed rambling of this post is clear evidence that there may be no right answer for you and your family. Even from a purely financial aspect, the weighing of options is not black and white.

While there are options for a smaller down payment and we qualify for an extremely low interest rate there are other factors that affect our financial future. Weighing all of our options is a tricky game and we are lucky to have a great team of people helping us along the way. The financial commitment and challenges are daunting and exhilarating at the same time.

This is the beginning of our journey to home ownership. Wish us luck!

What do you wish you would have known when you bought your first home?

COMMENTS

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Maybe these aren’t things I wish I had known, but things I think you should keep in mind…Paint colors can always be changed, carpet can be pulled up, floors can be cleaned…don’t let cosmetic issues stand in the way of a great house. Think about what you are willing to spend time on though.  Do you want to spend time mowing a big yard every week?  If not, look for something already xeriscaped or with a smaller space.




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