Looking for some home buying advice

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  • #85236 Reply

      I make around $69k per year, my spouse makes $55k and we have two toddlers.

      My spouse has a $3k credit card, we owe about $2k for wedding rings, and I have about $3k in student loans but that is not accruing interest at this time, and my current employer will likely reimburse that.

      I paid cash for my car and spouses is paid off. We are both contributing 4% to 401k with employer matching the entire 4%.

      We are renting a place for $1400/mo right now. We’ve been house hunting for several months within a 30ish mile radius of where we are now. Originally we were hoping to stay around $180k for a home but quickly realized that we cannot find a 3/1 in that range which would not need a significant amount of cash down to put work into.

      We only have about $4K in savings so major renovations were out of the question. We just recently came across a house that is move-in ready for $215k, 4/1, on 3/4 acre and in the country so no city taxes. (It was under contract once but the buyers money fell through so we can get their inspection report for free.) We don’t mind doing work, however, we don’t want to use our entire savings on renovations. We are using an FHA loan and grant so we only need to pay closing costs (about $2k).

      Is it wise for someone in our situation to buy a home at this cost? We don’t want to live above our means/be house-poor. But it has room for a small homestead, room for an expanding family, etc. My spouse just started over in IT (coming from support-raised missions work) so we anticipate significant raises over the next few years.


      #85237 Reply

        I would echo everyone saying that buying is a great idea, but definitely work on building a bigger emergency fund first.

        My wife and I bought our first home (a 2005 build) a couple years ago and in the last 2 months, we’ve had over $12k in unexpected repairs. Regardless of age, you’ll be on the hook for expensive maintenance.

        #85238 Reply

          We sunk almost 40k into our “move in ready” renovated house fixing crap that the previous owners did/covered up the first year after we bought. I’m definitely team don’t buy unless you have a legit emergency fund and a solid plan for home repairs

          #85239 Reply

            4 people in a home with 1 bathroom, that’s a deal breaker for me. I know many families can do it but not I.

            I don’t think you have enough of an emergency fund nor a down payment.

            Maybe talk to a realtor or a mortgage broker & see how much you need to put down.

            Congratulations on having no car debt, the other debt is manageable.

            Don’t miss: I’m hoping to buy my second home in the next 3-5 years

            #85240 Reply

              I’m no expert but I would be extremely weary of going into buying a house myself with only $4k. I think you make enough to afford it but I would want more in pocket going in.

              What happens say if you move in and your ac or furnace takes a crap.

              #85241 Reply

                You have no emergency fund. Please do not buy a house without an emergency fund…because it guarantees an emergency is getting ready to find you. The house sounds ok, but you’re unprepared to buy.

                Knock out those debts and sock a solid 3-6 months of cash in the bank and shop again.

                #85242 Reply

                  It would be great to see you save up some more money. At your current stats, which are extremely similar to mine. You should be putting away 1000-1500 a month away.

                  If you’re spending too much, you need to reign that part in and create a bigger spread on income vs expenses. We bought a home in much more debt than you and it worked out great so far. Cut our debt down majorly and life is good considering.

                  Is it the ideal way? Absolutely not, but most people don’t buy their first home the ideal way. They get into it with a low down payment option and learn and become better for it.

                  Explore these too: I’d like to sell my home and move to an apartment but my mortgage is so cheap

                  #85243 Reply

                    At this age and with your spouse’s upward mobility in IT, I would not buy. Instead, keep paying a reasonable rent like you are, save, and be flexible in case a job opportunity comes up that requires you to relocate.

                    Even a job 30 minutes away could be worth relocating for if you stay flexible as commuting stinks. Get to the $100k level of income for the IT job before considering settling down. The potential is there.

                    #85244 Reply

                      Pay off wedding rings and credit card and student loan debt asap! Keep the 401k w full match where it is. Start saving after that debt is cleared. Don’t buy house til you have enough saved as emergency fund plus a down payment.

                      Pay off cc balance each month. Great job on cars paid off. Keep it that way.

                      Why do you still owe on wedding rings? How long has that been the case? You have a bright future!

                      Good luck!

                      #85245 Reply

                        The $4k in savings would make me nervous. That’s not much. Can you wait until you have 3-6 months of emergency money? Or, could you survive on one of your incomes if the other person were to lose employment?

                        If you have a financial plan then cool. If not, sit tight and keep growing the savings.

                        #85246 Reply

                          4 people and 1 bathroom would be a hard pass for me personally. 2 bathrooms also will raise resale value in future.

                          #85247 Reply

                            You’re not ready to buy.

                            Pay off your debt and get a 6 month emergency fund.

                            Then save for a house. Stuff breaks and there won’t be a landlord to fix it for you.

                            #85248 Reply

                              If I were in your shoes, I would do it. Probably income increases, possible refi if rates lower.

                              I would also be saving every dollar possible, as house fixes are expensive. Make sure you feel good about the inspection.

                              Good luck!

                              Suggested: I’m buying my first home – Any advice?

                              #85249 Reply

                                You don’t have to do all the renovations at once. We bought a house that needed fixing and updating. It took us 2.5 years to complete all the work.

                                We lived in it while all the work was happening. It’s a lot of work but it’s doable.

                                #85250 Reply

                                  Is there a way to use the house to make income immediately? Can your husband write off that 4th bedroom as office space? Can you find a way to replace your emergency fund asap?

                                  #85251 Reply

                                    If I had it to do over, I would insist on two bathrooms. It’s good for you now and also in the future if you want to househack when the kids are older or out of the house.

                                    #85252 Reply

                                      Have you factored in commuting costs, since the house is in the country? Also, I would never buy a 4/1 house unless it was very easy to add in another bathroom.

                                      #85253 Reply

                                        As a home owner, agree with all of the above! Pay off debt asap and save 6 month of expenses. Down payment, closing cost, Insurnace, PMI, reno, etc. bigger place might mean higher electric/gas bill. I think your income is fine, but not sure what your other monthly expenses look like.

                                        If I was you I would write down all my expense and see what you have left over every month. Cut some things out and save up a little more.

                                        Related: I built a custom home for $650K ish back in 2018 that has almost doubled in value today – SO..

                                        #85254 Reply

                                          House sounds fine, but there is no way I’d personally feel comfortable buying a house with only $4K saved up AND two toddlers. Way too many unknowns.

                                          HVAC could go out day after closing and need to be replaced – just replaced 2 this week at $6K a pop.

                                          Rent for another and SAVE and you’ll be in a much better position. $1400 rent on your income is great.

                                          #85255 Reply

                                            Honestly, at that income level and with 2 kids, I would be concerned about taking out a mortgage of $200k. That will mean it’s a payment of roughly $1400/month before taxes and insurance. In addition, houses require a lot of minor upkeep/maintenance as a normal function of living in them. (not counting any renovation budgets) I budget an estimated $50/$100 month at home improvement stores for various needs. (IE fertilizer, weed killer, pest sprays, maintenance, etc…)

                                            I would assume school districts and future education will be a primary decision point in your life, if not now, in a couple of years when you talk public school vs private, but I personally would not spread myself that thin.

                                            #85256 Reply

                                              From personal experience, I wish we’d held out a little longer. Our situation was very similar (salary range, house cost) and our house ended up being a money pit- over $10k in repairs per year until we sold it.

                                              I wish we’d paid off debt when our income was very predictable

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