Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Why I'd Like a House

Shawn and I have been somewhat seriously talking lately about the possibility of buying a house later this year. (Read that sentence again...how's that for commitment for ya'?) That nice $8000 tax credit for first time homebuyers is certainly appealing, but honestly, there are a number of other reasons that we'd really like to own our own place. I think that we both feel a little like late bloomers when we think about certain aspects of our lives. We didn't get married until we were 29 and 30 (the current average age at marriage in the U.S. is 26.8 for men and 25.1 for women). Obviously, we don't have kids yet, so we'll be in the "later" category for that, too. (The average age of a first-time mom in the U.S. is 25.2. Hmmmm...notice how close that is to the average age at marriage?) Although according to the National Association of Home Builders, the average age of a first time homebuyer is 33, we still have lots of friends who have already purchased their first (or second) home.

All those statistics aside, there are definitely some things that Shawn and I are looking forward to about actually owning the place where we live. Here are just a few things I've been thinking of lately:
  • Paint: I actually really enjoy painting walls. I haven't been able to do it since I lived with my parents, with the exception of helping my friend Matt paint a bedroom when he bought his condo.
  • Remodel/redecorate: We watch enough design shows that we'd really like to purchase a house that needs some updating and then spend the time and effort together to make those changes. We think it would be fun!
  • A yard: I realize that it takes a certain amount of upkeep, but it would be so nice to be able to step outside and stand on grass (or even just dirt!) that actually belongs to us!
  • A dog: We'd like to get a dog. Okay, admittedly, I'd like to get a cat...but since that's not going to happen, I'll go with a dog. However, we don't think it would be fair to get a dog when we live in an apartment, so until we have that yard I just mentioned, it's no dog for us.
  • No communal parking: It's really annoying to have to deal with a communal parking lot. If we had a driveway (or even a garage!) where we could park, it would make so many things just a tiny bit simpler.
  • No flights of stairs: I just had to carry in the groceries. It's 32 stairs from the parking lot to our apartment (and that's after walking a little ways from the assigned parking spot). I'm really looking forward to the day when I can just carry the groceries from the car to the kitchen without having to climb multiple flights of stairs or go up in an elevator and walk down long hallways. (Although I have gotten really good at carrying up to 7 bags of groceries in one hand!)
  • Privacy: At this point, I'm very grateful not to have anyone living above us! That's one nice thing about living on the top floor. We also don't share any walls with neighbors in this building, which is awesome. I do, however, occasionally wonder if we ever bother the people living below us. And I don't always love listening to the bass line of whatever song the guy downstairs is playing loudly.

I think I'll stop there. :) Obviously, there are some perks to renting (like the apartment complex pool...which we have yet to use...and the maintenance guy that we don't have to pay when he comes to fix things). But I am excited to start looking for a house to buy. It probably won't happen for a couple more months (especially since our lease isn't up until October), but I'm still looking forward to it.


CoachingByPeter said...

If a good real estate agent can help grease the wheels and get your offer in front of a lender, you can get an answer more quickly, and potentially close more deals.

Heather said...

I know how you feel. We have a townhouse (George bought it before we got married) and we need a bigger place. I want a house where we have a yard, garage, not living next to someone, etc.

carrie said...

I don't think it'd hurt to start looking now. The looking was the fun part!!

We found our place really quick though. We put our first offer in on March 22 and closed May 29th. It felt like forever but I'm told that it's actually not.

MyRunningJourney said...

It doesn't hurt to start looking! I can't wait until we buy a house (which will hopefully be soon)! Practice your patience though... we put in an offer on Monday morning and still haven't heard anything (calling our agent in an hour to see what the heck is going on). It's sooooo exciting and soooo frustrating all at the same time. OH, and I'm not sure what the specifics are of your situation, but buying will actually be cheaper than renting for us, even with the little unexpected things that come up (unless of course we need a new roof, suffer a massive flood, or something important explodes, ALL at the same time haha)