The last couple of weeks have been very emotionally exhausting.
Let me tell you why…
First of all, the house we’re renting had a kitchen faucet leak for a couple months. We hired a plumber to fix it in June. The fix only last for two weeks. Then the leak returned.
We’re not talking an annoying “oh, I’m losing water” leak. We’re talking about a “clear out everything under the sink and mop up the half-bucket of water” leak.
It was frustrating to say the least.
The trouble is my landlord is really a homeowner who rented out his home. Since he lives in another state, it’s difficult to get things fixed. He usually asks me if I’ll do the fix myself.
In this case, I finally did.
I bought a new faucet from The Home Depot, got some new plumbing tools, and asked my brother to come over to help.
A couple hours later, we had pulled out the old faucet and put in the new one.
Fortunately, colder weather is setting in. Because a couple of the sprinkler heads aren’t functioning properly either. And I don’t really want to mess with it.
The point: Logically, it makes sense to continue renting; emotionally, I’m ready to be a homeowner again.
So my wife and I have been seriously looking at buying a home.
We found one last Friday and made an offer on it. We’ve gone back and forth a few times, but haven’t agreed on price yet.
Who knows. We may walk away from the deal and see what happens.
Anyway, as I talked with my wife yesterday (our 9th Anniversary!), I mentioned why it might make sense for us to use our funds to pay off debt and continue renting until 2009.
1. If we pay off debt, our credit score will rise, hopefully giving us a lower interest rate on our mortgage.
2. By paying off debt, we could increase our monthly cash flow by $500 to $750 a month by 2009. (Which makes buying a home easier on the pocketbook.)
3. Since I’m self-employed, I will have a new tax return I can use to get qualified for a mortgage. Since my income is up this year, we will be able to extend our home search to homes that are slightly more expensive. (Right now, I’m qualified for a mortgage based on my 2007 tax return.)
4. By waiting until January to buy a home, I’ll be able to pay my 2008 taxes without worrying about a larger home payment. (I have to pay taxes by January 15; usually about $12,000 or more.)
So that’s the story.
I really want to move out and buy a home. I’d love to be in a place where I knew I wasn’t going to have to move in a few months. A place that actually feels like home. (My current house doesn’t feel like home; it feels like my landlord’s home.)
On the other hand, there are some clear benefits of waiting. Possibly better selection and lower prices. (November and December of 2007 saw some of the biggest drops in home prices and sales volume.)
If you were in my shoes, what would you do?