You may think that I’ve been a crappy blogger/writer lately just because of the fact that I’m on cloud nine, completely in love, having gag-worthy romantic moments at every turn. Now, while that’s partially right, I’ve also been wrestling with a major life decision about home ownership. To buy or not to buy?
…I’m following my instincts. And they better not eff me up.
You see, my landlord emailed me about 3 weeks ago, stating that 1. she wishes to list my townhome for sale again and 2. she is extending first option to buy to me and 3. if I choose not to purchase, she wants me to continue renting while she tries to sell.
My instinctual reactions to the above:
1. AGGGGHHH I JUST MOVED HERE CAN I PLEASE JUST BE IN ONE PLACE FOR LONGER THAN A YEAR FOR ONCE IN MY DAMN LIFE?!?!
2. I have no idea if I’m ready to buy a house yet.
3. Fuck. to. the. NO.
After three weeks of agonizing over every tiny detail of this decision, both inside my own head AND with trusted friends and my family, I have decided to NOT purchase this lovely townhome at this time. If you’ll indulge me, and let me type-think aloud… here’s why.
Had she not said she wanted to list the house for sale, I would not be thinking about buying. Anything. Anywhere. Why? I want to save more money for a down payment larger than what I have ready right now. I am a first-time buyer, and yes, I know this is totally “my” market, so they say… but I do not want my first home ownership experience to be forced due to convenience OR pressure. I want to have x amount of money saved up, PLUS have x amount of money as a cushion for whatever curveballs home ownership wants to throw at me. I am simply not there yet. Not even close. So, I wait.
Financial savings. I simply adore this house that I’m renting. It’s luxury defined – at least compared to what I suffered through in New Jersey for those six dreadful, non-air-conditioned, no-dishwasher/washer/dryer, miniscule, 3rd-floor-walkup, ghetto-fied miserable years. However, I am not doing myself any favors when it comes to building up my down payment nest egg. A relatively high rent, plus the cost of cooling/heating this much space is not allowing me to save as much as I want per month. Since I’m deciding not to purchase, AND I have to get the eff out by October 31st sonofabitch, I’d better downgrade. Save a ton of money (I’m aiming for 300-400 less in rent) to get my nest egg to a fat, dumb and happy state. Then, buy the house of my dreams next year.
NOTE: I am aware that very little down payment is required these days, and that first-time buyers get huge incentives. I’m just morally opposed to putting a teeny amount down and paying high interest/costs when I don’t have to. Not all of my friends agree with me on this decision, but there you go. It’s how I feel.
Location, location, location. The area that I live in now is beautiful, homey, residential, quiet and comfortable. It was EXACTLY what I needed when I left the chaotic and difficult years of Jersey behind, and has been my safe haven to let me heal my body and mind. It has everything I’d possibly need nearby, including vicinity to numerous friends that are near and dear to my heart. However, I am not sure this is where I want to purchase right out of the gate. There are some SUPER adorable sections of upper midtown Atlanta that a friend (she needs a nickname for this blog and yes you know who you are!) has introduced me to. I would simply be over the moon if, in a year’s time, I could own there!! They would place me at about a 10-15 min drive to my gym and a 10-15 min drive to the heart of Atlanta. Best of both worlds? I think yes. THAT is what I have my sights set on.
LandlordLady doesn’t get to have her cake and eat it, too! Oh, I’m SURE she’d love to have me continue to rent while she shows the house… she wants me to keep paying her mortgage while it’s listed!!! … and people in hell want ice water, too. (As Peach’s dad loves to say.) Fact is, I work from home. I cannot have my workday interrupted multiple times a day/week with little to no notice. And I’m certainly not fooled by the landlord’s promise that they’d “arrange a schedule that is most convenient” for me. It would suck. It would be a HUGE burden on me and a risk to my career, and that’s not something I’m willing to negotiate on. No thanks.
Where does that leave me?
For starters, in a tizzy about having to pack up all my shit once again, finding a smaller townhome/condo to rent, and getting out of here in 6 short weeks. But my freaking out aside, as soon as I hit publish on this bad boy blog here, I have to draft an email to my landlord stating that no, I do not wish to purchase. That no, I do not wish to continue renting while she shows the house. And that I will be out of the house at the end of my lease term. Part of me wonders if she’ll come back with numbers – either “here’s the asking price I’d give to you” or “here’s how much I’ll knock off the rent if you stay”… we shall see.
Wish me luck!!!