House Hunting Drama

It's so hard to find a house that you like. Well, let me rephrase that. One you like AND can afford. One house we went into smelled like moldy cat and the other was missing the front portion of the stove. Never seen that before. There is always something and you typically can expect that you are never going to find everything you wanted in one house. It's either price, location, the size of the yard or that extra sink you won't get. Unless your pockets are super deep and sometimes even then something has to give.

Last week we looked at a new build on our way home from another day of house hunting with our realtor. She happened to mention a new KB Homes Community and it was on our way home so we stopped in. I love looking at model homes even when I'm not in the market. We really liked it but quickly put it out of our head as an option. It's too expensive.

We kept looking. We put in an offer on a Short Sale condo in Eastlake. The price is right but we are dismayed by the $433 monthly fees. There Mello-Roos AND HOA's everywhere you look in that area and it can eat up your budget in one swallow. The commutes not all that great either. We already know we can't afford to live centrally and we would prefer a detached home but in this market you can't be too choosy.

Days go by and we hear nothing. We start getting cold feet about the commute and can't seem to stomach those high monthly fees. Mj's thoughts turn back to that new build. It's about a minute from where we live. We already know the commute is not all that bad and the HOA totals only $135. It's more expensive but maybe, just maybe we can do it because we won't have $400 plus in fees.

We call and find out they have only one lot left in this phase so we scramble around getting paperwork together and our check book so that we can snap up the last one in this price range. We submit to our 3rd credit check in about as many months because the builder will pay $6700 towards closing costs if we use them.

And then more waiting. Meanwhile, a different realtor who is trying to get us a foreclosure tells us he has a house for us. We don't know the price yet and likely won't be able to get a look inside for another week. What to do? Do we sign a contract on the new house when there is a possibility of another lurking?

Today I find out we are approved for the new build. The lending agent is going to send me an e mail outlining what we need to pay off and what additional documentation we are going to need to provide. At about the same time I find out that the foreclosure is going to be too expensive for us anyways. They have another one but they don't know the price yet. I wasn't totally thrilled with the pics but it's hard to tell without seeing it in person. I am already thinking this likely won't work and I probably won't like it better then the new build so I am able to put that out of my head and focus on trying to get the new house.

The cold hard numbers show up in my inbox. Not only did we get pre approved but it also allows for about $10,000 in upgrade design options. Time to do a happy dance right? Well, not so fast. The bank can approve us for a million bucks but it makes no difference if we can't afford the monthly payment. I talk it over with the selling agent but it's not looking too good. I am absolutely not willing to take on a monthly mortgage over what I feel we can comfortably afford. If it means we have to walk away from ten houses then so be it.

I drive home dejected and my mind racing faster then the cars whizzing by me on the freeway. If only I made more money. If only we had saved more. Is it really necessary for us to have a wedding? Oh, and what about all that money we spent on my car 3 months ago? This new house is slipping away and I am wondering how are we ever going to find a house in this expensive competitive housing market. Are we going to be stuck in the studio forever or settle for a dump? What can I do aside from winning the lottery or robbing a bank to make this happen?

We have a design appointment scheduled for tomorrow and I have already imagined where we will put our furniture. This is our one window of opportunity to get into a house. Prices are still low but it won't last and if we don't get one soon there might not be a second chance.

Beer with dinner? Hells yeah. I really need it right about now.

1 comment

Kisha said...

I know how frustrated you are we just closed on our house 10.23.09 and it was thrilling and exciting and worrisome all at the same time. I will say this...take your time and pray it's a buyer's market right now so where one door closes another will open. We knew what amount that we would be comfortable paying and we got a mortagage that is less than that. So yes it is our starter home but it's OUR home and at the end of the month we can write the mortagage check without worrying and I am thankful for that. You also want to keep in mind if things happen like you God forbid you lose your job or decide to go back to school or something. Me and FI are both in school. So we knew that we needed something that could accomondate our lives. I know you probably did this but I found it helpful for us when we were looking make an ideal and wish lists and go from there. Good luck and thanks for reading and posting on my blog.