Have I mentioned that I have been obsessed with homeownership all year long?

29 Nov

All year I have looked, searched and hunted for the right property, and have been unable to find it.  I have found frustration at every turn– prices too high, taxes too high, too many repairs needed, or all-cash buyers outbidding me.  Not to mention my own ambivalence about what amount I can really afford, in light of my continuing student loan debt.

During the last couple of months I have gotten the distinct spiritual impression that I have to cease being obsessed about, distressed over, and consumed with buying a home.  That I have to trust God.  Just like with my desire to be married.  Releasing this desire to the Lord has been as hard as releasing the desire to be married.  It feels even harder, if you can believe that, because buying a house feels like something that should be within my control.  But God is helping me to release the thing.  To not just think, but to truly mean that He is my security, my shelter, my refuge, my everything.

In the meantime I find myself taking first-time homebuyer preparation courses, which is humbling.  I used to work as a bank real estate closing attorney, and privately as an attorney I have performed a number of closings for clients.  But I’m honest enough with myself to admit that I need help developing a realistic budget, and assessing the current marketplace (e.g., is a short sale better than a normal sale for a buyer like me or not?), and understanding different financing options.  So I’m seeking guidance while I await the Lord’s provision.

Tonight I attended a class where there were presentations from a mortgage expert who works for TD Bank, and also from a home inspector who detailed the intricacies involved in assessing the condition of a property.

I was the only single person there.  The only person sitting alone.

I remember dreaming that one day my husband and I would go house-hunting together.  Just like on HGTV.

Alas.

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One Response to “Have I mentioned that I have been obsessed with homeownership all year long?”

  1. CC December 14, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    >Not to mention my own ambivalence about what amount I can really afford, in light of my continuing student loan debt.

    Buying a house while you have any other debt is unwise. EXTREMELY unwise. The general rule of thumb is that you should buy a house when (a) you have NO debt, (b) you have 3 to 6 months of expenses saved in an emergency fund, (c) you have 20%-25% down payment, (d) your mortgage payment will be a maximum of 25% of your take-home pay (not 25% of gross pay); this is because you need to be saving 10%-15% of your take-home pay into a tax-deferred retirement account (401k or IRA) which will leave 40% to 50% of your take-home pay

    Women tend to have markedly lower levels of financial literacy than men (Source: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~alusardi/Papers/AER-FinalPublishedVersion.pdf) so your attending a home ownership classes and admitting your shortcomings is a good start. Ideally, if you can get a second job for a year or two and use that income to pay off your student loans you’ll be in a much stronger position to buy a house.

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