Like I’ve said before, H and I bought a house (we have not closed yet, though). Needless to say, it was quite the process, and we didnt really know where to start and didnt anticipate all of the things that we would have to do. As I mentioned, this will delay my debt free date, but im OK with that – this isnt actually going to change my monthly costs that much. One of the first things that H and I did when we decided to start looking for a house was talk about what we like and dont like about where we live now, and what we thought would be important to have going forward (like a dishwasher). One of the most important things for me is to be able to walk to work – I did the long commute thing for a while and wasnt going to do it anymore, so I told her that I didnt really care about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms or square footage, but I did want it within a certain geographic area – which she thought was a good idea because the area I picked is close to friends and where we live now. I let her deal with all the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and all that crap, because it wasnt really important to me, so if it was important to her, I figured that would be the best.
After we figured out an idea of what we wanted, we started doing the fun stuff: talking numbers. Property in our area is fairly cheap (I think) and never really ran up from 05-08, but did get knocked down a bit. We kind of talked some rules of thumb financially speaking. Here’s a few that came up:
- don’t spend more than 3x our yearly income
- keep payment below 30% of our income
There’s a few more that we talked about but those were the main ones. Once we picked out that number, we went to and checked out a mortgage calculator from emortgagecalculator.co.uk like that one and plugged in our high number and saw if it returned a favorable monthly payment on a 15 year term (I refused to do a 30 year note and explained why to H and showed her the numbers, and she agreed with me).
Once we got back some numbers, it was time to find a realtor and look around. I wasnt sure what to expect here, but the process was smooth and our realtor told us a lot of stuff we didnt know, which was very cool. As for now, even though I’m sad my debt free date is pushed back, I’m going to be having tons of fun doing a bunch of sustainability projects around the house, and of course i’ll post them here.
Readers: How did you like shopping for a house and a mortgage? Did it boggle your mind when you looked at the amount of money you were about to spend?