Last week, Michael and I were walking the dog through the neighborhood when we noticed a house on our street for sale. It had just come onto the market. It was so new in fact that when we tried to find it online to see how much they were asking for it, we couldn't find it anywhere. The next day, I went hunting for it online again and found it. Michael had been doing the same thing because we texted each other about it at the same time. It was just the right size with three bedrooms and a finished basement. The backyard was fenced in with a good privacy fence and was just as big as our current backyard. The bonus part was that it was across the street and three houses up from ours. We could just walk our things over. All of a sudden we were making plans to see this house and scrambling around to see if we could possible scrape together enough money for a down payment.
Before everyone gets super excited, I will tell you that we are not buying that house. It sold in minutes. Seriously. It went on the market on Tuesday and they had three offers by Thursday, but it did tell us a few things about how we really feel about our house that we live in right now. It is obvious we'd like more space and it's obvious that redoing the basement is not going to be the answer for that space. The minute something goes on the market that has just one bedroom more than what we have now, we go crazy. Particularly if that house is cheap! The other thing this experience told us is that we are a lot better off financially now then we were a year ago. That part surprises me because I have credit card debt. Woohoo, lots of credit card debt. I mean, maybe less than the typical American family, but enough to make me wince. Despite this, between savings and scrimping here and there, we could have scraped up just enough for a downpayment. The part that wouldn't have been easy, though we could have made it work, would have been making mortgage payments on both houses until we got my house rented.
The important part is that we could have made it work. It would have been tight, but possible. It would have been easy once my house got rented because the money we would get from rent payments would pay both mortgages. We just didn't want to be depended on this for obvious reasons. So this set us into tightening our belts mode and looking a little bit closer at how we spend our money. I down graded our cable to just internet. This will save us sixty dollars a month. I cancelled my Ipsy subscription which will save us ten dollars a month. I was really only using about half the things they sent me anyway. Michael had already gotten us new car and house insurance that lowered our insurance bill by twenty dollars a month. I adjusted my Square Space account to save us another hundred dollars a year and I am now buying cheese at Aldi because it's cheaper there than at Trader Joe's. I did not buy that linen shirt I saw at Target that was covered with tiny elephants, but I did splurge on a couple of new outside chairs for around the fire pit, so...We needed those!
The idea is to put ourselves in a position to not have to scrape funds together whenever we see a house on the market that we are interested in buying. And I don't think it will take us long to do that, which is so crazy grown up to me. I still watch House Hunters and think "HOW DO THEY HAVE SO MUCH MONEY TO BUY A HOUSE!?!" It's always some super young couple too. It's hard for me to imagine that we are capable of owning a bigger house. Except we are!