Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A House?!

A few weeks ago, I put a status on my facebook: "my life is boring right now...." Since then, my life has gotten sooo busy and so exciting. Daniel and I are looking for a house. Even as I type it, I still find it hard to believe. If someone had told me two weeks ago that we'd be seriously considering buying a house, I would have laughed at them. How did this all come about? Well, a week and a half or two weeks ago, I was online at our bank's website and, just for the heck of it, I decided to calculate what our monthly mortgage payment would be if we bought a house. To my surprise and shock, the number that I came up with was only about $30 more than what we're paying for rent right now. And that's how it all started. I thought about that number constantly, thinking how ridiculous it was for us to be paying rent each month when we could be investing that money in a house instead. The only problem was, we don't have enough money saved for a down payment. I thought about every scenario possible to get money for a down payment but nothing came to me. And then I remembered something that I heard my parents talking about with some friends of ours who are trying to buy a house. The government is offering an incentive to first-time homebuyers - a tax credit of 10% of the purchase price with a maximum of $8,000. That, of course, made the prospect of owning a home even better. But we still didn't have money for a down payment. And the incentive that the government is offering is good until April 30, 2010, with a 60-day extension to June 30 if a contract is entered into before April 30. So what to do?
And then it hit me. We could use the tax credit for our down payment! We'd have to get a short-term loan of $8,000, use that for the down payment and closing costs and then pay off that loan when we get the credit from the government. I talked to my parents about it and they said we could just borrow the money from them, which is even better since most banks don't like it if you're borrowing any of the down payment. So, now that we've found a way to actually get the money for a down payment and our bank has pre-qualified us for a loan, we just need to find a house.
A week or so ago, during the time that I was pondering how to get money for the down payment, I was driving home from somewhere (don't even remember where) and I was looking at the houses along Kellogg. About a mile from the exit that I take, there's a sound barrier wall along the highway and just on the other side, you can see the second story of houses in that neighborhood. I'd noticed those houses before (many of them were brick and looked pretty nice) so I decided to go check out the neighborhood. I exited, took a couple rights, and ended up among the houses that I had seen. And lo and behold, there on the corner was a for sale sign (realty sign actually) for a house, pointing farther down that street. I turned right again and drove down to the house with the realty sign in the front yard and saw an absolutely beautiful house. I immediately knew that we had to try to buy that house. Since then, reality has set in and I realize that there's a good chance we may not get that house but Daniel and I went to see it on Monday night and he really likes it too. It has new hard wood floors inside, new roofing (Daniel was excited about that), a nice backyard, a garage, a basement, a good-sized kitchen, etc. and it's in a pretty nice neighborhood. This Saturday, we're going to see some houses that are actually outside the city of Wichita, but I think that, if we don't like any of those, we're gonna try for that first house.
Anyway, if you follow me on facebook, you'll see each step as we move forward, but I'll try to keep my blog up-to-date on what we're doing too. I'm so excited!

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