From the moment the complex manager opened the door, I’ve been in love with our little apartment. The living/dining room has great sunlight, the bedroom is a cozy size. Maybe the kitchen is a little small, but I’m only really in there a couple days a week, when it’s time to whip up big batches of food.
The price is right too, less than $750 for an apartment just outside DC. In a fairly quiet neighborhood, not in one of the worst areas of town. The complex is brick and has attractive lawns. It’s right next to a cute, delightful neighborhood where we go walking. The neighborhood is particularly awesome because the houses are pretty unique. There are big and little ones, all different styles, and it’s old so there are nice trees.
The best part is that the price covers everything. We don’t have to pay for most apartment repairs or property taxes. We don’t have to pay interest.
I can’t pretend that some days I don’t get house lust. But honestly, even my house lust is transformed by my renting experience. Last year, five other girls and I shared a house right next to our campus. I began to see that renting a house isn’t that bad.
Until you pay off the mortgage, the bank “owns” the house anyway. So unless you’re planning to stay there for good and pay it off, it’s kind of like you’re renting anyway. The advantage is that you don’t have a landlord telling you what you can and can’t do with the house. The disadvantage is that have to pay more for “rent,” repairs, and property tax. The winning advantage is that once you pay it off you increase your odds of staying there.
Right now, we don’t have income or job security. We have enough that we can afford the rent, but I’d be nervous about being in a house. And we have no idea where Micah will be able to find a full-time professorial position. Plus, our credit isn’t that great, so we’d likely have to go for a less-than-optimal mortgage. And I’d be nervous and stressed about it. So much easier for our finances and my psychological health.
Our lovely apartment is probably temporary, but right now it’s just right for us!
(and an update: Home Prices Are Falling, But We’re Still Not Buying)
This post is part of a writing project headed up by Rocket Finance exploring different aspects of the sub-prime crisis, lending practices, and foreclosures, and is my own musings on taking on a risky mortgage. Visit Rocket Finance on Friday for Home Finance: all you need to know about home ownership, a carnival of entries in this project. (I’ll be adding links to some of the other posts at this time.)
Here is the complete list of participants in the series “Home Finance: Mortgages and the Real Cost of Home Ownership”:
- My Thoughts On This Whole Mortgage Crisis And Why I Don’t Feel That Bad @ My Two Dollars
- Frugal Hacks for Your Home @ Being Frugal
- Why We Have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage @ My Dollar Plan
- Debt-To-Income Ratio and Why It Matters @ Moolanomy
- Catch a Falling Knife – Buying the Housing Slump @ Millionaire Money Habits
- Can we afford the Payments @ PaidTwice
- Pay off Credits Cards with a HELOC @ Debt Free Revolution
- So You Want to Buy a Fixer Upper @ Remodeling This Life
- American Subprime Crisis-Should We Care @ Plonkee Money
- Mortgage escrow accounts Explained @ Cash Money Life
- Don’t Use Your House to Pay for Your Life @ Rocket Finance
- Why the Sub-Prime Crises has not Affected Canada Yet @ Four Pillars
- That Damned Rent vs. Buy Question @ Blueprint for Financial Prosperity
- Predatory Mortgage Lending and the Subprime Market @ Chance Favors
- After Foreclosure Guide to Housing: It Ain’t Easy @ DebtKid
- How to Avoid Foreclosure – The Definitive Guide @ Credit Withdrawal