Want to know how to induce an uber dramatic eye roll from me?
By telling me, unsolicited I might add, how much money you make or how big your house is.
I have little time or respect for people who use their money or buying power to impress me. It fundamentally does something to my body. It’s hard to explain how much I despise it. Not only is it a great character assessment for me, but it’s also is a great indicator of how little this person may know me to think that somehow that information is 1) beneficial to my life and 2) something that gets my rocks off…if I were to have rocks, that is.
“We bought a house!”
“It has 5 bedrooms.”
“Did you have an army of children I didn’t know about? Oh, wait. Shit. That was out-loud… Congratulations again!”
So, what happened that we are now ready to dip our toes into the house-buying pool to join the legion of people who brag about their square footage?
Jokes. You know we’d only brag about how many beers our new fridge could fit. I’m fully convinced we would be THE WORST couple ever on House Hunters.
“Hey honey, did you see the new stainless steel appliances? Oooohhh, I can’t wait to be wiping finger prints off of that forever.”
It was a perfect storm of wanting to be closer to the beach, the ability to always be able to rent out a condo we own if we’re closer to said beach, the threat of further interest rate hikes, the tax incentive of owning, and housing prices gradually increasing that made us look into buying our first home.
Something small; a 1 or 2 bedroom condo. A water view (either the Intracoastal or beach). Walkable to the beach. Ability to walk to some restaurants and basic errands.
Simple enough, right?
Turns out, in the current South Florida market, we aren’t exactly opening doors with our short “wants list.” Plus, the house hunting season in South Florida is short. As our realtor said, “Good luck finding a condo after October 1st.” If the owners aren’t getting offers they like, they simply rent it out to snowbirds who don’t leave until April. So it’s a tight window and as most people who are house hunting are currently experiencing, it’s inflated and competitive.
We simply aren’t willing to go over what we’re comfortable with just to join the mortgage rat race.
I know this seems logical, but man, buying a home can be emotional and I’ve witnessed far too many people I know buy in the spur-of-the-moment, and then be cash-strapped for other expenses that may pop up.
Like, you know, going to Japan or South Korea.
Per usual, the hubster and I are not like most people, and we’d rather not use the prescriptive 25%-35% (I’ve even seen up to 50%!) of our monthly income to be spent on housing. Sure, that’s normal. That falls in the standard line items of most household budgets.
But what about the name of my freakin’ website says I’m average?
So, after seeing move-in ready condos on the Intracoastal with little hope of much resell value to total gut jobs with great views of the Intracoastal and beach to even semi-move-in ready condos right on the beach, we decided to slow our roll.
Side note: what an underused phrase. Especially if you say it with a long drawwwwl.
We enjoy our lifestyle. We really love our current condo and where we live; I would just love to be closer to work and the beach. We need the flexibility (read: liquidity) to travel to see each other on a whim. We place value on experiences like traveling, donating our time and money, personal hobbies, trying new places to eat and
buying everything under the sun with Amazon Prime funding our retirement accounts.
We aren’t big spenders on the stereotypical items: cars or houses or name-brand clothes. But, certainly, after going over our budget with a fine-toothed comb again and again, until even Excel hated us, we know we can cut back on certain columns.
Side note: Please tell the hubster that seeing my dermatologist isn’t a personal expense, it should be medical. It’s tough to keep looking this good. 😉
It was a good, quick reminder. In the midst of life-changing, emotionally charged decisions, take a step back. Remind yourself who you are and what is really, truly important to you.
So, when all is said and done — we almost joined the rat race, but we aren’t settling. We will still keep our eyes open and stay in touch with our realtor, so if something perfect (or near perfect) pops up, we’ll be ready to roll.