Friday, March 23, 2012

In THIS Economy?!

So buying a house was stressful.  And it wasn't so much the stress of making the decision.  We knew it was a good decision to finally buy a house.  We needed more space for our growing family, I got a better job, and renting is essentially throwing your money away (we've spent over $70,000 on rent since we got married).  So we weren't worried about it being the right choice.  The stressful part was all the unknown stuff that could happen.

Two things kept playing on a loop in my mind.  First was the 1986 comedy "The Money Pit" starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long.  I kept imagining ridiculous plumbing and electrical problems that, if filmed, would be hilarious.  But in my head they played less hilariously.  I couldn't help but imagine our bathtub falling through the second floor and shattering on the ground level (even though we were buying a one-story house).  And I kept imagining door frames falling down and chimneys collapsing.  And since I don't have the charisma of Tom Hanks, there was a lot of crying in those fearful imagining instead of laughing.

But the other thing that kept running through my head was the constant fear that closing costs would balloon out of control once we sat down to sign.  The voice in my head kept saying, "Just wait.  It'll be so much worse than you think it is."  See, our lender (who made this process pretty difficult and so shall remain nameless) had assured us that we wouldn't have to pay more than $800 at closing.  But every document they sent me had an estimate that was closer to $1500.  And my job isn't so much better that I have an extra $700 laying around whenever I need it.  So we scrimped and saved and sold a lot of our stuff to make sure we had enough.  Then the day before closing, they were supposed to give us the final tally.  But they didn't have it.  In fact, they waited so long to find out what the closing costs would be, that we didn't find out until we sat down to sign (with a stack of hundreds in my pocket).

Luckily for us, the closing costs came out to be less than $400, despite my bank's insistence that they would be more than that.  And that gave us a nice little cushion in case we had to buy a bunch of stuff for our very own money pit.

Also luckily for us, it hasn't turned out to be a money pit.  The home has been well-maintained, renovated slightly, and there hasn't been a single issue we've had to pour money into.  But I can promise one thing.  We will never install a tub on the second floor.  Mostly because I don't want to pour water into it and then laugh maniacally when it crashes and shatters on the ground below.  (But also because we don't have a second floor.)

No comments: