And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Tortoise and the Hare

In this story, I am the Tortoise. See, I like routine, budgets, rules, and planning. I am the gal who has not only plan A and plan B, but a whole notebook full of plans all the way down to ZZ. I like things slow and steady, am terrified of change, and generally prefer to plan for the worst in hopes that I will be pleasantly surprised.

Mr. Barefoot, on the other hand, is definitely the Hare. He never writes anything down if he can help it, he tends to jump into things headlong, and his idea of planning is saying "we'll figure it out when we get there". Budgets? Ha. Rules? They don't apply. Routine? What's that?

Ever since I finally told him that I was willing to get serious about this whole house-hunting thing, he has been gung-ho to get it done NOW. We haven't actually fought about it yet, but I can tell things will get heated before it is over.

Already he has his heart set on a particular house we saw online. I am not so sure about this particular house. While it is okay, the location is not really what I would prefer and the yard is a little on the small side. I like it, but I am just not as in love with it as he is.

We are still under contract with our apt until mid-summer. I am afraid that if I go and find out what kind of mortgage we qualify for, he will go out and just find the house he likes best for that amount of money and decide that that is the house for him. He makes things happen very quickly when it suits him.


I know that I tend to take things really slowly. Still, I will be living in this house for the next 20 yrs (most likely) and I don't want to settle for something that I am not happy with. I have no problem looking for months if need be to find the house that I will be happy in.

It looks like things will be getting interesting around here...


Wendy said...

Oh. Don't make the mistake of getting the house for the amount the bank says you can handle. REALLY look at your finances and decide how much YOU feel comfortable with. It should be less than your current rent, because there are things you'll be paying for as a homeowner that apartment dwellers don't have to worry about (like a new roof, a new blower for the furnace, a new septic system, a new water heater, replacing windows, insulating the attic ... to name a few).

I don't regret for one second having bought our house, but the first winter, I was totally shocked by how much it cost to own a house, and it's just been cumulative since. The septic system, alone, cost $10K. The positive is that the value of our home has more than doubled since we bought it - in the late 90's during the last recession ;). Then, like right now, the housing market had hit rock bottom. It's a great time to move from renting to owning :).

barefoot gardener said...

Noted...I have also been told to do the whole escrow thing for taxes.

There is so much to think about and so much to plan for...

I think my brain is frying already!

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I'm with you. Take your time, especially when buying something as big as a house.

ncmountainwoman said...

Location, location, location is the mantra of realtors. And well it should be. You are absolutely right to give location as a priority, because if you don't like where the house it, you will come to hate the house itself.

Make a list of "core" priorities that are unchangeable. Outside the core, list in order the most desirable things you want in a home. Don't let anyone persuade you to get something that doesn't meet all your core requirements.

And tell Mr. B that you can't run headlong into buying a house. It's a great buyer's market and he will be tempted. Keep him grounded and remind him of the changing needs the family will have in the future.

Good luck and happy hunting!

brad said...

"I don't want to settle for something that I am not happy with"

You can't know that without doing some work and cogitating on the house and its environment. Buying a house is a big deal.

barefoot gardener said...

Unfortunately, what I think is non-negotiable isn't necessarily what Mr. Barefoot wants and vice versa. We will work it out. Don't worry, I can be stubborn as a mule when I have to be.

OK, first off I had to look up cogitating. Keep in mind I am part of the uneducated masses and a po' girl at that.

Second, I don't understand you. Are you saying that if I think about it I might like the property better? Or are you saying the opposite.

Quite frankly, the house is on the corner of a busy street and another, not so busy, street. There have been pines planted (presumably for privacy), but they are immature yet. Besides, I just don't like the idea of living on a busy street that will only get busier due to all the development in our area. If there were no other options I might be more willing to be content with the property as it is near the river and is of a fairly decent size, but I am sure we can find something much better for our $$.

Lisa said...

You go (slowly) girl! The tortoise won the race, remember!

RuthieJ said...

Good luck Barefoot, in your house quest. I'm sending positive thoughts your way!
You have the advantage of buying something already built (hopefully). We had our second house built and that was about the most difficult 4 months our marriage had to go through (of course living in my parents basement during that time might have had something to do with it too!)

Kati said...

Remind the hubby that a lot of people are now facing foreclosure because the bank told them that they were allowed a loan of umpteen hundreds of thousands of dollars, when they didn't actually make nearly enough money per month to cover such a morgage. That's what this whole sub-prime housing bubble thing is about. A lot of folks are losing their homes over this. Don't let your hubby take the bank at their word. If they say you're qualified for a 200,000 house, I'd be very, very careful with that number, go home & run the math yourself. Make up a budget accounting for how much you can actually afford in morgage payments per month. And don't forget to factor in the cost of filling the home fuel tank with fuel.

Anyway, that's my advice. Take it or leave it obviously, because I'm by no means a pro. *wink* Best of luck with whatever you & your hubby decide. It's certainly a life-altering decision, to buy a home of one's own.

barefoot gardener said...

I remember, but the Mr. has selective memory loss...

I have thought about the possibility of building, but right now with the prices dropping so quickly it will be much more cost effective to buy ready built.

I admire your fortitude, making it 4 months in your folks' basement! I don't know if I could do it, though I love them dearly.

I have already noticed that issue with the online mortgage calculators. You put in annual salary and monthly payments you make, and then they come up with a number for what you "should" be able to afford every month.

Let's just say they are usually pretty high, in my mind. Being told that I can afford double what our rent is now on top of the extra bills that we don't have to pay here is just ridiculous!

brad said...

Sorry, all I meant was that you need to think about any house, its environment, and how you might live within all that. Not just that house.

Mortgage calculators: It seems they leave you house rich but money poor.