Our church leaders counsel us often to live within our means and not try to keep up with the Jones’s. As we search for a home, we have to ask ourselves what is truly a need and we remember how much less others have and our relatives who came before us. It used to be common to squeeze into a small space. My father-in-law said he had exactly one drawer when he was growing up for his clothes because there were so many kids in his family, but he was happy. Living in an apartment hasn’t made us miserable, but according to the rules, we are supposed to only have two people per bedroom. We would stay and save money a while longer if it weren’t for the worry that our manager would kick us out, although she doesn’t want to.
This is our third time attempting to buy a house and though lenders have been under fire for the housing crisis, it seems nothing much has changed. We were frustrated to receive a lot of pressure from our realtor and lender as they tried to convince us we could make the payment they suggested. Years ago they told us just to get our “starter home” and then we could turn around an sell it for a lot of money, buying our dream house after that. That’s just not how things went at all and luckily we ignored this advice. We would have been stuck in a tiny house or possibly gone into foreclosure because my husband’s industry was so affected by the economy.
We refuse to be “house poor” – to put ourselves in a position that it’s impossible to save any money. I can guarantee that things will start breaking way faster than we can afford to replace them, which would get us into credit card debt again. I would rather stay in this apartment than go through that again. I would rather go camping than to worry every minute of every day how we are going to make ends meet.
We know our income and expenses best. They don’t. They kept trying to tell me how the tax break would make the payment the same as our rent, which just isn’t true.
We’re praying so hard that something truly affordable will come up, so we might have to be patient a while longer. We know we’ll be blessed for doing what’s wise for our family. To lose a house would be devastating and make it hard to even find a place to rent. Our family is too large to move in with family at this point.
I hope we know the right home when we see it. No matter what, it will be a stressful decision.