Monday, February 1, 2010

To buy or not to buy?

To buy or not to buy...that is the question.  For the past few months, I've been seriously turning over the idea of buying a house.  I've lived in my current (one-bedroom) apartment for almost three years, and while I absolutely love it, I'm starting to feel a little cramped and I'm getting the itch to own.

The lease on my apartment is up at the end of May, so I need to make a decision in the next couple of months on what I want to do.  Obviously, the real estate market is shaky at best right now.  But, if I were to find a place before the end of April, I would qualify for the $8,000 first-time home buyer credit, which would be a nice plus.

Let me back it up a bit...I've always kind of had it in my head that life would work out like this: graduate from college, get married, buy a house, have kids.  That's just what happens, right?  Well...I'm learning that life doesn't always work out like you planned (and that's ok).  I haven't really blogged about it, but I got out of a (very) long-term relationship about 7 months ago.  I'm in a really good place right now, and happier than I've been in a long time.  But, I'm nowhere near getting married.  So, at 25 with the likelihood being that I won't get married for another several years at a MINIMUM, I hate to think about throwing away money on rent for who knows how long while I wait for my perfect marriage-then-house scenario to come along.  The thought of buying a place alone is scary, but if it's something I can do financially, then I think it might be the wise choice.  And, if I should end up getting married and needing to move in with a hubby in the next several years (trust me, I'll pulling for this scenario!), then it's smarter to go ahead and buy now so I can maximize my time in the house and have the best chance of recouping my costs, rather than wait another year or two to buy, and then have to sell a year later because I'm getting hitched.

At this point, I'm thinking townhome over single-family home, becasue a) they're cheaper b) I wouldn't have to maintain the outside lawn, etc., and c) as a single female, I think I'd feel a little safer in a townhome than in a single-family home.  I'm still wrapping my head around everything and keep going back and forth on what I want to's a really big decision.

Any advice on buying a first home??

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