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Buying a House - My Long Story

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    Buying a House - My Long Story

    Guys! I'm buying a house! I'm 39 and it's my first house!! We made the decision to halt extra debt payments a year ago and save toward a house instead.

    Thanks to our credit scores, we are eligible for a 97% mortgage with no PMI. Also the lender gifts 2% of our down payment. That means we can hold on to more of our savings. We had been waiting for my husband's employer to decide to make him a permanent employee and it finally happened! We got our approval letter yesterday and already looked at 1 house.

    I've made all sorts of stupid financial decisions over the years and I've dealt with difficult circumstances. In trying to improve my financial health, I started asking myself why I've done certain things, or how I've found myself in certain situations. I've done that before, but this time I made myself answer for real. It was PAAAAIIINFUL. Maybe it sounds obvious and silly, but "knowing is half the battle! GI JOOOOOE!!!" As soon as I really understood, I could make better decisions. Kind of. Eventually.

    Without going into a big sob story about my whole life, I have depression and ADD and those affect everything, including finances. I heard a stat once that having ADD/ADHD costs the individual $10,000 per year. That's between school performance, job performance, social interaction, networking, impulsivity, etc. Somehow, a person much smarter than I plugged a bunch of factors in and came up with an annual figure. So interesting!

    Anyhoo, I used to feel bad because I borrowed too much for college, because I waste money on cigarettes, because I have a gambling problem. Then I try to get control and quit smoking, quit buying soy mochas, quit gambling. I always failed and then felt depressed. (Oh sorry! I said I wasn't going to tell a big sob story!) When I got depressed, I gave up on all of it.

    I used to try to pay down debts, but there wasn't enough instant gratification (thanks ADD!), so I'd give up on that. Then I'd try to save money, but I'd get discouraged and give up. Then I had done neither.

    We have 5 kids (4 still at home), 2 are special needs and living in a space owned by someone else is stressful. Living above, below, or on the other side of a wall from a neighbor is stressful with kids that can be loud and destructive in ways people may not understand. Just mounting a therapy swing has proven more damaging than anticipated.

    With all the confused and changing financial goals, we were really looking at not being able to buy a house until we had an empty nest! There's nothing really wrong with that, but it doesn't sit well with me. I want to give my kids their own room and buckets of paint and say "go crazy!" I want to build crazy stuff for my Teddy Bear (youngest autistic son). I want a basement with padded walls, a climbing wall, and trim-damaging therapy swings in every corner. I want to let him yell the same word over and over for 5 hours, if that's what makes him feel "right" for some mysterious reason.

    Anyhoo again, I stopped trying to pay down debt. It wasn't happening fast enough to make me feel good. My big reason for doing it was to buy a house, but it was going to take soooo long. I decided to focus on the main goal. The house. I got in touch with a lender, knowing they would keep bugging us about getting a mortgage. I got in touch with a real estate agent for the same reason. They unknowingly kept me focused on my goal. I shopped for houses obsessively. I pinned house decorating ideas, landscaping ideas, garage workshop ideas, even outdoor cat enclosures for corn's sake!! Everything I needed a house for!

    Then friends, I broke laws. Laws of fiscal logic. As if ignoring debts wasn't enough, I also decided I should go ahead and smoke. And drink soy mochas. And yes, even gamble. I started doing bookkeeping for a coffee shop and taking half my fees in gift cards. I can bathe in mochas if I want. I planned my gambling trips and stashed money for it. Budgeting gambling? Oh yes! And smokes too. Guess what? I kinda don't feel like smoking or gambling as much. I've just kinda cut down. Have I seriously been doing those things as a rebellious act against myself? Looks like maybe I have. Now that I let myself do it, it's not so much fun.

    Anyway friends, I'm buying a MF-ING HOUSE!!

    Thanks for reading

    Congrats and enjoy your home!

    3 percent down with no PMI tells me another housing crash is in the off'ing!
    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

    -George Carlin


      Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post
      3 percent down with no PMI tells me another housing crash is in the off'ing!
      Yep. That jumped out at me too. Lenders (and borrowers) learned absolutely nothing from the 2008 crash. They're right back to the same bad habits that got them into trouble last time.

      OP, I hope it all works out great for you. Make sure to keep a nice fat emergency fund especially with your family size and special needs kids. You need a big cushion to cover things that could happen. Standard advice is 3-6 months of expenses but in that case I'd probably suggest more like 8 months or even more depending on the stability of your income.

      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.


        Annibelle, hope it all goes well for you. One secret that I learned about my autistic son which helped immensely, was when he was totally, absolutely out of control, I gave him brownies, cookies, candy - whatever was handy and within 20 minutes he was a person again and then I could work on feeding him something 'real'. I think his bloodsugar was bottoming out and he was reacting against it.

        He is 34 and is on his own and doing wonderfully, but even now if we are out, he will tell me, "I'm starting to feel that why", which is my clue to get him to food STAT. I think whatever signals his brain to hunger pains isn't the same as for 'normal (neur-typical)' people. To him it isn't a hunger sensation, but 'I'm getting grumpy' sensation.

        Just some words of advice in case they are useful. Took me years to figure that one out!!!


          Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post
          3 percent down with no PMI tells me another housing crash is in the off'ing!
          I didn't know those types of loans still existed.


            In response to the comments about the mortgage, this is a lender that deals only with high credit-score borrowers. They offer down payment gifting and no PMI in order to attract their target customers. It's a very specific product. We waited to qualify because my husband was a contract employee, which would not allow us to qualify. The local banks were open to lending to us despite that as long as we had no employment gaps.

            Honestly, I was wary when we were told about it. While looking at a house yesterday, I explained the mortgage to our realtor to explain why it took us so long to finally get our pre-approval. He said he had heard of it and it's a good product, so I feel better.


              What APR and APY are they offering for your mortgage? closing costs?

              seems too good to be true (i.e. I'm skeptical it is really in your favor but would love to be wrong)


                I got a 3% down loan when I bought my house (it did have PMI however) and have been mortgage free since 2011, but I got it back in '98 and things were a little different then. I paid extra whenever I could, I worked second jobs, saved and scrimped to no end with a goal of no payments down the road and I made it work. If I didn't go that route I wouldn't be nearly where I am today.

                However I didn't have any children (just a spendy [now ex-]wife) to deal with so that helped. While a low down payment loan can work for some... whew if it doesn't work you will have lost a lot between now and then. If you go this route, know this is for the long haul, you have to make it work, whatever it takes.
                Don't torture yourself, thats what I'm here for.