Some days we are actively shopping to buy a new house, other days we are perfectly content with no plans of moving at any time... but this roller coaster of home buying goals and thoughts is starting to get stressful. We are currently in a 3 bedroom 1.5 bath house that is fine for our family. But we are outgrowing it quickly. Every inch of every room is already in use/full and I feel like we are not going to be comfortable for much longer.
The problem is the finances (isn't money always the problem??). For us to buy the type of home we are looking for, our mortgage would obviously increase and we would pretty much drain our savings for a down payment. But on the other side, the home prices are still low and the interest rates are good, so we can get a lot of house for a lower price. We talk about it all the time and are going back and forth about whats the best decisions for our house. Unfortunately we have student loans, car payments, and other various loans that we also want to pay off. Our financial plan is to move into a larger home that we can stay in for a very long time, pay off all of our debts, invest for retirement, and start college savings for Ryan... the current dilemma is decided what order to do these things in. Should we pay off all the debts and then go to a new home? Should we get settled in our "forever" home and then make a new budget and plan to pay off the debts and invest? If we get extra money because of a bonus or tax returns, whats the best thing to do with the money? Soooo many decisions!
Since I am a list maker, breaking it down into pro/cons list might help us getting a better idea...
Things I love about my home-
1. Its currently in pretty good condition, no major projects need to be done
2. We have a pool!!
3. Its cozy and comfortable, all of our family memories are here
4. Very close to my parents
5. Very close to the beach
6. Centrally located in Toms River
Reasons I want out-
1. Another bedroom
2. A master bathroom
3. An area for a play room (basement, family room, anything other than having all the toys in the only living space we have)
4. We need a bigger yard, somewhere for Ryan to play
5. Get off of our busy street
6. A bigger kitchen
7. More closets
8. And for Mike- a garage
Reasons to buy something now-
1. Low interest rates
2. Lower home rates (I don't think this is going to last much longer, we are already seeing a change in the market)
3. Get our self locked into a bigger home for a reasonable monthly mortgage price (for example have a $1,600 mortgage for the next 30 years vs a $1,900 mortgage for the same home if we wait a year or two)
Reasons to wait-
1. Get more money when we sell our current home
2. Possible be in a position to keep our home and rent it out, adding to possible monthly income
3. Hopefully have a little bit more saved and monthly income so the higher down payment and mortgage won't be as hard
4. Try to pay off other debts leaving more money in our monthly budget
Decisions, decisions! My gut tells me that we should seriously start looking and to move sooner rather than later. I feel that once we are settled into a new home, it will be easier to budget and create a plan to pay off the other debts. We would no longer be debating every month about whether the extra should be going to house saving or paying off bills. Plus, eventually when we have the other loans payed off, it will be nice to have a lower mortgage long term.
I know that would mean things would be very tight in the short term. We would have to be very careful about our spending and all financial decisions we make, but I really feel like it would be the smarter decision for the long term. Ahhhh! I could also be totally wrong and maybe I should just be happy with what we have and not worry so much about the future.
I'll keep you posted !!