Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Maybe we can buy a house?

A few weeks ago my wife and I were talking about future housing plans. Our current apartment is fine, but in several ways it is less than ideal. Our lease ends at the end of the summer, so there is an opportunity to move there. As we talked, we thought that if it is going to be a couple more years before we buy a house then it might make sense to move into a rental home. We also decided to get some real information about what home ownership takes.

Up until this point we were going off our own vague understandings. Most of this was based on the fact that the economy is collapsing and my personal finance class. In other words, we were pretty sure home ownership in New England just wasn't going to happen in our near future, if ever.

We knew this was an assumption based on poor information, so we resolved to learn a little bit more. I emailed my father to get some advice. He suggested four things:

  • Check out some books from the library. This was an idea that had slipped my mind. I ended up requesting three books through my library. One of them ended up not being what I was looking for. I am currently reading the Geek's Guide to Home Buying and it seems to be a good introductory text. I am still waiting to get Home Buying for Dummies.
  • Check out on-line resources. He specifically mentioned http://www.realestateabc.com, but there are a whole slew of them. I'll probably talk about some of the other useful sites I have found in later posts.
  • Check out government help for buying a home. The stimulus bill gives an $8000 tax credit to first-time home buyers before July 1st. A bill from last year had offered a $7500 interest free loan through taxes. I doubt you can add the two together, but I do not actually know yet. The dates do seem to overlap.
  • Check out areas where you actually want to live. I had pretty much set my sites on one area because I knew schools were good. That community has houses $100,000 more than those in other neighborhoods my wife was looking at. Unfortunately, we don't really know much yet about the areas we are looking. This is something we are investigating further.

    That was the first step, taken a few weeks ago. We are going somewhat slow through the process and learning a lot along the way. I'll try to get caught up with the information.

    Anonymous said...

    Happy house hunting!

    cay said...

    Thanks, Nathan.

    We're happy to learn all we can about this, too.

    And where we want to live seems to be about $200,00+ more than just a few blocks over.


    Chalen said...

    We're doing the same thing here in the Pacific Northwest. It's not much fun. Good luck and happy hunting, or researching.