Buying a house in 2014. Maybe?
December 30, 2013 8:55 AM Subscribe
The only solution I can see that will allow me to live with all my pets (current and future) is to finally purchase my own home. However, I'm not entirely convinced this won't be a colossal mistake! On the other hand, if I'm not ready now I probably never will be, nor will I be able to achieve my "pet goals". Am I ready to be a homeowner? Is this really a good idea for me? Are there any other options? Obviously, there are some snowflakes.
posted by cgg to Home & Garden (24 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Ok mefites, I need another point of view. I'm seriously considering buying a house for the first time in 2014. (Technically a condo or townhome, because single-family homes are just not possible for me in this insane Vancouver-area market. It's beyond nuts.) I've been mentally debating buying for at least 5 years, but I just cannot pull the trigger. I have talked to a real estate agent now though, so I'm getting closer...
I'm buying for one as a mid-30s, single female making decent but not extravagant money. No kids, but pets. I currently have 3 cats, but I also want to get a dog sooner rather than later. In fact, that's my main impetus for buying a house; I want to get into a place that allows pets. It's tough enough to buy attached housing with this many paws -- most building stratas only allow a max of 2 pets, but a few do allow more. However, renting with 3 cats is insanely tough; adding a dog while renting would most likely make me homeless or living on a farm a bazillion miles from anywhere. I also want to be able to foster again (my 3 cats are a colossal "foster failure"). And it'd be nice to actually be able to make permanent decorating choices for once, as well.
But... the idea of committing to a house, and a mortgage, turns me into an anxiety-ridden mess. What if I lose my job? What if the neighbours seriously suck? What if this insane housing market bubble finally bursts? What if I finally truly cant take this rain any more and want out of Vancouver? What if I just *want* to move? Although I've lived in the Vancouver area most of my life, I get antsy staying in the same place. At 3 years, this is longest I've lived in one apartment since I was 18 (half my life!) and I'd have probably moved by now if it wasn't for the challenges of finding pet-friendly rental housing. I realize buying a house means I should be prepared to commit for at least 5 years; this is the part I'm having the most trouble with, even though I have no real plans to be anywhere else.
Also - can I even take care of a house on my own? I'm smart, I can learn things, but the idea of dealing with my own blown hot water tank, busted appliances, exploding toilets, or any of the other random things homeowners deal with on a daily basis freaks me right out. I was way too proud of myself for simply unclogging my kitchen sink last month without calling my landlord.
As an aside, alternatives considered include just up and moving somewhere with better weather and more reasonable housing prices, or blowing my entire downpayment on an RV and just living in that with all these animals, with the freedom of driving and staying anywhere I want. Assume for simplicities sake these really aren't viable options. If there's another option I haven't thought of though to achieve my "pet goals" though, I'm listening.
I realize that there's no real answer to all these questions, but here's what I'm hoping to get some insight on: Is home ownership even right for me? (I've seen the NYTimes calculator. It makes financial sense to buy if I stay >5 years.) When is it a mistake? How do you all deal with the nagging doubts and uncertainty surrounding making a purchase and commitment that's this huge? I'm in my freakin' mid-thirties, financially stable and with goals that do not mesh with my city's rental housing market. If it's not right for me now I get the feeling it'll never be right, and I'll be stuck here forever! Thanks all!