That all said, I really think I need to buy a house next year. The big thing is that I'm having a baby and there's no room for it here. Marc and I are in a split-level "one bedroom" that has no walls. I often feel like with just the two of us, we're outgrowing it. An office would be nice. A basement for storage would be nice. A second bathroom would br PRICELESS. And finally, a room for the baby, where we can close the door and watch TV someplace else while it snoozes away.
Last year we kinda looked at some places, but after about two days of cruising neighborhoods on Sunday afternoons for open houses we decided we weren't ready. We couldn't really afford anything we liked and didn't really like anything we could afford. Plus there was no hurry, not like we were having a baby or anything. So we signed another one-year lease on the apartment. I got pregnant right after we signed the lease. The timing was outright weird.
So here's the timeline we're considering:
- April 1 - $8000 tax credit for first-time home buyers goes away. If we've "bought" the house by then we get the credit, if not too bad.
- June 11 - have a baby. I should mention that I have a family history of late babies.
- July 1 - Close on the house to get $8000 tax credit.
- August 31 - lease is up. Getting out of the least before that costs about $2000
But the tax credit drives all these other questions into my head, maybe we should try doing this earlier. Close by July 1? So in June, we'd have a baby and close on a house... does that sound too busy? Maybe we could close before that, and try to move out of the apartment while I'm eight months pregnant?
I read a real estate article once that said "First time buyers should know that the right time to buy a house is whenever YOU are ready to buy a house. Do not try to time the markets or take advantage of amazing offers, just buy when you're ready, this is your home you're talking about." And Rich Dad, Poor Dad also really stresses the fact that a house should not be your big investment asset... it's just where you live. So don't think too much about money. Just live there.
The other thought in my head is that the tax credit has already been extended once, and may very well be again. If we buy in August and they don't extend for us, well, it wasn't really our money to begin with was it? I don't feel so bad gambling with money that isn't mine.
It feels like such a maze.