As you all know, I'm getting married this November to a great guy named Matt. We both live with our parents right now, but a couple weeks ago the search began for a place for us to live once we get married. It's been a really long ride, and I need to get it out.
I never wanted to buy a house, at least not an existing home and especially not with a mortgage. I always wanted to save up and build a house from scratch, paying for all or at least some of it in cash. The plan was always to be a renter until then. Matt was fully on board with this, and ready to say so to his realtor mother and mortgage broker sister when they inevitably tried to tell him it was a bad idea.
April 11, FMIL found a condo foreclosure, and the asking price was $50,000. She talked Matt into thinking it was a good idea. He came to me about it, and I told him it was a horrible idea. I said that I didn't want to live in an apartment at ALL if I could help it, much less OWN one. We got in an argument about it. He said it was a super cheap option and that I wasn't even open to the idea. Well this was pretty late at night, so I went ahead and went to sleep.
The next day I felt bad and wanted to show Matt that if he really wanted to own instead of rent, that I might be open to the idea. I told him that it was the fact that it was a condo instead of a house that really turned me off to the idea. So I found a house that was in our price range online and told him to tell his mom to take us to see it. So he did, and she got together a folder with other houses in that price range and took us looking at houses the next day, Wednesday the 13th.
On the 13th, we went and looked at the house I had found. It was really old and actually needed more work than we thought, so we said never mind. We only had time to look at one other house that night, so we went to this cute little patio home that was a short sale. It's only 7 years old, so it needed some work but not too terribly much. We decided that as soon as my parents (who are die-hard renters) could take a look and approve, that we'd make an offer.
Sunday the 17th my mom came with us to the short sale house. She didn't like it at all. She didn't like the street, she didn't like the size, and she didn't like that it needed more work that we originally thought. And since it was a short sale and the bank had already turned down 2 previous offers of asking price, she thought we'd have to pay too much for it. While we had FMIL (realtor) with us, my mom asked about the new construction around the corner from the short sale house. She said they were a little higher, but nothing we couldn't handle, and we went to look.
We went into the model home for the neighborhood and fell in love. It was brand new, all appliances included (stainless steel!), hurricane shutters included, outdoor storage room, all brick construction, etc. Really awesome house. We went back to the realty office and made an offer that night. We were a little concerned about what the estimated mortgage notes would be, but we decided to take the plunge and submitted the offer.
After spending Monday counter-offering back and forth with the builder, FMIL got us a great deal on Tuesday morning: seller pays all closing costs; seller includes washer, dryer, and all stainless steel kitchen appliances; and seller gives us a $750 gift certificate to buy furniture with. We were stoked. FSIL was going to be doing our mortgage, and she was on vacation that week, so we planned to meet Easter Sunday to do the loan paperwork.
Easter Sunday, FSIL and I both got sick, so we postponed our meeting until Monday after I got off work. Monday morning, my mom texted me at work that a big packet from the mortgage company came in the mail for me. I asked her to open it for me and let me know what was inside, because I thought I might need it for my meeting with FSIL. So my mom opened it and then texted me "Call me." So I did. She said the estimated mortgage payment in that packet was $115 more than what FMIL had estimated. When we met with FSIL, even all the creative math she could do still had it at $30/month more than we thought, PLUS the $16/month home owners' association dues that we didn't know about at first. So we retracted our offer.
The house next door to my parents is for rent for $850/month. (Well, it's a duplex house so technically it's the same house.) My mom talked me into calling her landlord and offering to rent that house. Neither Matt nor myself really wanted it, but she was pretty insistent and we were vulnerable so we caved. I called the landlord and set up a meeting with him for Wednesday to sign the lease.
The next day (Tuesday), the builder was so upset that we retracted our offer, that they offered to give us $2000 to buy down the interest rate on the mortgage to get the payments back to what they originally were supposed to be. So we agreed to move forward with the sale. I called the landlord and told him I had changed my mind. But all that day I didn't feel good about it. I needed constant reassurance all day that it was a good decision, and then when I got home from work, my mom started. She hounded me for hours about the negative aspects of home ownership and told me I was making the worst decision ever, and that I had let FMIL brainwash me. I would have ignored all that and gone forward with the sale anyway, had it not been for my noticing that my student loan payments were about to go up. I told Matt, and we made the final decision not to buy that house.
Yesterday, Matt and I planned to go to a local apartment complex - the place we had planned to live all along - to look at apartments. On my way there, my mom calls me, practically having a panic attack, saying that her landlord just showed the house next door to two couples that looked less than reputable. She said she couldn't live next door to criminals and thugs and didn't have good enough credit to move. She BEGGED me to come move into the house next door so that no one else could, and said she would pay the difference in my bills from the apartment to the house (which is about $200/month). My mom is not good with finances. When I move out, the $130/month I give her to live there is gonna be gone. So she's gonna have to come up with an extra $130/month as it is, how is she supposed to get ANOTHER $200? I told her no, that Matt and I were looking at these apartments. My mom got VERY upset. She yelled at me "FINE! Do whatever MATT wants you to do!" And then she hung up on me. I said "oh well" and went to meet Matt to look at the apartments.
We went to the leasing office, looked at a 2 bed/2 bath with water included in the rent, liked it, and filled out an application. We paid the application fee, we picked a unit, and our move-in date is August 7. It's a done deal.
So I went home last night after church and my mom is sitting on the couch crying. (She is very much a drama queen, though you'll never get her to admit it.) She asked me what we did, and I told her we got an apartment. She argued for a bit about why we should move next door to her, but when I said "so what happens if your hours get cut at the hospital? How are you supposed to pay your bills and mine too?" And she shut up on the subject. I told her to try getting an apartment at the complex Matt and I got if she really wants to move. Then she started crying about how she didn't have the $75 for an application (to which I had to fight the urge to yell "SO HOW WERE YOU SUPPOSED TO PAY ME $200 TO LIVE NEXT DOOR IF YOU DON'T HAVE $75?" but I managed to keep my composure). I told her I would even pay that for her if it made her feel better, and I helped her fill out the application. I THOUGHT we were fine and dandy from there.
After I got off work today, I called my mom - who is at work - to let her know that I had made it home OK. She sounded exasperated and upset. I asked what was wrong, she said nothing, and I said "if you say so." She said "Well I'm at work so I can't talk about it right now." I'm just worried that she's gonna come home and guilt trip me like she always does. She's either gonna get her way or get money out of me or something - and she won't stop until she does. This is gonna suck.