We are now under contract to buy a house, scheduled to close in about a month. We’re excited, DogDebtFreeJD is excited, and forthcoming Baby DebtFreeJD has not been consulted (but we believe he’ll like it too).
What were our criteria for a home purchase?
- The current owners were willing to close in time that we could move before Baby DebtFreeJD’s scheduled arrival. Hopefully no explanation needed on this.
- The purchase price of the house was reasonable. Reasonable being a subjective term. Our mortgage agent seemed a little surprised that our price range for a house was approximately half of what we could have qualified for. Our feeling was that the house we’re under contract to buy seems pretty fancy to us at this price point — we’d probably be afraid to mess up the paint in a more expensive place. Plus, having worked so hard to shovel ourselves out from a mountain of law school debt, we’re not going to immediately pile on an enormous mortgage payment.
- There’s a good public school nearby. Many of the folks I work with send their kids to private school. Don’t get me wrong – I think a good education is worth spending money on. But Mr. DebtFreeJD and I have feelings about public education. Finding a home where we could have a kid walk to a good public school was a top priority.
- We can commute by bike or public transit to our jobs. I’ve written before about how much I loathe car commutes. We have a car, and that’s plenty of hassle. We definitely don’t want two of them. This place is right near a bike trail that goes straight to my job (not that I’m going to be biking anywhere in the near future – I can barely get myself from my office chair to the printer). It’s an easy bike commute for Mr. DebtFreeJD as well. And as backup, there’s a bus.
- There’s a fence around the yard for DogDebtFreeJD. She will love this. We already refer to it as the “Forthcoming Fluffle Utopia.” Of course, she would love it even more if there were no fence, and she were left to be a wild fluff (as she imagines she was meant to be) but trust us – she’s better off this way.
- The yard faces south. There is something ironic and sad about the fact that I’ll finally have a spot to put in a garden, but I’m going to be too immobile to use it this year. Mr. DebtFreeJD has volunteered to dig as directed, but I think we’ll probably have other things occupying our time. Like our upcoming progeny. DogDebtFree will, I’m sure, try to engage in some private landscaping when she thinks no one is watching.
- No major work was required. I loathe the kitchen tiles in this place. I also have serious issues with the layout of the kitchen, want to immediately rip out the carpeting upstairs, and foresee a vendetta against the shrubs in the front yard. This was all immaterial, however, compared to the following: roof, furnace, water boiler, windows and insulation. Those are all in good shape. The tiles can wait until we have the time and energy to tackle them. Maybe in 18 years or so.
Fingers crossed, the closing will go smoothly!