Responsible Debt: Mortgage

What to consider when taking out a mortgage responsibly

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As a preteen, I watched the housing bubble burst and send turmoil throughout the economy. Ripples I still felt as a sixteen year old trying to find employment, after the Great Recession ended.

This shaped my view on the evils of taking out loans of any type. Now as an adult trying to build my life, I find that mortgages can be taken out responsibly and irresponsibly.

Doing this responsibly requires a lot of honest thought about yourself and your situation.

Would you rather be spending your money on an apartment or a house that is all yours?

I prefer the house.

When you rent an apartment the money going out each month will never come back to you. It’s gone. And while there are people out there who do prefer the low maintenance life of renting, if you’re looking to grow a family a house might be a better choice for you.

I’m someone who thinks about these things young. I want kids and I don’t want to wait until I have them to have the space for them. My husband and I bought a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom fixer upper for a great price.

When we lived in Albany, NY we were paying $840 a month to live in a 1 bedroom apartment, nothing fancy. Now we pay $890 and get so much more space and privacy.

We love being able to sing, yell, dance and have no one hear us!

When considering our debt, we don’t count the amount of our mortgage in the grand total. It is the last thing that we will be working on paying off and something that was unavoidable for our goals.

What to consider before taking out a mortgage responsibly

What to consider before taking on a mortgage:

 

  • Is the house really worth the price?

    When the market is hot, prices soar. This was a huge reason why it was so difficult for us to find a house at a good price and what made us decide on buying a house that needed a bit more work than the others using a rehab loan.
    Don’t get caught up in the emotional desire for a place. When you house shop with your emotions, you end up spending thousands of dollars more than you should.
    Bidding wars don’t benefit you as the buyer, so don’t engage. You’ll find another house that you like just as much if not more.

  • Will you potentially grow out of it in the near future?

    When we were house shopping we knew we were buying a house for our future family. It was important to us to have at least 3 bedrooms so we didn’t outgrow it too quickly. I have relatives that bought a house that was the perfect size for the kids they had and then they got pregnant again within a year of owning the place. They never negotiated and bought during a seller’s market, so they’re stuck.

    Ensure your house will last you for the foreseeable future.

  • Is the location future proof?

    If you want kids, are you in a school district you’ll be comfortable sending your kids to? Are you close to the activities you enjoy?
    We live in a small town that is right smack dab in the middle of 2 big cities and close enough to drive to another large city in a neighboring state for work if we needed. It’s a quiet neighborhood with a big yard perfect for our future kids to play and safe.

Look into down payment assistance programs and take any courses that might be available for first time home buyers to help you save extra on your purchase.

Owning a home is a great investment for your future as a young adult and it’s so liberating!

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