Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The nervous voms

We put another offer on a house.  Then they counter-offered and we had to decide what to do about it. I ended the night scrolling through pictures of adoptable dogs on the Internet to calm myself down. Except I did not calm down and I haven't calmed down since.

This house is at the top of our budget. Slightly over it, actually. Let's break down the reasons this makes me want to nervous vomit all over the place.

  1. This is a house that we cannot afford on just D's salary. If we buy this house and have children we will struggle to allow me to stay home for six months and then I will have to go back to work. End of story.

  2. D$ makes really good money. What the fuck is wrong with me that I want to buy a house that isn't affordable on a salary that is more than the combined salary of almost everyone I know? How is that even possible?  What is it that I think I need that can cost so much money? 

  3. The house has three bedrooms. It has a dining room, a garage, a full basement. It is cute. I feel like buying this house (when I could buy a smaller house in a not-as-nice neighborhood for an amount that would allow me to take more time off of work) I am selling my future children down the river so that I can have nicer "stuff." Wrapping my  hypothetical babies up in blankets and leaving them on a church doorstep so that I can have a guest bedroom.*

  4. What happens if we become miserable in our jobs and cannot follow our dreams because of our mortgage? What happens if we lose our jobs? 
Of course there are counter arguments: the neighborhood has the best elementary school in the state. Those three bedrooms mean that we can live in this house with our children for many many years without having to move again. It's a really good price for the neighborhood and the amount of space.  I don't know if I would want to stay home anyway. We have free, amazing childcare in my mom(s) so staying home is a bad financial decision regardless of the price of the home we buy (not to mention the impact on my career, independence, etc). 

All of these facts did nothing to soothe the ache in my gut when I think about 1-4 above. None of these facts eased the guilt I felt about not living in a dirt-floored cabin, sharing a bed with my children, and Living Simply So That Others May Simply Live. That rationale did not stop me from wondering what our (artist/teacher/librarian) friends will think when they see it. Will they whistle under their breath and decide we must have lots of money, then hate me when I am home with a baby and stingy about going out because of the cost? 

Really, I should have had this freak out a long time ago. When we set our housing budget D$ told me what the top of the budget meant. I knew it. But I didn't know it. Now - now that I was deciding if I wanted to  sign my name to documents that will commit me to that amount of money -  well I sorta started to lose my shit. I second guessed my priorities. I doubted what I thought I knew. I spoke to my dad on speakerphone while huddled in a ball on a stool but failed to be swayed by his advice. It felt like there was basically no way for me to know if we were doing the right thing. 

*      *      *      *      *

After hours of deliberation we took a deep breathe and counter-offered back. Neither one of us felt good, or sure, or remotely sane. 

Today, they countered (again, these assholes!) with something we'd considered offering. 

And I was excited. D$ was excited. 

Hopefully, that's all we need to know. 

We're gonna accept. 

*D$ rightly pointed out that the third thought is pretty much 100% about me. I don't think that D$'s choice to work is selling our kids down the river, do I? 


  1. Eeeeeeeeee!!!!! We aren't into buying a home at the moment, but I can imagine that level of anxiety and how it spills over into what you're *really* saying about your life choices. Still, I'm so glad that you made it to a place where you're both comfortable.

  2. Congrats! I'm sure you're making the right decision. If you've thought this much about it, you are showing financial conservatism right there.

    I'm excited for you!

  3. What an exciting/terrifying/promising day! Congrats! :)

  4. I'm way off from buying a house, but reading about your thought/emotions process is so valuable for me. I always feel sick and guilty when I spend a lot of money, even (or especially!) for something I can afford and would really improve my life. My husband is a lot more rational about these things, but it's just a freak out I have to go through. I'm happy to hear it sounds like it's working out for you.

  5. It's so hard to know before you own a house, exactly what that will look like for you financially (with all those repercussions you are thinking about). All you can do is research "what you can afford", look at your budget and have a little faith that even though it seems insane and overwhelming, it will work. I know I was so freaked out about money when we bought our house 3 years ago. And we did feel house poor for a few months, but by 3 months in the new budget with the mortgage payment felt totally normal and comfortable, and we haven't really thought about it since.

    Congratulations! Buying a house is so exciting, and I love being a homeowner (even if there are stressful days).

  6. @hlockhart: Thanks, I'm actually really glad to hear that. I was hoping that I wasn't the only one who struggles with this kind of stuff, and it's always nice to hear that what I'm putting out ther is valuable to someone.
    @c.r.a: THAT is valuable for ME to hear! Thanks.

  7. After scoping out OR, I'm pretty stoked to see what you guys nailed. Pics, or it didn't happen.

  8. Just the idea of having a proper mortgage of any kind gives me the nervous voms (our current house is mortgaged to the 'bank of mom and dad' - how's that for stupidly privileged?!), so well done you for even going there! And I hope it's all worked out happily by now!