Not only have we sold our condo, but we have also bought a house that we will close on in a couple of months. While it may not be our dream house, it is an amazing family house and we are very excited. Several big factors went into us deciding this was our house.
Price was probably the biggest factor in our search. There are two key things that were important to us when considering the price of our house. The first is that we wanted to be able to afford at least a 20% down payment. The second is that we wanted a mortgage we could afford on one income. One key thing to note is that we cannot afford the mortgage payments on only one income if we only put 20% down, which is why I’ll have another post soon about how we’re thinking of our down payment. However, our mortgage will be less than 2x both our incomes.
We wanted a house that was not ‘too’ big, but that we could also see ourselves living in for at least 5-7 years. I think we’ve hit a happy medium, although with our kids as small as they are, it is hard to say. However, in the near term we will have plenty of room and I can also imagine this being our forever house.
Location Location Location
With two little kids one of the most important things for us when considering location was that it was in a neighborhood with a strong ‘neighborhood school’. We live in a city with a lot of magnet school options, but you are only guaranteed admission to your neighborhood school. It was hard to do a ton of research on schools because we do not know a lot of people with school aged children, we did the best we could and even went to a couple of information nights.
In addition to good schools, we also wanted a neighborhood that is walkable and without a terrible commute. We have lots of family in the area so we also wanted an area that would be easily accessible to everyone.
We did not want to put a lot of work into the house we bought. This house has a great, updated, kitchen and has been well taken care of by the current owner. While we plan to do a lot of painting, and perhaps some work on one of the bathrooms, this house does not have a lot of deferred maintenance.
I found it really overwhelming to think in terms of buying a house we could live in forever. While I really hope we do not need to move again for a long time, thinking about this house only in terms of the foreseeable future helped to take a lot of pressure off the purchase.