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Why I Decided Not to Buy My House

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This is the 2nd in what I believe will be a 4 part story today. You can read the first part here.

As I have discussed several times here on the BAD blog, one of my motivating factors for making smart decisions on paying off my debt was to get myself into the position that I could buy my house from my dad.  We will have been here 4 years this fall and I am and always will be grateful for his generosity and help in getting somewhere stable for my children.  There are a couple of reasons for the urgency in this matter:

1. My dad is now retired and I’m sure he could use the cash he put into helping me get this house, not to mention the additional monies I borrowed when I lost a good portion of my income last fall.

2. With the financing the way it is, it will need to be refinanced next year to maintain a lower interest rate.

Over the last couple of years, I have really struggled with our permanence in this home for a couple of reasons:

Bedrooms

Adopting my twins was not my plan when we got a 3 bedroom home.  I struggled with the decision to adopt when it became available and I am at peace with the decision to keep the boys.  They are an integral and loved part of our family.  Please don’t make that decision the issue, it’s not.  It left us without enough appropriate bedrooms for the kids based on their sex and ages.

As a result of the bedroom issue, I explored every possible alternative for adding on to the home.  We have plenty of space to build out, but after receiving 1/2 quotes that had such wide and expensive variances I knew it was not something I could consider.

We then decided to close in the front room in the house (formal dining room or what was my office.)  It solved the immediate problem, but the walls have really begun to close in on me.  I realize how spoiled I sound, and believe me if this was the only issue, it wouldn’t be an issue.

Money

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before but as a reminder we live in a relatively expensive tourist city where the cost of living is high.  As I start to think about the costs of having older teenagers and my desire to help them out as much as I can, I think about where I can cut back to not only pay my debt back faster but also to put myself in a position to help them out…driving, college, life experiences, etc.

My home takes up a good portion of my income, and if I lived somewhere else not only could I get something substantially bigger but also less expensive. My housing expense would most likely go up significant too were I to purchase this home as I would have to pay closing costs again, inspection fees and more than likely PMI since some money would have to come out of the value of the home to repay my dad.

Conclusion

Our home has been fantastic to and for us.  My dad facilitated that. But based on my reasoning above and a couple of other misc reasoning going on in my head, I have decided NOT to purchase this home. I could not have asked for a better location, better neighbors, better floor plan, better yard, you get the picture.  I love this house, BUT I have to make the best possible financial decision for mine and the kids futures, and I am confident this is the right decision.

My reasoning was not new to my dad.  He had heard much of this last May, but not a final decision.  In fact, I know he agrees wholeheartedly on the cost of living where we live since he lived here himself until just a year ago.  In the next installment of today’s series, I will let you know how our conversation ended that day when he disagreed with my plan.

 

Hope

Follow a single mom's journey to be DEBT FREE while managing this crazy life's conflicted choices with regards to kids, pets, homeschooling days and self-employment!
The sorrow and joys of this roller-coaster overwhelm her at times, but she is committed to this course.
Hope plans to dig out of debt using any resource possible including her small business EPOH, her blog and any other resource that comes to mind!

Latest posts by Hope (see all)


17 Comments

  • Reply adam |

    Sounds like a pretty heavy conversation. We are familiar with how visiting home can make you very introspective and bring your plans into question.

    I’m wondering if your decision not to buy the house is for the reasons above, or if there’s something else – maybe you are planning to move closer to home, or leaving that option open in the future? Is there more that will be revealed in your next post? Drama! Intrigue!

    I hope it ended up well.

    • Reply Hope |

      Adam,
      These are truly the reasons for not buying this house….but you are astute in your observations that the world is opening up as a living space with my decision. There will be more on this later today, so stay tuned!

  • Reply adam |

    I’m also curious how people deal with the bedrooms issue. We don’t have kids yet but we plan to, and our house has 2, maybe 3 bedrooms. Do most families give each kid their own room? Or do budget-conscious families typically have their kids share a room? Do you separate girls and boys always, or only beyond a certain age?

    I have a hunch that it’s probably only in the last 50-60 years that kids have each had their own bedrooms in the US. Probably started during the post-WWII housing and population boom.

    • Reply Hope |

      Adam,
      I can’t tell you how the rest of the world thinks, or rather the United States since I’m sure we are very spoiled with our homes. But for me and my kids…I have no issues at all with them sharing rooms. Up until this home, my younger two always shared a room.
      Adding foster kids into the mix required a more regulatory look, not that it applies now since the twins adoption is finalized. Since my long term goal is to return to foster/adoption those regs are always in my head. Just some highlights…no two children can share a bed, after the age of 7 different sexes must be is different rooms, etc. I completely understand these rules.
      Because of the age difference in my 3 boys (6 years) and the personalities, I am less inclined to put them in the same room….not that it might not happen eventually.
      Sorry for the ramble, but may it sheds a little light.

    • Reply Joe |

      Adam,
      Our five and three year olds share a room (one boy and one girl). We moved the younger in as soon as her sleep became a bit more reliable (around age 2), before that we had the kids in their own rooms. Both kids seem to love being in the same room and I’d like to think it has strengthened their bond. Actually I think the transition helped the younger one sleep better.
      We are obviously just one data point but at least it seems to be possible! We may eventually move the kids back to separate rooms but I’m guessing it will be fine at least for a couple more years.

      • Reply Hope |

        Joe,
        That was our case too. I think my son (9) would still love to share a room, but he is definitely the more social of the two. My daughter (10) is more of a loner and definitely entering her phase where she craves more privacy. She would happily share with another girl…at least she says that. Time will tell.

  • Reply Angie |

    I realize there’s likely more to your decision than you are ready to share. I bet the house is cramped now. But if any of your boys are going away to college or other in 1-2 years the bedrooms become less of an issue. If they are not living at home full time sharing a bedroom or sleeping in the living room is a reasonable option for when they come home. Of course not ideal. But its also not wasteful of space.

    • Reply Hope |

      You’re right, Angie. My boys especially end up in the living room often times anyways!
      But with my ultimate desire to foster/adopt additional kids AFTER my debt is eliminated AND I want to help all of them as much as I can financially a cheaper, larger house is truly the best solution for all current and future family members.
      But I wholeheartedly agree with you on space, we have no issues, cramming people in. The saying may be that you make time for what’s important to you, but with us it’s you make space for anyone who wants or needs a home.

  • Reply Mary |

    I feel like you are beginning to enter a slippery slopes of some not so wise decisions. First, I think you have a lot on your plate and you are overwhelmed. Second, while we all want to provide everything for our kids, it’s not always possible. You can’t compare what your family provided you to what you can provide for your children as you are a single mother.

    Here’s what I’d do:

    -Keep the house. It’s in a good area, meets most of your needs and it’s working.
    -Meet with a mortgage banker asap to see what you need to purchase the house and get approval. Then you’ll have the facts and know what your plan needs to be.
    -Skip the extra job and go back to your payoff plan and just stay focused on paying off your debt so you can get a mortgage.
    -Put the kids in regular school to take some of the burden off of you. I know this decision would be really hard on you.
    -Don’t take on any extra debt/etc. until you have your mortgage in hand.
    -Sell the big car.

    Another home will only increase expenses plus all of the work selling and moving. The older kids will be off to college so to make all of these changes based on a short term problem of not enough space isn’t wise. Your kids can apply for financial aid if needed.

    Hang in there Hope. We are rooting for you.

    • Reply Hope |

      Mary,
      I can certainly understand your perspective, and you are right I will never be able to financially support my kids like my parents did. However, with my job situation being so flexible and my whole heart committed to not only raising my children to be positive, moral, curious adults but also any other foster/adoptive kids as well (after I pay off my debt,) the housing situation MUST change….
      It is very possible for me to find a larger, cheaper home if I am willing to move away from this area…even just a couple of counties over.
      Stay tuned to find out how this story ends…at least temporarily as I have just learned the next step with certainty myself not 20 minutes ago.

  • Reply TPol |

    I understand your reasoning and I understand that it will be costly for you to finance the house, get it in your name and pay lots of fees. I am sure your dad would be able to follow your reasoning as per total cost of ownership of this house. I am really looking forward to hearing what he had to say.

    Although I do not consider you spoilt at all, I feel like I must say, a three bedroom house with a yard is something billions of people would never be able to afford including myself. Until I was 15, we had a two bedroom apartment and I had to share a room with not only my sister but with my grandma who used to stay with us like 9 months out of 12. After that we moved to a 3 bedroom apartment where I could have my own teeny tiny room. I was given the privilege because at that time in my life I was preparing for university entrance exams (lot different than your country) and I needed my space to study hard. My folks preferred to live in cramped quarters but sent me and my sister to a private school where we would learn English starting at the age of 11. Their priorities were different than some of their friends and I am sure glad that was their mentality. We did not take expensive vacations or travel much. We sacrificed many things for the private school was really expensive. Later in our lives, with that good education we were able to land good paying jobs and enjoyed vacations abroad and in-country. I even got to spend 3,5 years in the US working for a Turkish-American JV. I did not have my own car till I bought one myself with my own money at the age of 26. My sister inherited dad’s car when he passed away and she had to earn money to get gas and have her car maintained while at College. I may sound a bit preachy but what I am saying is that this is all about preferences and it is very personal. You may want to give your kids experiences, a car to drive and all that you can but, there is always the element of “Opportunity Cost”. With all that said, I apologize if that sounded judgemental because that was never my intention. I admire you for becoming a foster parent while you already had kids of your own and wish you all the best.

    • Reply Hope |

      TPol,
      You are right. Our culture in the United States is a very entitled one. As someone who has lived all over the US and visited 1/2 dozen different countries in my lifetime, I am well aware of this. I fully recognize how blessed I/we are and do not take it for granted even for a second.
      Your parents story mirrors my own…willing to make do with less in order to give our children what we think is best. Because my “children” in my head and heart are not just limited to those currently in my family, expanding is always in the back of my head.
      So stay tuned to see how the conversation with my dad ended…and now that I know it, what will happen next. The call came in 20 minutes ago to verify what the next phase in our lives will be.

    • Reply Hope |

      Ha, Tania! I could not have summed up this situation any better…make the best decision for me and my kids and this SUCKS! You are exactly right on both counts. Thanks for the support!

  • Reply Alexandria |

    We moved soley for the cost of living and that was definitely the best decision of our lives. Sure, we could have stayed in a cramped apartment and sent our kids to the lesser school districts. Over the years (it’s been 13 years) I am surprised in how many ways our lives have been improved. At the time that we moved all we wanted was a house. That was it. We got much more than that. We don’t have to work much, we live very well, and our kids’ public education is incredible. We’ve been much more easily able to handle life curve’s balls. All this to say that to me this sound like this could potentially be a very positive move. Excited to hear the rest of the story!

    • Reply Hope |

      Alexandria,
      I am so grateful to hear that. It’s definitely the driving factor in my decision and it’s been a tough one to make.
      A success story is reassuring during this chaos.
      Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Stuart Martin |

    I think all the points mentioned by Hope for not buying a new home is absolutely valid. Such type of financial decision is not so easy to take and have to consider a lot of things like kid’s future, debt payment etc.

So, what do you think ?