Buying a house is damn expensive (Also water is wet and the sun rises in the East), and I don't mean the house itself and the shackles of a mortgage.
Just getting to this point will set you back a good $2,000 before you even know it:In putting down an offer we had to fork over $1,000 just to prove we weren't crazy and going to up and ditch the place a few days before closing because we love nothing more than filling out forms, traipsing around our town at open houses and annoying people. Luckily this money will go towards closing so it doesn't vanish into the black hole of the housing industry.
If you want your banker to actually, you know, do their job and get rolling on a mortgage that's another $500 lost to the ether. Then there's titling, insurance, paying anyone that ever took a sidelong glance at your file on top of a pile, and probably a fee for the donkey in there (every bank needs a donkey to help them approve mortgages). I have a funny feeling the Mafia's involved and the Don Corleone of mortgage land is gonna hit us up for a couple hundred just to make sure our file doesn't "get lost."
Oh yeah, and then there's the $300 to have the place inspected. A good investment as now we know exactly what we have to work on when we move in (luckily it's so minor we're pretty sure we can handle it all) but still another expense no one warns you about til you're putting in an offer.
I saw an article on MSN a few days back saying that if you just have $2,500 now is the time to buy a house. Yeah, if you want to go into debt just to be able to get the ball rolling. Never mind god knows where you'll get the down payment (or right they want you to borrow it on the assumption you'll get back $8,000 from the government on your taxes next year, brilliant!). And you better get a near perfect house with all the appliances or there's going to be nothing left for you to actually fix the place up.
This is the lovely wallpaper in the main bathroom that's going bye bye. Just one of the other expenses we're facing along with the usual paint, some caulk and the like.
We're fine on the financial side of things because we both live like hermits (we can barely fill up our apartment), but I've never in all the "Oh now is the time to buy" articles seen an actual mention of all the coin you'll drop before you ever set foot in your new home.
Word of advice, never ever believe a single word written in an MSN article. I'm pretty sure they're mostly put together by a determined chicken and a cat relaxing on the keyboard, and supervised by a distracted chimp.
Try to not be too jealous of us buying a home (if you feel so inclined, Stinky). While all you renters can enjoy a nice dinner out, we get to look forward to ramen at home for a few months.
Mmm, tastes like chicken!