Buying a House - Scott's Story (Part 3)

Scott McEachern |

Our Viewing Experiences

We started our viewings list by looking at every house we qualified for that was on MLS and only one place didn’t have an offer on it, so thought we’d check it out. Because this house is still listed on the market, I don’t want to give the specific address. The place was a townhouse and looked pretty good. There were a few noticeable fixes that we’d need to do (like replace closet doors) but for the most part, nothing extravagant needed immediate attention. There were three bedrooms, two toilets, a backyard, a kitchen that could be gated off – it all fit the criteria, but we were wondering why the price was low. After re-reading the description, we discovered there is no air conditioning. Add that to the list of must-haves if we’re buying a house! There were also condo fees, which is common with townhouses, but something we wanted to avoid.

After viewing, we went home and thought about it for a bit. Although the fixes that needed to be done were minor, we decided it was something we didn’t want to look into while we have a toddler. Steph mentions “There are some weekends I struggle to get the laundry done – where are we fitting in a trip to Home Depot?” So for this reason, combined with no A/C and condo fees, we decide to pass on this property.

During our discussion, however, we realize how little we’d have left in savings to actually complete any repairs or maintenance and this makes us both a little uneasy. We don’t want to buy and end up house poor. We don’t want to wipe out our entire emergency fund to lay new carpets.

Are We Really Ready to Buy?

If the landlord hadn’t told us he was selling the house, would we currently be shopping to buy? This was the question we had to face – and the answer was no. Given our unique current situation, September 2016 is probably the worst time financially for us to buy. Steph just got off a year of maternity leave and two full months of unemployment, all of my licenses and insurance come due in September, and with Steph just starting work in September, it meant no steady income until at least October and cash flow was tight!

After a week of what felt like pure madness (and we didn’t even buy!) we decide we’re going to rent again. We’ll be moving to the north end, closer to friends – many of which live in the same subdivision. We’re excited for the change, excited for the funky place we’ll be renting, and excited for the next chapter in our lives. Thanks for following our adventure.