I’m done with renting; it’s time to buy a home!

It's time to buy a home

Recent events have made us reconsider renting a home, we pay $1,025 per month for a 4 bedroom house, in which we have lived since 2013, and it’s showing its age, everything is builders grade from appliances to carpets and blinds. But the reason we’re ready to buy our own home is that we got a $226.53 bill from the landlord to repair a broken window, which was broken by an unknown third party.

We are on a holdover lease from the previous landlord, which makes no mention of the resident being responsible for window breakages, it does make reference to an addendum A, but, I have not seen or agreed to this addendum. The new lease our current landlord wants us to sign basically says that other than the roof, the HVAC system, and included appliances is the responsibility of the resident to maintain. Which, given that we live in Kansas means that if a big storm comes along and the exterior of the home is damaged, sans roof, we would be responsible for the repairs. If we are responsible for the maintenance of the home, then we might as well buy, and build equity, instead of giving our money away.

In the eight years we have lived in this house, there have been 3 owners, and a rent increase of $225 per month, and it’s not a desirable area of the city to live in. We hear gunshots nightly and there is a bullet hole in our garage door, thankfully, the firewall stopped the bullet from entering our home.

When the current landlord took over ownership, they mentioned to my wife that they planned to replace the carpet with LVT flooring. My wife asked about this; and they said they would only do this if we signed a 12-month lease, as we are currently on the aforementioned holdover month-to-month lease, which would push the rental rate up to $1,095. The landlord said they would cut us a deal at the $1,095 rate as we were long-term residents, stating, the regular rate for the LVT flooring would be $1,225, and I don’t trust them to not bump us up to the higher rate at lease renewal time, next August (2022).

In my head, almost $1,100 is an unacceptable amount of money to pay for a rental, even more so, when we are responsible for 80% of the maintenance. I simply don’t understand why anyone would rent, other than not qualifying for a mortgage when most of the benefits of renting have been stripped away.

literally, I could buy this house for $175 a month less than the rental rate, which includes taxes, insurance, and mortgage rate.  I work for a property management company, I am not naive, I understand the owners want to maximize their profits, to recoup the cost of buying two dozen homes in the neighborhood as fast as possible. But, $1,095 per month is too much for a basic 4 bedroom, 2 bath house with 2 car garage with builders grade everything, we are not talking luxury living here.

Erin and I are going to go to our bank to see what sort of mortgage we can get for our income, I’m figuring we can afford a loan of between $140-150,000 and maintain a monthly payment of around $1,000. However, there are some caveats, whatever mortgage amount we get has to also cover the $18,000 consolidation loan that I recently took out, and it has to be for our income in 12 months, as we will be losing close to $1,100 per month in child support payments when our son turns 18 next August.

This is absolutely non-negotiable, a $557 loan payment on top of a $1,000 mortgage payment is impossible for a single income family like ours, my take-home income is roughly $2,500, which would leave us with about $900 to live on for a whole month after mortgage and loan payments.

The other challenge we’re going to have is finding somewhere ‘move-in ready’ in our price range, homes In the sub $150,000 price bracket go real quick. As much as I would love to buy a Victorian home with some work needed, it’s not practical, we cannot afford a mortgage payment and rent while the new purchase is being fixed up. This is a fucking nightmare, but as much as I hate moving, I don’t think staying at this house is the sensible thing to do, given we’ll have 75-80% of the responsibilities of homeownership, paying $13,000 a year, without the benefits of homeownership, like building equity.

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