After 47 years of life, we’re finally buying a home!

After 47 years of life, we’re finally buying a home!

As we come to the end of another lease year, we have received the renewal offer, and it will be another $150 increase after a $100 increase last year and a $70 increase the year before. Our rent would increase to $1345 if we signed another 12-month lease. Although the house we rent currently is a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home, it’s in a bad area of town and has structural issues. This has made us look at purchasing a home, and we have been approved for a $200,000 mortgage. we have found a house we like more towards the eastern side of Wichita at a price and mortgage payment that works for us.

The home we have found and had an offer accepted on has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a fully finished basement, and a 2-car garage. We are purchasing it for $168,000, with the current owners covering up to $7,000 of closing costs. It does have a HOA, which would normally be a deal breaker for me, but in this case, the $150 monthly HOA payment is good value for money; it covers water, trash service, lawn care, and exterior maintenance, which, based upon what we are paying for in our rental home, seems to save us money, we currently pay $75—80 for water, $23 for trash, paid quarterly at $69, and I have to mow my own lawn, which is becoming harder as I get older and my health continues to deteriorate.

My wife, Erin has considerable health issues, and stairs for her is not an option, which is the prime reason we like this particular home; everything Erin and I need is on the main level, which has no steps to enter the home, and the primary bedroom suite is on the main level, along with a second bedroom, which will function as my office as I work from home, and being able to keep my current AT&T 1Gb Fiber internet connection is a bonus, I really do not want to go back to Cox after being lied to by the company.

The basement has a spacious family room, and two further bedrooms, which are much larger than the bedrooms the kids currently have in our current rental home, along with a second full bathroom, so they will have their own bathroom. Overall, the home we are buying has almost 500 extra square feet of living space. The main level is almost like a 1,000 sq. ft. apartment, with a jack and Jill bathroom accessible from the primary bedroom, second bedroom and living room. This home was literally the first one we looked at; and it was perfect for us, in a decent area of town, but of course there was some challenges.

The challenge was that the home was listed as a townhome, which is fine from the point of view of getting a FHA mortgage, but we found out that Sedgwick county has it listed as a condominium, which we cannot purchase with a FHA mortgage. Our Realtor did some research and found out that the legal definition was changed from condominium to townhome in 2022, and we have all the paperwork to prove it.

Our offer was accepted, and we are under contract, we have paid our $1,000 earnest money, kinda like a payment to show we are serious buyers. We have got an inspection scheduled to make sure we are not buying a turkey. And, if the home comes back with a clean bill of health, we start the 30 day closing period, which should allow us to tell our current landlord that we intend to not renew our lease, and move out by May 31, 2024, and enter the world of home ownership, albeit a lot later in life than ideal.

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