House hunting isn’t as easy as it looks on T.V.

Why is it that when I watch television shows showing families buying their dream homes, they not only find one, but usually three houses to choose from and the only thing standing between them and the key to their new front door is a simple signature on the dotted line? It’s not been quite that easy for us.

Long ago, M and I made a deal with each other that whenever one of us got a promotion, we would finally move out of this old, ratty house that we have been renting for the past nine years and get into something that we wouldn’t be embarrassed to entertain in. So with his promotion in September, we kept to our promise and started exploring the process of buy a house.

It’s easy to say that we weren’t really prepared for buying a home. We have no money for a down payment, which is okay because we can use the VA to help us secure a loan, but we also had no money for closing costs, which limits us on many houses that are available, such as short sales, because not many short sale sellers will pay for the buyers closing costs. Luckily though, we have been able to save a little money to pay for the assessment and inspection, plus a little bit for a good faith deposit, so that’s good, but we could certainly stand to save up a bit more. When they say it’s a buyers market, they mean it’s a buyer with cash in their pocket.

Regardless, we did find a house that we both liked, we put in an offer and the sellers counter offered that they would pay all of our closing costs, as long as we increase our offer amount by about $5,000. That is completely do-able, with no issues, but as we sat with our realtor, this morning discussing contingencies and disclosures and the when and how of countering their counter offer, we then sat down with and crunched some serious numbers to see just where we would stand and what our taxes are going to be. The reality of the mortgage, coupled with utilities which we don’t currently pay caused M to freak out for the first time since we started this back in early October. And honestly, I’m kind of freaking out myself. So M’s calling our mortgage company in the morning to discuss the numbers that we could only estimate and then decide if we are going to move forward with this house, or look for something cheaper.

I know that we can do this, but I also know that it means we have pay more attention to our spending and truly  live by our budget, which has never been easy for us, but it’s still a frightening prospect. People have told me that it will all work out in the end and I believe that it will, but the fear is still there.

More to come, as the story unfolds.

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