Sunday, July 15, 2007

It's Never Too Early To Have Your Enthusiasm Killed

Whew. I've had some time to figure out my Plan B, so my enthusiasm has been fully resurrected; however, Friday was a bit of a downer, to say the least. I talked to one of the loan officers I'm going to use to get a good faith estimate -- you're supposed to get 3-4 estimates, but when you're just starting, you need to talk to one right way simply to get the loan amount you'll most likely be approved for, so you can start looking at homes in the proper range.

Before this, I had estimated a price range by what kind of mortgage I could afford, which included me renting out a room. Well, that was a mistake. The loan officer called me after processing my application, and she started out with, "Okay, first, you have stellar credit." I know, it's the big reason why I think I can pull this off. "However, you have a lot of....student debt." O! Fucking Sallie Mae, always coming back to bite my ass at inopportune times. She said that despite my good credit, I have a high debt/income ratio and it seriously affects how much I can borrow on a mortgage. Ugh. At first I kind of freaked out. I was really kind of banking on a 2 bed, 2 bath, but that extra $100K I was going to need for the second bathroom is now gone, and I really am way too old to be buying a house with a built in roommate-bathroom-sharing situation. Fearing this left me a budget for only a 1 bedroom, I was really concerned that suddenly this became another pipe dream blown away, because I just don't know that I want to look at 1 bed condos that I can't resell at the end of the day.

After some property research and venting to my friends, it all sort of suddenly dawned on me. Two bed, one bath in my approved price range, because, see, I can actually carry this (well some of these, there is a limited option in my range) on my own, but if for some reason I feel the need to, I can still have the option to take on a roommate or sublet temporarily to supplement the payments. I think I'll still look at a few 1 beds just to see what's out there, but I'd so much rather have a small house that any smart married couple would be happy to buy later.

I'm back in Excitement mode, and am thinking more now about slight fixer-uppers. Not huge construction issues, but property that, at least cosmetically, needs some real help. Before I was hoping for a ready-move-in place solely because I was going to need to take on a roommate right away, but if it's just me, I don't care if the walls are ugly and the carpet needs to be ripped up. Like I'm not totally addicted to HGTV as it is. I'm actually starting to think....this could be really fun. I know, I have no delusions that this is going to be some joyful, easy task, but it does sound like a project I'm prepared to take on. And I can live on my own, woo! And if it'll save me some money that I can put towards location (or plain savings), I'll take it.

Tomorrow, first house hunting trip!

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