I do understand some of the arguments from people who think we’re rushing the house thing. Well, obviously, we’re rushing it. I guess I mean, from the people who think we’re woefully unprepared and that it’s a terrible idea.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong with any house you buy. And not all of them can be caught by a home inspector. We may get into a house and have something huge (or several mid-size things) go wrong, and then we’ll rue the day we started this endeavor.
I honestly don’t think that will be the case (on the other hand, who does?) but it’s certainly possible.
Our other option is to put off buying for a bit and save up more. That has a couple of effects:
1. Tim’s parents can’t come down as soon. So they fight longer and harder to keep afloat.
2. We stay with a roach-riddled kitchen for even longer. So we keep eating too much (expensive) convenience food.
Arguably, we could move to a different place but that would increase costs (plus charge nonrefundable fees etc) and I really don’t think my health could handle two moves in under a year. It would set me back pretty far, which might endanger my ability to work.
Beyond our own concerns over a sanitary kitchen, there’s the fact that Tim’s parents are now in a financial spiral. The longer they stay up there, the more often we will need to send money to help out. Which further delays our getting a house. Which means more time that they have to struggle with bills. Which means more time that we have to send money… and so on and so forth.
Tim’s parents can’t stay in the trailer when there’s $600 space rent. So they’ll need to sell it as part of the Chapter 7 proceedings. It’s the only way they’ll get rid of that mortgage. That means that, until we have a house, they’d need to find a place up there. Even a one-bedroom will run them $600-700. And I’m not sure what place would take a $1,100-a-month income couple going through bankruptcy. We’d also need to provide deposits etc, which would further impede house savings.
They could apply to disability/low-income housing. But the lists were pretty long even when the economy was robust. I can’t imagine what they’re like now. My guess is that they’d wait at least a year before anything became available.
Is some of this rationalization? Probably. I mean, yeah I want a house that Tim and I own. So perhaps some of the worry about the costs his parents would incur is my own selfish desire to get into a house sooner.
But I also think I’m being pragmatic.
The longer they’re up in Washington, Tim’s parents will need financial support. Tim’s dad might get some work, but due to his age I think it will be sporadic at best.
If they come down here, we’ll be helping them mainly by giving them a place to live. That frees up more money to put into an emergency fund and pay off the car and all those other goals we hoped to have nailed down before the home-buying process started.
There are plenty of things that could go wrong and completely derail our plans once we’re in the house. I have no doubt about that. Repairs spring up and bills right along with them.
Still, I think we’re choosing the best of two sub-optimal options. It’s certainly not without risk. And many of you may yet be around to say “I told you so!” and have us completely deserve it.
I guess only time will tell.