Four years ago, my wife and I began to search for a new home. Our family had grown and we were looking for a new place to live – our home for the next 20+ years.
Before looking for our new home, we spent several months saving up enough money for a down-payment. Our goal was to avoid PMI – private mortgage insurance. Once we had saved up our down-payment, we began the process of looking for our new house.
We set a budget – a desired purchase price and a desired monthly payment amount. We began our search with these numbers in mind – and fixed.
One of the things I was concerned about was qualifying for a mortgage. We had never been through the process before – and were a little apprehensive. Our credit scores were fine and we were debt free, but the housing market was in an odd place. So, we placed a few calls with some local mortgage companies and did some research on the internet – and we were amazed.
We not only qualified for the amount of money we needed to purchase the home – we qualified for more than we needed. Much more.
We had a decision to make – to stick with our original plan – or to look at bigger, more expensive homes.
We live in a rural area where home prices are relatively stable and reasonable. The amount we qualified for would have allowed for us to finance a very nice home – but we would have quickly become house-poor. The monthly mortgage payment would have really put a strain on our budget.
Instead of focusing on the amount for which we had been approved – we stuck to our budget. We purchased a home that we could both afford – and enjoy.
We love our home. It’s not fancy, but it’s in a nice, quiet neighborhood. Our kids love it and we are blessed to have it. Our goal is to pay it off in less than 15 years – 10 would be better – and we’re thankful that we maintained level heads and purchased within our means.
As I look back, it would have been fun, on some level, to look at those much bigger, much more expensive homes. As I look forward, I’m thankful that we stuck to our plan, stuck to our budget, and chose the home that we did. Blessings.