Taking the Plunge

<img src=”http://farm1.static.flickr.com/222/444895419_12ea4679a2_m.jpg”
alt=”Ruff & Deadly?”>

photo courtesy of IntangibleArts

In the next few months, my wife and I will be wandering (deliberately) into the Virginia housing morass of a market.

We’re no strangers to home ownership. We had a very nice place in Pennsylvania for many years before we relocated down here. However, the cost differential between Western PA and the MD/VA/DC area was quite a staggering shock to my own financial sensibilities. The home we moved from could be found down here – for nearly five times the price.

Needless to say, we went back to renting. That was three years ago.

We’re now desperate for our own piece of land again.

There’s something to be said about owning your own piece of America – much less, the planet – and once you start, it’s hell to take four steps back and rent. I look forward to having our own space again, unrestricted in how we use it, what we paint it, how it’s decorated.

“Buy a house? Now? Are you crazy?”

That’s the common refrain we’ve heard from a lot of friends and relatives – most of whom don’t live in the area, by the way. But to us, it’s a good move.

Our debt is minimal – we don’t owe the evil credit card companies a cent over our Netflix and gym memberships that come monthly – our bills are always paid on time and in full, and the only loan currently out is on my ‘new’ car, bought last summer.

There is a lot of financial info to cover, however. Fixed rates are creeping up again, Freddie Mac had a recent policy change, and Congress has some plans in the works that might shake things up further. Still, for a couple like us, testing the housing waters right now makes the most sense. After all, what do we really have to lose? The worst outcome is re-signing our lease for another year, which isn’t a bad fallback plan anyway.

So after meeting our Realtor last week and doing some preliminary talks – meaning, “what we want, what we’ll settle for, and what we think is absolutely crazy” – we’ll be taking our first real steps in house hunting this coming weekend. We’ve got seven months until our lease is up; I’m sure we can find something.

Stay tuned.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Having lived in the DC area for ten years, Ben still loves to wander the city with his wife, shooting lots of photos and exploring all the latest exhibits and galleries. A certified hockey fanatic, he spends some time debating the Washington Capitals club with friends – but everyone knows of his three decade love affair with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A professional writer, gamer, photographer, and Lego enthusiast, Ben remains captivated by DC and doesn’t plan on leaving any time soon.

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