So in that light - I recently had a conversation with... let's call them D, shall we? It got me thinking...
As you all know, I am in that place where I am looking at changing directions, doing more with my life, yada yada - you get my drift.
Now, my one burning desire is to own my own home. When I was younger, I loved renting. I loved the freedom of it, the lack of responsibility - but I have always hated the control that others have had over me - Landlords seem to have nearly all the power in Australia, and tenants .... lets just say, not much :(
But for the most part, I liked renting.
But as I have gotten older and my mental health issues have become more a part of my/our lives, I have started to rethink renting. Then we had our 2+yrs of hard arse struggle and it solidified in my mind just how precarious life can be.
Now, all I want is my own home. I want the stability of our own home, that can't be taken away because someone has had a change of mind or circumstances. I want a home where I don't have to stress each and every day that something will happen that needs fixing, or calling the Landlord to fix. Or any of that.
I want to be able to relax and know that the roof over our heads is there for however long we want it to be. I NEED to know that someone can't just come in and say "This is wrong, this is not acceptable, this is fine, why is that there, etc" or worse of all "Time to leave"
BUT..... we have had the past few years of hell - what with health issues, money issues, emotional issues - you name it, it has probably passed over our plates. So owning our very own house seems nigh impossible - and I'm not being dramatic. You need MONEY to have money - lol!
That said, I am always looking. Whenever we HAVE managed to save a deposit and be able to start looking, something ALWAYS happens and we end up having no deposit. But now, after our years of hardship, we are skint and only just now starting to afford the things "normal" people can afford. So we are starting from scratch - again.
Anyhoo - I recently had a very very down day. I spent a few days thinking that we were forever going to be at the mercies of landlords and Real Estate Agents and getting very very depressed.
What has this got to do with conversations? Bear with me :)
So, after my few days of blackness, I did what I always try to do - look up and figure a way out.
And of course, after prayer and discussions with DragonPapa - we came to our solution.
As we will have no help with a deposit and will have to do it all on our own, we need to sort our budget. That's the easy part - we account for nearly every single cent we spend - we have to. At our rate of savings (pfft) we will have enough for a decent deposit in - oh in about a millennium!! LMAO
So we looked at what our criteria was and it turned out to be this...
We need to know that we could afford the mortgage even if there was a limited income coming in.
We need to know that we could afford to cover the upkeep and costs of owning our house.
We need to know that we weren't committing to a HUGE debt that we would have NO way of ever paying off
We need to know that we could see us paying it off in a short time if finances allowed.
We need to know that we wouldn't be living/working JUST to pay the mortgage and that the rest of our lives wouldn't be shunted off to a very distant and stressful second place.
So.... we worked out what WE were comfortable paying and THEN we looked at what was available. Only after that did we adjust our requirements. Having worked in Banking, both of us had experiences with people who over committed because they loved their house, before they loved their budget - IYKWIM
And we found what we were looking for.
Here's the conversation bit.
DragonPapa and I were discussing our plans - we're talkers, we love to hash it all out and figure it out as much as possible THEN go for it if we are both in agreement - it can sometimes take a while before we are both on the same page. Well, someone overheard us - D. Here's how it went...
D - Why would you live there?
Us - Because it's affordable and gives us what we want
D- But why there?
Us - ...... be..cause...it's ... affordable...and ...gives....us...what we want??
D - How much?
Us - Well (total example here of course - if you can find a house for $100 BUY THAT SUCKER!! BUY IT NOW!! lol) to buy a house there will only cost us $100 and our mortgage will only be $10 a fortnight.
D - But its so far away!
Us - (feeling confused a tad) Not really
D- what about work? You'll spend SO much more on travel than you will save
Us - We are still looking into it, but public transport is only $XX a week and only takes XX time. We are still ahead by heaps.
D - well, I don't like it.
Us - (chuckling by now) Okay, you don't like, it, that's okay you don't have to live there
D - Did you know, I saw a house in XXXXX suburb that was ONLY $250!! That's cheap!!
Us - *confused silence*
D - What?
Us - Ummm, that's well over DOUBLE what we want to pay!!
D - So? It's in XXXX and it's only $250!! You really need to be thinking of the kids you know!!
Us - *now stunned silence*
Silence as D potters around - DragonPapa and I just look at each other completely confused - did D not realise what we had been saying? Or did they just not HEAR us?
Us - D..... you realise something? If we buy the $100 house, it's only $10 a fortnight and deposit is only $25. If we buy the $250 house, it's like nearly $30 a fortnight and deposit of $60 - that's a HUGE difference. That's like half our income on repayments alone!
D -So? That's just what everyone does nowdays.
It was at that point we realised something. This person, this educated, very experienced person of the world, couldn't see our side of this conversation. They really couldn't understand why someone would buy a smaller house, in a less than area rather than the 'nicely done up', larger house in the much more acceptable suburb.
We talked about it afterwards and came to the conclusion that in the end, it boils down to this -
Debt is simply a part of our world now. Rarely do we have to save if we want something, there are plans and finance and credit - don't get me wrong - we TOTALLY use these things too - oh my goodness do we! lol
But it has become the point now, where it is a reflection of ourselves. To have the Big House in the Good Suburb. To have the Nice Car. To wear the Right Clothes and have the Correct Wardrobe. Mustn't be seen wearing the same thing too much - people will talk. Have the Holidays and the Trips - all that crap. Get it on credit if you need, work harder to pay for it all.....
And do you know what I hear the most from people like D?
I wish I had time to do xxx .... I wish I could retire... I wish I could work less....
Can anyone see a link? Or is it just us?
When you boil it down and look at the bones of this, this is what we get.
* IF * we can save the deposit needed and buy the house we want, we are getting a home that will be cheaper than our current rental - that's including rates and transportation costs and maintenance costs. AND we will still have extra in our pockets. If we put that extra we are saving BACK into our new home, we will have paid it off IN FULL in 10-15yrs - quicker if we pay more (as we are on a good rental wicket here $$ anyway) If we pay what we would have to if we moved out of here and rented around this area (the area D was suggesting), we would have it paid off in 6-8yrs. And we would have saved ourselves hundred of thousands of dollars in interest. Not only that, but there is an almost guaranteed increase in value there as compared to other suburbs.
But, the most important factor of all - the Main Point to all this - It Would Be OURS! Our Home. Somewhere safe and secure. Some time soon, not decades in the future.