Last Thursday I shared the first of Luneray‘s posts on buying a house. In today’s second part, she talks about the psychological impact of agreeing to an enormous loan.

We looked at more houses today, but we didn’t see anything that we liked more than the 50s time-warp, so we made an offer on that. You remember the 50s time-warp, don’t you? The one with the freezer in the bedroom? It is a very cute house, actually.

The house has been on the market for months. It’s an estate sale, and the heir lives in California. I don’t know if buyers just aren’t interested in the house, or if the heir is just asking too much. The price has been reduced a few times, but the realtor still thinks it’s too high (based on recent selling prices of other houses in the area that are the same size and in similar condition). So we offered $5000 less. If we get that, great. If she won’t budge from the current asking price, that’s fine too. As long as the inspection doesn’t turn up any fatal flaws, then we are okay with the current price.

Three days later…

The shock and enormity of actually buying a house are starting to sink in.

Last night, Oscar and I signed and initialed loan papers. Lots and lots of loan papers. I’m having trouble wrapping my brain around the concept that mortgage payment doesn’t mean house payment. Rent is rent. My current rent is $950 a month (which is below median for this neighborhood). The mortgage will be about $1150, which is about what I expected. However, the house payment is currently estimated at $1300, adding in taxes and various required natural disaster insurances. Homeowners insurance is separate. A person may not have a mortgage, but they will always have a house payment.

My big fear right now is: Will we actually be able to afford to live in this very modest, extremely inexpensive (by local standards) house? We already live a pretty pared-down lifestyle. We will essentially be doubling our housing costs, plus assuming all the maintenance expenses. I just got a promotion, but I haven’t started the job yet. The earliest I’ll see that salary increase is October 10th. (And you know that the raise is never quite as much as you expect it to be.)

Oscar’s supervisors said he’d be hired permanently at a higher rate, but they haven’t mentioned anything about that lately. I’m counting on him getting hired at the rate they promised. If that’s not going to happen, then I’d like to know now so that I can legally back out of the mortgage deal, hopefully without forfeiting the earnest money.

I’m in the freak-out stage right now — in time I’ll be able to address my concerns more rationally.

Buying a house — especially buying your first house — is emotionally draining. It’s scary. Thanks to Luneray for sharing her home-buying adventure with GRS readers.

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