My mother absolutely loves questioning and re-questioning my (our) decision to buy a new house... so I figured I would go ahead and answer her questions in one easy to reference spot. Besides, being nosy is fun so I figured you all might be interested in some of the same answers:
Q. Why are you buying again after only two years in your current house?
A. This is really a strategic financial decision. We've never thought that we'd live here forever and it would be nice to have more space. Besides, interest rates are at record lows right now and we happen to have the 20% down (and emergency fund) just sitting in our savings accounts and there are houses that we like within our budget so now seems like a good time to start looking.
Q. But you've worked so hard to make your house nice, why not enjoy it a little?!
A. Trust me, I have enjoyed it! It has been a great starter home. I bought it before Nate and I were really seriously dating and there was no way that I would have guessed that we'd be married right now and in the financial position to move on. We do love the location and current condition of the home, but there's just no legal way to expand it at all in the ways we'll need in order to eventually raise a family in it.
Q. What are you going to do with your current house?
A. We're not 100% sure. Fortunately and unfortunately, Austin is currently booming- so many people are moving here that rents and home prices continue to rise. Would you believe that the rental prices in my neighborhood have increased 20% since last year?! So, obviously renting it out is still an option on the table. On the other hand, we might decide to sell it and have already received a fair offer from an interested family member. Either way, we can afford the monthly carrying costs with the new home's payments (mainly because I bought it on one income) and don't want to make a final commitment until we move so that we're not rushed into buying the wrong house.
Q. When are you going to take that honeymoon?!?! You better not skip your honeymoon for a house!
A. We're taking the honeymoon after we buy the house and before our 1-year anniversary. We're just not sure what we'll end up with and don't want to pass on an opportunity for a great house because we don't have enough cash up-front to pay for the improvements.
Q. What are you looking for?
A. This is the fun stuff! We (I) obviously love a good project so we're interested in getting a home with the potential to become our dream home with a little sweat and creativity. What it all boils down to is...
Must-haves (or could-eventually-haves):
*A fantastic location
*3 bedrooms, 2 baths
*A good flow- two separate living areas so that the living room doesn't have to be the tv room/ office/ playroom/ dining room/ etc
*An outdoor space for our dogs
*An excellent walk/ bike score
*A nice front porch
*A place for a king-sized bed for the 6'4 guy that will be living there
*A laundry room that isn't in the garage
*A dining room that can seat a lot of people
We've already thought that we found the place three times and have been outbid by others (which is the unfortunate part of the Austin boom), but we're working on the fourth right now so I'll be sure to keep you all updated!