Are you house poor?

by Kristina on July 13, 2015 · 2 comments


Good morning Dinks.  Let me ask you a question, do you own your home?  As you know Nick and I rent our apartment and love it.  However lately I’ve been thinking that maybe I would like to have a house.  Grass to walk around in barefoot, a garden to plant flowers and levels of space so we don’t hear each other’s noise.  What do you think?

I think having a house is a lot of work but more recently I’ve been thinking that Nick and I may just be ready to take the next step – maybe.  Just when I start to think that buying a house may be a good idea I hear stories of people who aren’t able to do anything else after buying a house because they put all their money into their dream of owning a home.

What did you give up to buy your home?

I recently asked my best friend to take a girls vacation this summer and she said she can’t afford it because her and her boyfriend just bought a house.  I definitely don’t want that to happen to us.  I don’t want to be house poor.  I don’t want to give up travelling, eating out and enjoying life just because I bought a house.  Is this always the case.

One of my colleagues is looking to upgrade to a bigger home and after overpaying for the property in a bidding war he is the proud new owner of a house that is way too big for only two people.  I always wondered why two people need so much space.  More space means more cleaning and more chores.  #NotInterested

Why buy a house you can’t afford?

We were talking about his new purchase and he said it has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. He’s impressed by the size but it doesn’t matter right now since they don’t have money to furnish the entire place.  I immediately thought to myself why would two people need so much space?  Maybe they wanted to snatch up a good deal but that’s also not the case.

Nick and I pay quite a bit of money in monthly rent and utilities so I don’t think the mortgage payment would be a financial burden for us.  Actually we would be saving money every month by buying a home.  Then there’s the question of the down payment.

We do have money set aside but I think it will hurt to see all that money leave our bank account for one big purchase.  We aren’t actually saving it for anything in particular but the idea of losing it (even though it’s not really lost) makes me panic a bit.

Are we ready to buy a house?

I’ve heard that having a house is an ongoing expense, but I’m not sure how different it will be now.  We currently pay rent which is equivalent to a mortgage, we pay our own utilities and we have renters insurance. So I’m not sure what’s different.

Maybe it’s the upkeep.  In an apartment we don’t have to worry about backyards, shoveling snow or cutting grass.  All that gets added on when you buy a home.  Then there’s the ongoing updating.  I think the odds of us finding a house in exactly our taste are slim to none.  So cabinets will probably have to be replaced and walls will have to be painted.  Those costs can quickly add up.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way July 13, 2015 at 8:59 pm

Purchasing a house would be a very big expense. You need to make sure that you have enough money for down payment and for the mortgage payment.

2 Savvy July 13, 2015 at 9:58 pm

My brother and sister-in-law retired early and built their dream home. Instead of downsizing they traded-up. The house is too big to clean themselves, their kids are too busy and live in other states come home and stay in their rooms and their utilities and property tax ended up being more expensive than they anticipated. After realizing they are draining their retirement plans too quickly – yes you are taxed on 401(k) withdrawals – they’ve put their home up for sale. They’ve lived there 18-months. After 45 days on the market they’ve had no interested parties and have reduced the price 25k. Very sad for all of them and such a huge mistake. It could take them years to recover.

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