It’s been two years since we sauntered into our first open house. I brought us to a home selling for $1.7M list, and that would inevitably go for at least $1.9M more than that. I brought us there to see what we “couldn’t afford” expecting to be at least somewhat impressed.
Nah. The 1300 square foot 3br/2ba house on a 5000 square foot lot needed a lot of updating. Thus started our ongoing and continually more depressing adventures in buying a home in Silicon Valley.
Who the flying fuck can afford a $9k a month mortgage? That’s what these houses cost if you put down 20% (if you have $360k or so lying around for that.) It’s just frustrating that I DO have the $360k but a $9k/month mortgage for 30 years is not in the cards for us. On my husband’s salary we can afford about $2k a month which leaves me with $7k to cover–and god forbid one of us loses our job (given I’ve been fired 6 times it’s bound to happen.)
So we’re not really going to buy a house with a $9k mortgage. Either we have to save up a lot more for a giant down payment to get the monthly mortgage to about half that–or we’re not buying here. And… we are probably never buying here.
This makes me very sad, but I’m trying to get over it. It’s upsetting to know that where I raise my child/children will not be a home that will be filled with memories for many years to come–or that we won’t be able to make our home really ours in the way you can when you own a property (even though it’s a pain in the ass to do so and really is that how we want to be spending our time or money?)
Well, I definitely feel we’ve outgrown our 800 square foot $2500/month one bedroom apartment. I’m ready to move yesterday, but hubby wants to keep seeking out the perfect home–one that we can buy with his parents. Together we can pool our money and afford something and then live happily ever after on the same property, or so that’s what he’d like me cheerfully accept as our real estate fate. I hate to be Debbie Downer, but I’m not into the idea of living on the same property as his parents. I just want our independence and to deal with it being tough together as a team and I don’t know, maybe I romanticize that a bit but living so close to his parents just doesn’t appeal to me. Down the street? Fine. In our backyard or attached to the same building? Eh…
The problem is that if we’re not going to live with his parents, I have to figure out a strategy to earn more money for the long term. I basically just have to assume my husband’s income is $0, in case it is, and somehow come up with a plan to afford $9k a month, or something, that would be a realistic mortgage here.
Why don’t you just move? Yea, thought about that… but husband is committed to staying in the Bay Area, and I’d like to stay here as well if we can make it work. I’m starting to look at housing options in the east bay but I really don’t want to lock myself into 1.5 hr commutes each day in massive traffic.
So the most likely option is that we’ll look at houses until late spring then rent a bigger place by summer. House rentals are about $5000-$6000 a month, which will be hard to stomach, but that’s better than $9000 a month and at least if I lose my job we can get out fairly quickly. PLUS we can keep the $360k that would be stuck in a downpayment working in the stock market. Maybe houses will continue to go up in value here as much as they have in the past 10 years, but I doubt it. Who knows. I just think putting that much money into a downpayment is giving up on gains that one could have in the market. It’s worth it, for so many reasons, but if we can’t make it work I’m just trying to remind myself of the positives. Like, we can pick up and move for better jobs. We can rent in a crappy school district then move to a good one in 4 years when our son is old enough to go to kindergarten. We don’t have to deal with the many costs of home ownership. And such.
Yet I still just feel fucking depressed about not being able to afford a house. I know we’re not the only ones but it’s one of those things that makes me feel like a failure, even though I know not being able to afford $9k a month doesn’t make me a failure. I mean, it DOES, because I could be a VP already and spend the next 30 years earning $250k plus annual raises and bonus and whatever, but instead I’m insecure and can’t get my shit together to convince anyone I’m worthy of keeping my job, and I can’t convince myself of it either. I guess that’s the big issue. I’d like to completely change my career but doing that all but guarantees buying a house is impossible. It’s just all kind of nauseating to be where I’m at (and where I’m not) at my age–doing so well financially, yet also it not mattering at all.