The Commodores

Among my many adventures this past weekend include venturing into the wonderful world of home ownership. It’s a big step, one that is quite terrifying to me at least. Up until this point my big purchases have been Medication that wasn’t covered by insurance, my Sony Bravia, my PS3, and my Car. Of all of those things, the car required the most thought and will have the biggest impact on me as a responsible bill-paying citizen. But owning property is a BFD.

I spent Saturday morning with my parents and a friend of my Dad’s who happens to be a Realtor and we checked out a couple of condos and townhouses in the area. Prior to touring Leesburg and Ashburn, I had been leaning towards a condo simply because the size of a townhouse scares me. It’s a lot of space for just me.

A lot.

It felt like it was too much for me to take on. I’m still relatively young and I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that kind of change. I’ve lived at home, lived in a dorm, lived in an apartment with three other guys, lived in an apartment with one other girl, and lived at home (while taking over the basement). So called “grand living” spaces are a new thing to me and the thought of having all of that to myself is a bit overwhelming.

This fear had me leaning towards a condo for the past week. It’s small enough that I wouldn’t be intimidated by all of the square footage but it would still be something I could call my own. After seeing a bunch of property, taking some time to think about what we saw and talking to my parents I realized that for the future, a townhouse is the better choice. Selling a townhouse would likely yield more of a profit and given my propensity to have stuff, the townhouse has a lot more room for expansion.

As a result of this “enlightenment”, I’m almost 100% convinced that a townhouse is the right choice for me. Of course finances will have the final say in what goes down but it’s the unofficial official new direction. Ta-Da.

I’ll be sure to keep you all updated as things progress. I may or may not consult the masses for advice here and there but since this is still way uber early in the process don’t spend your waking nights thinking about my eventual move.

It will happen.

So all of that was drafted a couple of days ago. Then I started digging deeper into my current financial state. With my newly beefed up paycheck (thank you Avalanche HQ), it is time to take my bank accounts more seriously. I started by factoring the bill payments that are constant and more-or-less mandatory. For now the list is my Car, College Loan, TV (for 7 more payments), Car Insurance. That’s what I’m dealing with right now. I had my Dad work up some estimates for a possible mortgage payment, utilities and other real world expenses. The bottom line: as of right now, I would have very little money to play with on a monthly basis. And this doesn’t even factor in my credit card, which needs to be reigned in.

I’m not exactly freaking out right now, but I’m very concerned over how this will work. If it will work.

The real world sucks.

6 thoughts on “The Commodores

  1. The day I realized I was a grownup was the most terrifying day of my life. When I got my first apartment and I went shopping for sheets, TP and other essentials, I nearly freaked out at the wal-mart. But I later calmed down and now it’s all good.

    Being a grownup sucks sometimes. Where I used to just spend money freely, I had to realize that “oh, I can’t spend money on ‘XYZ’ this week because I have to pay ‘bill X,” darnit to heck!” Just be smart with your money and learn to adapt. You’ll be A-okay.


  2. Yes, the real world does suck! Hang in there, this part is the hardest part of the whole process. The looking at places, financing, and of course your own finances. We kinda have the deck stacked a bit against us because of the whole health thing. Face it, not all your friends have to put out all the $$$ we do for doc visits and meds. But this is doable for you! BTW, if you can get a townhouse over a condo, do it! You will fill up the space quicker than you realize and you want room to grow in case you get a pet or you want someone to move in with you (roomie or girlfriend).


  3. Thought: unless Mom and Dad are kicking your out of the house right now, take the amount you’d be paying for mortgage/utilities/taxes, and bank it. If you can do that for a full year, you will probably be able to handle the homeownership experience at the expected rates — and, you will have that much more money to put towards a down payment, lowering your monthly payment rates. If the whole lot is too much, then save 70% or 80% of that — after a year it will still give you a nice amount to add to that down payment.

    Another advantage of saving for a year is that we have not yet seen the bottom of the housing bubble, and you may be able to get a better investment for a lower price.


  4. Well frack, you gonna sing and dance for us or what? Sheesh.

    Life can suck. But you are preparing, planning — way ahead of the game sir. Way ahead. It will work out however it needs to, with time.


  5. Whether you end up with a townhouse or a condo, buying is a good choice, for sure. Even if you have to go with less square footage in the end, it obviously won’t be your first home purchase. When you get to a point where you can get more home, you’ll be glad you started your life as a property owner sooner rather than later.

    All that being said, money was really tight for us the first couple of years after we bought our first house. We bought as much as we could afford, which wasn’t much, but obviously better than throwing money away renting. Our extracurricular spending was really slim, as we also worked to completely get rid of the credit card debt. We think it was worth it though, even though during the days when money was tighter, there were times when we were frustrated. A couple of years goes by fast though, and we’re better off financially because of it.

    Plus, the ladies like a financially responsible man 😉



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