Adulting is hard. Each life event you experience as an adult comes with new expectations.
We are all in different stages of life and EVERY situation is unique. (I mean have you read Jordan’s blog post about why our engagement sucks? lol) My brother just bought his SECOND house in Nashville and is only a couple years older than me. Sometimes I catch myself just trying to keep up. We all come from a variety of different financial, relationship, life, and career circumstances. I may not be able to speak to every single one of your stories but I will be able to talk about the conventional wisdom that we found to remain true in our experience with making the decision to RENT a house instead of BUY a house.
Just a little background on OUR situation. My lease was up at my the house my friend Jeanine and I were living at last year. My GOAL was to find a house to BUY that Jeanine and I could live in till my fiance, Jordan and I got married in May. Jeanine was ALSO on the fence about moving to LA at the time or staying in Dallas to live with me. It was ALL contingent on whether I could find a home to purchase in time, before our leases were up on Jan 1. So we were planning a wedding, prepping for marriage, buying a home, launching sub-brands and businesses, ALL in 5 months. We ultimately decided to rent a home instead of buy.
If you hear or say any of the following statements then it may not be the right time to buy.
I DO NOT WANT TO BE HOUSE POOR
When Jordan and I were looking to buy a house I think that we spent about as much time in Excel as I do on Instagram daily. We ran formulas and tried to forecast all the different scenarios that could go wrong. By we, I really mean Jordan. I am lucky to be marrying a man that is fiscally very logical. But that’s another rant for another day. When we were looking at the budget numbers, we were trying to determine what our life would look like if we lost a job tomorrow, if one of us became very sick, or if a car broke down. We went to some pretty dark places to try and figure out how much room for error there was in our budget to buy the house we really wanted. Under some scenarios we snuck by. Under the majority of them, we had a higher risk of becoming house poor. House poor is when you use the majority of your disposable income toward a house payment. It would be kind of like buying a beautiful home but not being able to afford any furniture to go along with it. If you are risking your lifestyle for a home then think really hard about the decision you are about to get yourself into.
I DO NOT TITHE
Jordan has taught me a lot about tithing. He had very wise and Godly businessmen come into his life early on in his career. They taught him that God uses His followers as a pass-through of His resources. Jordan has always tithed very diligently, not because he expects anything in return, but because he knows it was never His in the first place. It is not that I didn’t want to tithe but I just never look at my bank account. At any moment I have a running ledger in my brain that says “I can buy this shirt because I made this money here yesterday”. My mental accounting makes sure that I always am responsible financially but if you ask me what is 10% of what I made in a given month, I would have zero clue. When we were looking at our finances, Jordan was very adamant that it was not the right time to buy because we hadn’t learned the discipline of tithing together yet as a couple. We got in some very funny arguments when he would look at a sum of money in my bank account and say “that’s not yours”. I really do see his point now though. God gives us so many blessings and it is a sign of surrender and faith for us to pass-through those resources for others and what He is doing in the world. If you don’t tithe, don’t buy. I now have come full-circle because if he can’t trust us with the small stuff, He can’t with the big stuff either. And committing to a mortgage is the big stuff.
I DO NOT BELIEVE THE TIMING IS RIGHT
I am all about going after what you want in life. I am always encouraging you all to do the same. I had this wonderful dream of planning a wedding, getting married, my business taking off, buying a home, and decorating all at once. I have always heard that the three most stressful events in life are buying a home, planning a wedding, and a career change. We were trying to do all of them in FIVE MONTHS. I was really focused on where I wanted to be, but I was less focused on just how much stress it would be in getting there. I was striving for this vision and I wanted it all at once. Note to any of you out there: don’t try and do all three of these things in one year. While we didn’t end up buying a house, we probably looked at over 100 houses (not kidding), on top of planning a wedding, on top of balancing careers, and our relationship. My vision that I wanted for the future was actually ruining the present. Take life in stride and know that there is a time for everything in life. Pray about if that time is now or if waiting one year to buy a house will be more prudent.
IT IS NOT A BUYERS MARKET
I will speak the least about this because I understand it the least, but sometimes the market will tell you whether it’s a good time to buy or not. I have seen in the movies that you are supposed to “buy low, sell high”. That’s the name of the game. It may be different in other places, but in Dallas everything is high. If you all follow me then you saw that it was such a seller’s market that someone we had a handshake agreement with sold the house we are now renting to an investor. I really had to swallow my pride on that one. But at the end of the day you expect for your house to be an appreciating asset. Meaning that you make money by simply living in it. If you buy in the wrong market conditions then that may make it quite difficult to get the return you deserve on the property and what you expect.
The culture that we live in today has groomed us for instant gratification. If we want entertainment, it’s a click away with Netflix. If we want groceries, it can be delivered in an hour. If we want relationship, it’s open to you on many avenues on the internet. Whatever we want, we can get it. We are losing the concept of patience and taking life in stride. For me, that played out in my deep desire to buy a home. I resisted the desire to be patient and I saw waiting as a death sentence. Through it all, the Lord is teaching me to be patient.