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The future is looking dim

My brother closed on his ‘new’ house today. His mortgage is $950 a month, which seems pretty expensive for a 168k 2 bdrm house.. especially in a market that’s supposed to be so cheap.. but you add in $190 taxes every month from the city, and home insurance and the monthly price skyrockets to $1300.
Upon hearing that, I knew Thomas and I wouldn’t be able to afford anything in this area that wouldn’t be either a run down rat infested shit hole, or the nicest house in the ghetto.

That was after things were finally looking up with the whole credit situation.. kind of. We figured out if we just didn’t put my name on the loan, we’d only have to pay one of the bills in collection for Thomas equaling $150, and we’d be approved.
Then comes news from the real estate agent that we’d have to have 1% of the total loan in our bank account (I do, Thomas doesn’t), and if we actually found a house we could afford, we’d have to pay for an inspection ($300), an appraisal ($500), a ‘good faith’ payment to hold the house (about $500).. among other fees. That’s a lot of money, BEFORE even getting to closing costs and beginning to pay your actual mortgage. All money we do NOT have.

This all happening on the day where i’m sitting downstairs freezing my ass off because of how drafty all of our windows and doors are and the heat is turned up to almost 80 freaking degrees. So now what to do? We do NOT want to stay in this crap hole.. but moving into another rental unit, that will almost definitely be smaller just to have a less crappy place doesn’t seem all that appealing either.

If we’re going to move.. we want to move into a place we plan on STAYING at. Moving all of our crap with a small child and 2 cats only to have to move again seems totally absurd.

A huge part of me is incredibly jealous that my brother can move into a house and we’re stuck in this crap hole- even if I would have never bought the house he did.. it’s still a house. Something to call his own. It just feels like it’s never going to happen for us at this point.

Our lease is up in a little over a month and we have no idea what we’re going to do.

Finding a rent-to-own would be a perfect option, but let’s face facts.. there aren’t many of those around these days. People want to just sell their house as quickly as possible and be done with it.

I really don’t know anymore.. I’m at a serious loss.

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate the holidays?

Posted on December 22, 2008 by Holdin' Holden 10 Comments
Holdin' Holden

About Holdin' Holden

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10 Comments

  • I really think you need to just get out of where you are. Sure, a house is everyones dream, but right now that just doesn’t seem like it’s your reality. I realize it’s frustrating, but you have to make due with what you have, and realize that where you’re living (from how you described it anyway) appears to be a health hazard. I really think you need to just move into an apartment some where and SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! Again, it’s not ideal, but neither is being stuck in a lease for a drafty roach infested house. Maybe you should consider getting some sort of job. I get that you want to stay with your child, but it seems like you need money….badly, and unfortunately you’re not going to do that staying home with him. Good luck.

  • I’ll never fully understand why people post anonymously, but whatever- valid questions.

    Me working is really a non-option. With how little i’d make at ANY job I took because I never worked to advance myself in the job world, only to make ends meet because I always aimed at making music my ‘job’, the cost of daycare would basically eat alive any earnings I made. To put my kid in daycare (where I, by the way, got my ass beat as a child) to bring home MAYBE a hundred dollars a week is not worth it to me. Then you have to add in gas and it makes it obsolete. Trust me, if I could make as much as Thomas makes, i’d most likely have gone back to work a long time ago.

    We already have hardly any room as it is, and we have 1k sqft, which is HUGE for ANY rental in this area. I can’t give up space, we’d suffocate.

    Staying here is not ideal, it’s not a fun thought, I don’t even like thinking about it. The office claims they’re going to “fix” all of these problems but i’ve yet to see it happen. They’re more concerned with fixing the OUTSIDE, essentially scamming people to move in because it looks a lot nicer than it is.

    I think by the post I made it obvious that i’ve given up on buying a house. It’s not within our reach, and living out of our means would be an incredibly stupid thing to do.

    I’m weighing a lot of options right now. None seem completely ideal, but life isn’t always fair. Going back to work while Holden is this young is not something I will consider, for the reasons I listed and many MANY more.

  • oh, not to mention, moving into another smaller rental- would most likely cost more and not save us money. Unless we moved into the ghetto, and that’s not gonna happen either.

  • I believe that I make enough money for us to live at least semi-comfortably at the moment. It’s not the “ideal” american dream, but atleast its better than living in a rundown one bedroom 750sqft apartment in the ghetto.

    It’s tought to save for a house. Granted. But, eventually everything will even out and we can actually start our plans for a house. A rent-to-own is ulitmately the best deal ever. You are going to pay less mortgage than owning it yourself, you don’t have to fix everything in your place, and you will build equity in a rental. All good things.

    I do want a place to call my own, but I won’t do it at the cost of my family. Too many people in the last decade have lived beyond their means, which has ultimately led to our crashing as a society. “Let me just refinance my house for $100K and blow it on crap I dont need, and have to foreclose on and reposses everything.” Sounds awesome.

    Your working situation is nothing to be guilty about. I believe that the intrinsic values our child is receiving from you being at home highly outweighs the little money that we could “save” by you being at work. Our society has now begun to “frown at” the stay-at-home mom, which is terrible. Too many people are over-working themselves and letting their children raise themselves. Latchkey kids. I know I had little supervision in my childhood and I turned out alright, but I know many more people whom failed at this. Drop-outs, druggies, and alchies.

    I believe Holden deserves better than that, and I will do my damnest to give that to him.

  • I’m really sorry you have to stay in your present situation. Is there anything you can do LEGALLY to get your apartment fixed? I’m sure anyone would frown on the fact that you have a one year old living in such conditions where the landlord is supposed to repair everything. Is there a rental agreement stating all of that?

    Thomas, you sound like a great man for Jenny to have in her corner. It has taken me probably YEARS to get D to understand the multitude of effects that social anxiety has on me and my ability to work. I think having a counselor verify the issue helped him realize it wasn’t all in my head! Anyway, I digress. That’s like a whole different blog post for me there.

    The two of you seem like a great fit together and I’m glad you have each other(that includes Holden lol).

    You do know though that no mortgage is the same for everyone? A lot of factors are in play-interest rates that depend on your CREDIT score, whether it’s city or county taxes, and probably lots more that I can’t remember.

    I just don’t want you to give up if there is ANYWAY at all to make a compromise. It was better for US to put both of our names on the mortgage bc our good scores together got us a 7% interest rate which was great at the time(not so sure about now).

    Sorry, I know I did a 180 in that comment lol. If you really see no other option and you are living “comfortably” then I would take a year and STOP living comfortably and start saving everything you can. I apologize for the freaking novel I’ve written here and hopefully you can understand at least SOME of it!!! 😉

  • with the VDHA loan, the interest rate is set by the state for EVERYONE from what I understand about the whole thing. It’s a good loan, but it has tons of stipulations.

    I wouldn’t say we’re living comfortably now.. we still live paycheck to paycheck. Anything cheaper than this place wouldn’t be safe to live in. We really got a good deal.. until we found out what a heap of crap this place is.

    There is definitely a rental agreement, they just do NOT hold up their end of it, EVER. it’s always been this way. It’s totally ridiculous. We can complain until we’re blue in the face and they just don’t care.

  • That is so true about the SAHM guilt crap. When we went to get food stamps last Christmas the lady at social services asked me, “Are you going to get a job?” Ha. Sure, let me just shove Em in daycare for $800 a month (around here) minimum, spend $100 a month on gas to get to work, spend $300 every 4 months or so average for work clothes, plus an additional $300 a month on take-out and convenience foods because I’m not working all day to get home at 7 pm to start peeling potatoes. Oh wait…that’s my entire paycheck! Not to mention at my last job I had to work until 10 pm 3 nights a week…pray tell what daycare is 24 hours. Sure, if you have an office job with normal hours and make at least $30-35K a year it “makes sense” to go back to work. When you are paid under that or in retail/something with crazy hours, it just doesn’t. The only few ladies I knew with kids at my old employer had to have Grandma watch their kids for free all the time when they had to work nights and weekends. That’s just not possible for me.

    Keep your chin up even though I know it’s hard- something will work out someday. It sucks you live in such an expensive area. Our mortgage, taxes, and insurance are only $600 a month. But then again, Thomas probably wouldn’t get paid as well here- figures, right? Are there doublewides near you? lol We have the same windows/drafts/high heating bill problem as you, but for 1700 sq feet and 4 bedrooms, I’ll take it, y’know?

  • i’m glad you see where i’m coming from! Since when did wanting to raise your own child for a BILLION different good reasons because something to look down on??

    Y’know, i’ve seen really nice trailer parks in other places, NONE around here. They are all terrifying and run down. I haven’t seen a nice double wide in an incredibly long time

  • I would see about getting a free consultation with a lawyer, taking a copy of the rental agreement and explaining the situation, maybe even taking some pictures of the problems bc if you HAVE to be there, I would exhaust all of my options to get them to fix the stuff!

    Someone needs to put them in their place. You shouldn’t have to live like that just bc they suck as landlords.

  • My next door neighbor told me a little bit ago that if it’s black mold, we can put our rent into equity and they can’t bitch about not paying them because a townhouse with black mold is considered ‘unlivable’
    i’m gonna look into it more tonight