Prepare yourselves for a mini-rant. This is not directed at anyone in particular, especially anyone who reads this blog, but more of a vent. Even before we got married, people asked us when we're 1. buying a house and 2. having kids. Don't get me wrong, I understand people are excited for us and are just curious, but we're 27 days in and it's beginning to wear on me. I need to get it off my chest. Every time I say I'm tired, someone makes a comment that I must be pregnant. God forbid I should feel sick at all, and suddenly I have "morning sickness." When I say I'm not sure about the where/when/what/who regarding buying a home, I get lectured on taking advantage of the first-time home buyer's credit and how it's a buyer's market. To be honest, I just want to enjoy my married life for a little while.
Even when we visited guests at their tables at our wedding, a few people asked when babies were coming. Before the wedding was even over. It made me want to give far too much information involving my ovulation. To answer every one's question seriously, yes, we do want children. Honestly, we can't wait to be parents. But we also greatly value this time we have together and feel it's important to spend time as a married couple first. I think this is completely rational, and we intend to evaluate our position in a year and go from there. We have a lot we want to do: build savings (most importantly) and go on a big vacation. The last thing we want to do is bring a child into the world before we're ready emotional and financially as a couple. I know people say that if you wait until the perfect time, you'll never have them. We don't need the perfect time, but this is certainly not the right time. Yes, we're stable, but we have a goal, and no baby talk will commence until we reach it.
When it comes to the house situation, I get frustrated too. Our current plan is to rent a house when our lease is up in March. We've also thrown around the idea of staying in the apartment, but we'd love the extra space and a yard for the dogs. Yes, I understand it's a great time to buy a house. Yes, I know the government will hand us $8K for our contribution to the stimulation of our economy. Yes, I know paying rent is sort of like setting money on fire. But it's not the time for us and, again, we're not ready. We don't know where we want to live in this huge city, how much we want to spend, etc. Not that we love apartment living, but we don't feel like buying a house is a top priority right now. It's not something we feel we have to achieve in a certain time frame. Neither of us want to rush into buying something that isn't a perfect fit just to check "buy house" off our imaginary to do list.
Not to mention, houses are expensive and we're trying to build savings, not deplete it with big purchases. I feel like we're making mature decisions that we know are right for us and for what we can handle, and yet they're not exciting or satisfying enough for some people. "It's only 3% for a down payment," a coworker (who recently bought a home after living with his parents and saving his entire salary for 6 years) said. Yes, but that's 3% of a house that we could stock away for a trip to Ireland, something that is currently much higher on the to-do list. But on top of that 3% is closing costs and other fees that come up when purchasing a home. Not to mention, we don't plan to buy a brand new home, so we both feel we need significant savings for any unforeseen repairs. Ideally, Mr. Kingston would like to buy somewhat of a fixer-upper and do a lot of work to our permanent home (flooring, plumbing, cabinetry). So we're now looking at 3% for a down payment, closing costs, unforeseen repair savings, and remodeling money. We're just not there yet, and we're okay with that. And yet, with all these reasons, I get looks of pity from some of the people who ask.
It's true that the "when" of what life brings next boils down to money. Doesn't most everything? As a young couple, I don't really think we're alone in our situation. We're not in a bad financial place by any means, but we just contributed to our wedding and are working hard to replenish our savings and pay down other bills to put ourselves in an even better financial spot. Considering the fact that our economy is where it is right now in part because of people purchasing homes they couldn't afford, we're extremely cautious about our move into the next phases of life.
The baby and home will come, folks, we promise. Just give us some time, there's no rush.