On Buying A House

buying a first home


Last July we decided that we were not going to buy the house we were living in and that it was time to downsize and move. We found a great apartment, small enough to be easy to maintain with sufficient storage space, an excellent landlord, close to downtown and my wife's work. There was one downside, stairs, two sets. The apartment was on the top floor of a three story house, it has a fine view but in winter the stairs are a bit tricky and we are not getting any younger.


We have been through the first winter and while at times the stairs were difficult to negotiate the use of a combination of shoveling or sweeping them and adding a mix of salt and sand keep them relatively safe. Climbing them several times a day is a good workout, especially when carrying groceries.


I have begun designing a balcony garden, we have two balconies we can sue for gardening and this gives us considerable space to use. I was settling in and while there is some work to do in arranging things just so, I was comfortable and not really considering moving. Then one day we found out that the house directly behind us was going to go up for sale in a few weeks. The owner was planning on selling it herself and moving, so she asked us if we wanted to take a look.


The yards, back and front are ample and a good garden could be designed to grow, food, herbs and flowers, so that is a temptation. The price is right, much lower than anticipated. On a preliminary first look, a more detailed inspection is needed, all looks good. New windows were put in last year and the current owners has restored the hardwood floors and redone the kitchen within the past 18 months.


When we got home, my wife and I spent most of the evening talking about what it would mean to purchase a house. We are almost debt-free and buying a home changes that, sure in time there is equity but not for the first few years. This is a buyers market and selling a home can be difficult so if we wanted to sell it in a few years we could lose money, not an appealing prospect.


On the other hand, we would be investing in our future by buying rather than contributing to someone else's income. We are relatively secure in our work and can afford the extra costs, the mortgage would be close to what we pay in rent and aside from the other costs associated with buying a house, we would have to pay for heating which we do not now do; so buying would up our monthly costs.


A large yard and more indoor square footage mean more work, now the yard work, cutting the grass, for example, could be contracted out and I love growing things so that is not a problem, but when making a decision of this magnitude we must give thought to all aspects. At the moment I am leaning towards making an offer.


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Comments 25 comments

SusieQ42 5 years ago

Hi Mr. Ewing! My husband and I rent a house from my son for a very reasonable price and are probably going to continue to rent. We are finally free from the upkeep and expenses of taking care of a house that we would own. We also love our neighborhood. We have great neighbors who are not only our neighbors but also our friends. We love it here and don't have to worry about expenses of owning a home as we get older. My blessings to you in your decisions.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Thank you, we live in a good neighourhood and the house is right behind were we are now, so we are not moving far, if we do decide to buy.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi bob, I'm both excited & nervous for you!! You'd love that garden....it's a difficult decision keep us posted.


susie142 5 years ago

That's great! I enjoyed reading your article. Let us know how things go.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick Author

I will keep you posted, we will make the final choice over the weekend.


SusieQ42 5 years ago

Thanks. I love house hunting. Do you get House Hunting International(or any of the other of these kinds of shows) on your TV?


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick Author

We do not watch TV, dvds yes but not TV stations, I like design and how it influences peoples' buying decisions.


SusieQ42 5 years ago

Me too...home decorating is one of my favorite hobbies. I too lived with no TV once (for 8 years) and it was refreshing. We got our movies from the Library, mostly Disney and musicals.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick Author

The public library is a great source for more than books, we also borrow videos from it.


SusieQ42 5 years ago

Our dreams outweigh our wants but not our needs...thus buying a house! (you've bought a house before, right? So get your ducks in order. Yours, Susan


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Actually this is our first.


susieq42 5 years ago

Hi again! Wow! This is exciting for you then. Good luck and God bless.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Thanks, it is exciting.


SusieQ42 5 years ago

My son has 30 houses that he rents out. Right now he is able to get a house for $30,000. and rent it for around $700.00 a month. The houses always need work but he has maintenance men that help him out. Ususally he put a few weeks into one, cleaning, replacing sinks, toilets, etc. He started buying houses 12 years ago. Up until 2 years ago he has a full time job also. He kept setting goals, first 1 a year, then 2, then 5; he has purchased 8 in the last year. He buys, rents and sells.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Now that is a business that will always have customers.


SusieQ42 5 years ago

Yes, he's always busy. I'm very proud of him for his great business head. Many of his buddys that are investors have gone out of business (when the economy went crazy)but my son has always been a master of his finances.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick Author

An excellent skill to have, all the best to him and you.


susieq42 5 years ago

Thank you. Enjoyed talking with you!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for your good and very detailed advice.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick Author

You are welcome, I will be posting part 2 soon, thanks for visiting.


ccdursina profile image

ccdursina 5 years ago from Spring Green WI

This is a good buyer's market, go for it!


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick Author

It is that, we will see,


jenlang profile image

jenlang 5 years ago from Florida

A balcony garden! That's what I need...but I wonder how much you could grow on a small one?


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick Author

You can grow vertically and increase the yield.


jenlang profile image

jenlang 5 years ago from Florida

Wow great!

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