Mortgages and the Race to Own a Home
My heart is still full, but I think I can concentrate long enough to write a relevant post. I think.
This may not seem like the most "real" of topics, but those readers of a certain age (okay, for any of you who have graduated college or are otherwise contemplating the serious reality that is your future), thoughts of mortgages and financial instability may well reign over your thoughts on certain days.
Some months, when I see one entire paycheck go to rent, I feel like it's entirely worth it for what I get - for independence, for a pool, for cooler weather than on the other side of town. Other months, I cringe as I see what is NOT going into my savings and consider that my monthly rent would easily cover two mortgages in, oh, I don't know...Oklahoma?
In any case, there is a race to own a home, a race to feel that we own some piece of the world all on our own. But we don't really own it. We may pay a mortgage, but that property won't be ours for close to 30 years...at least not in California.
Before I officially decided to rent, I looked into condos, and found that the financiers would trust my "stated" income and give me a loan that would cost me $1000 MORE than I make a month. That's just wrong, and that's how fine people like these folks end up with bad credit and no place to live.
Yahoo Finance has some good tips on how much mortage an individual can afford, of course, those tips are based on a $95,000 mortage, and I know there's no mortgage like that in California.
Other places to look:
Housing Markets You Can Afford
MSN Savings Calculator
It's all well and good to lean towards savings and away from savings, but please people, don't neglect the rest of your life while you save for your first home.