Go big or go home, right?
We’re moving across the country at the end of July. Before we even knew the move date (or the location), we knew we wanted to trade out our current not-so-stellar car for something that will definitely last us through baby and snow and the next 10 years.
Then we found out we were going to Michigan and we started researching rentals. The average rent seemed to be about the same as here, which – okay, we can obviously do that. Then I made the mistake of looking at houses for sale.
Holy housing market, batman! You can buy a house in Lansing for less than a new car. And not even a fancy new car. Granted, that house is in dire need of a few repairs, but even the nice, perfectly in shape houses are a 1/3rd what they are here. A third of what we were seriously considering buying a few years back, but ultimately decided not to because we didn’t want to deal with the hassle of moving at that time.
Renting would be 100x easier, especially considering the cross-country move and impending baby. Yet we kept looking at sale prices as we perused rentals and it became increasingly difficult to justify spending so much more each month for the convenience of a rental. Especially when so many rentals looked like they were woefully neglected and so many rental companies had incredibly negative reviews.
I crunched the numbers five different ways (including all relevant taxes and insurance and associated upkeep costs) and we’d still come out ahead of renting even if we sold the house for a loss. It’s insane.
So we decided to look into it. We’re going to contact a realtor and line some houses up for when we visit in July. We’re going to talk to friends who have bought recently and people we know who live in Lansing. I’ll also accept any advice from you guys for a first-time home-looker/buyer. I have the mortgage and title and property part 100% down because I worked in that sector for 6 years, but I have no idea what house buying looks like from the outside.
And of course we still want to buy a car before we move. Because we’re already planning on making one large financial decision. Might as well make another!
I have fallen head over heels in love with Subaru, specifically the Impreza Wagon. It’s kind of a problem. Especially because it’s waaaaay beyond our original price range.
But really, any big sedan/hatchback or teeny SUV would be good. We just need something that will last, will handle snow with grace, and can fit a car seat comfortably. Our plan is to head out and test drive a bunch of different makes and models over the next few weekends and hone in on what we want. Assuming I haven’t already made up my mind 100% about the Subaru.
And then there’s baby. ‘Nuff said there. These things just seem to go together. I’ve watched a handful of other bloggers do the exact same thing before giving birth: find a house, move into a house, and buy a car. So I know it’s possible. I was just kind of… hoping to avoid all that.
Oh well. Better to do it all now, while I still have energy, right?