Reality Check... Deciding by the numbers
There is this house we both fell in love with. It is PERFECT for our family. I mean, I walked inside and it is truly PERFECT. Both DH and I felt like it is home. The lot is perfect. Everything is perfect about it... except it is a short sale and it is the tip top of our budget. And, they have a full priced offer so we would have to put in an above asking price (which is already above appraisal by $10K) offer.
So, last night, in making the decision to put an offer in, we sat down with our budget spreadsheet and crunched the numbers. There is the mortgage. There are the property taxes. There are the closing costs. There are the utilities. Al told, housing would suddenly come to 38% of our budget.
DH wanted to go for it until we saw the budget spreadsheet. I mean, ready to throw caution to the wind, lets put in our best offer tonight, type of go for it. The budget spreadsheet saved us from years of arguments and regret. It took the emotion out of the decision and boiled it down to "we can have the house or we can have some quality of life and give our kids some extra curricular opportunities." For me it was an easy decision, but for him... being faced with colleagues with new gorgeous cars, exotic vacations, and a host of other new shiny things, its MUCH harder.
As hard as it is to walk away from this house, if we're going to truly live like no one else, it's time to put on our adult hats, put away the childish wants and step away from the house (and the top of our price range). Sigh. So, time to drop it all back down by $50K. That severely limits our search, but it also squarely puts us in the range we can afford.
For me, the decision is easy. I look at the fact that our old house appreciated $30K above what we paid for it in the 9 years we were in it, and coming in almost $15K above appraisal just leaves me cold. The numbers don't lie, and I don't want to find us in a position where we can't save adequately for retirement, for college or give the kids the swimming lessons, soccer or gymnastics that they enjoy because we bought more house than we can comfortably afford.
If you can all pray for peace in the decision for DH and for God to bring the right house for our family on the market, I'd truly appreciate it.