What We Gave Up For Our Home
After congratulating me and being generally excited about our new house, one friend mentioned that she was just spending all her money on travel. I didn’t respond in the moment, but the comment stuck with me.
While our house is freaking expensive, we chose carefully such that we could afford the payments without a lifestyle shift. It isn’t an either-or situation. We plan to have a house, and to travel. In the long run, buying should actually be cheaper than renting for us. It seems impossible that this math works, but it (in theory) does.
What I don’t think that my friend recognized (and I wasn’t willing to point out), is that I’m much older. She’s just starting her career, while I’ve been saving (while traveling) for years. There is also a fairly significant salary differential, and my husband is buying it with me. Perhaps she couldn’t buy a house without giving up travel right now. At any rate, a house isn’t a priority for her right now. It wasn’t for me until very recently!
That said, we are no longer planning to go to Patagonia this winter. I really want to, but T has two awesome conference I want to tag along on early next year (one in the middle east, one in Asia). It didn’t make sense to do another trip this December. Time is more of a factor as money is. The choice has little to do with the home purchase, though it made the answer more definitive.
Anyway – I’m not giving up travel. We are still “over saving” in retirement, which we won’t want to do forever. I want to do it this year since T was a little bit behind, but we’ll re-evaluate in 2015 or 2016. But, I’m not sacrificing retirement savings either. So, what am I sacrificing to buy a home?
- Freedom to move with minimal notice and minimal hassle.
- Short term cash on hand. After having so much in the bank, it is sad to be dwindling down to just our emergency fund and some cash for near term expenses.
- Ability to save cash at a quick rate while also funding retirement at this pace.
- Ability to quickly reduce living expenses (by moving).
In summary, it is more risky in a few ways. It restricts our options, even though we don’t think we NEED these options. This makes me nervous, as both T and I are quite risk adverse with money. Continuing to rent had some other risks (rising home prices, rising rents, we have to move to a new apartment within another year anyway.) I’m thrilled about our purchase, but I’m not blind to what we are giving up to have it.
What else, homeowners (or happy renters)? What did buying a home require you to sacrifice? Or what are you not willing to sacrifice to buy a home.