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Wed, Apr. 6th, 2011, 04:11 pm
Some Updates, Etc.

I feel like this is rapidly becoming the place that I go to write whiny posts, so before I get into all of today's whining, I wanted to say how much everyone's kindness and support has meant to us over the past year. It's been a very, very challenging year and your notes and words of support and encouragement have kept us going. So much so that it's sometimes difficult to quantify it or even express it because the thought of it is so overwhelming.

One of our major financials challenges was recently resolved, in that Claire got a job. We had hoped that would usher in a time of decompressing and being thankful and counting our blessings while we wait for someone to buy our house.

Three days after Claire received her official offer, we were informed that the home owner of the house we are renting is being transferred back to the United States and that our last day in the house is May 27. So we're back in the house hunting game again a lot sooner than we wanted to be. Moving costs money, plus now that we're here and happy in Del Ray, it's difficult to just pick up and move somewhere else. Which makes the finding and acquiring of a suitable homestead stressful. Will we have to pull Drew from his preschool? Will we be able to find a place and get moved before our last day in our current house?

We explored the option of buying a place, but there's no chance of getting a mortgage, and here's why: even though our credit is still very good (it hasn't been affected by our potential short sale--and that's another whole post in and of itself), any loan over $417,000 is considered a "jumbo" loan and requires a 30% down payment. The average listing price of properties in Alexandria is $518,000. That would make the down payment $155,400.00. As my father still says, "Not if you don't buy it."

Seriously? Who is getting approved for loans in the DC Metro area right now? Not us, that's for damned sure.

So now we're in the rental game. And it is very much a game. There are multiple rental applications on most properties, with ensuing bidding wars to boot. I met with our rental agent today and one of the houses we wanted to look at was already under contract, and the "winner" of that came in at $700 more per month than the asking price. $700 PER MONTH. These people are killing me. I didn't want to pay $2950 a month to rent a 3 bedroom house, but I sure as hell don't want to pay $3,600 a month for that same 3 bedroom house.

And that's the thing that kills me: The mortgage on a huge 4-bedroom $669,900 house that we went to an open house for over the weekend before I knew about the 30% thing, would only be around $3,200 a month, including PMI. And we still have great credit! We'd be house poor, but we could make that payment right now! And if we ever sell our house we'll be able to afford a lot more. But instead, I'm going to be forced to pay that much (or more) to *rent* a place.

It's very frustrating to think about.