Looks like we’re moving – again. Just this morning my human said: “Hey Pearly, think it’s time we owned our own place, don’t you? “ Not that I mind, it’s getting pretty boring looking at these apartment walls and that roommate definitely needs an upgrade. I’d been expecting this; she’s been surfing real estate sites on the Net so I’ve been boning up on the whole human house – buying routine anyway. (Although I love my human, let’s face it, she sometimes doesn’t do her research as well as she could.) That’s one of the advantages of being a Goldfish, you have a lot of time to think while you swim those circles.
And I’m thinking that we should try a one family pre-owned house. Mallory is creative enough to help design and build a great new one, but with her freelance music marketing business she isn’t going to have the time to put in. If there is one flaw in my human it’s that she gets too engrossed in projects. (Just between us, she really gets obsessive about them. Adore her but she can have a one track mind.) Designing and building a house would definitely take too much time from growing the business; our income would suffer. Not that I’m materialistic at all, absolutely not, but I do like her to have the money to upgrade my castle every now and then.
She’s going to go through the whole spectrum of options; I can see nights spent surfing the Internet and looking at Condos and Townhouses, multifamily houses and PUDs. (That’s Planned Unified Development, which I’ll let her figure out- it makes her feel smart.) Hmmm, with Adam in the picture and his Air Force career taking him to all kinds of places, I think a starter home in a good neighborhood will do quite nicely. It will be a place for him to visit between tours. As for us, for the last few years it’s been college dorms and places with roommates and we’re due for some space. So, I’ll let her look at all those housing options and then nudge her back to what I want -well, what will be best for her.
And I’d better start nudging her to talk to the right people. (She tends to think that every question she has can be answered on the Internet; problem is she’s never done this before so she doesn’t really know what questions to ask. Really, how can you know what you don’t know? I’m told it’s a human thing.) While she’s looking at those housing options I’d better find someone who knows how to figure out what we can afford to buy and what kind of taxes go with what neighborhoods. Then there’s maintaining the property (I’m pretty good at basic repairs on my castle but, sad to say, that skill hasn’t transferred to my human so we’ll budget for some help.) Add in up-front costs, something called earnest money, and inspections. Then there’s insurance for the place. I don’t need flood insurance, the more water the better, but humans and their things don’t do so well in three feet of water so we’d better find out about that. Add in the student loans she’s still repaying and we need some personal, professional help to figure out the finances. She’ll be the first of her friends to take the home owning plunge so there will be no helpful suggestion on finding good mortgage and house advice from that group. (You’d think for all the food they eat when they’re over here we’d get some wisdom out of them.)Pearly's Pad -- Even a goldfish wants to buy a house without running into a loan shark Click To Tweet
Our current living situation may be a problem too. I told her not to just pay her roommate for the rent but to put her name on the lease and start building a history; but I didn’t push that so we’ll just have to deal with it. At least our credit score is good.
I know Mallory and she’ll want to dive right in with a real estate agent. If we don’t know what we can afford that’s definitely skipping a step. (Love her, but skipping steps is a habit of hers. I don’t even want to think about the first few months of accounting horrors when she started the business.) Absolutely a conversation to find out what the price range has got to be first. Now, I’m not bragging, but I do have a pretty good feel for people, especially people in financial industries. (After all evading sharks is built into my DNA.) It seems logical that I take that on.
I’m off to figure out who we’re going to talk to in the mortgage industry and expect that, with my expertise, we’ll make out just swimmingly. But join us next week to find out how it’s going.
Looking for the next chapter in this adventure? Here is part 2 of Pearly & Mallory’s adventures in buying a new home.