Today is my one year blogoversary! It's really crazy how fast this past year has flown by, and how we were in such a different place last year. At this time last year we were getting kicked out of our apartment by my crazy uncle, and were in the process of buying a co-op! Our rent was $1275 for a too-small one bedroom (raised to $1375 soon after by the crazy uncle). I remember feeling so stressed and anxious all of the time because the pressure was on and we really had no idea what we were going to do and where we were going to live.
We looked at countless co-ops, since we had somehow become convinced that it would be smart for us to just buy a place. Mostly that had to do with the fact that we couldn't get thrown out on someone's crazy whims, and that we would have a place that was truly ours. The financials would have been super tight, but could have probably worked. The mortgage would have been $1200 a month and the maintenance would have been around $800 a month.
Anyway, we were all set to go through with buying the co-op but I was still having some doubts. I wasn't able to figure out if these were regular buying a home jitters, or something more serious. We met with a lawyer and were all set to sign the contract, but something needed to be revised. I mentioned to the lawyer that I was really nervous about the financial situation of the co-op itself and asked him to look over the contract again. (Basically with a co-op you own shares, rather than actual property. Theoretically the shares could become worthless and the co-op could go bankrupt.) When the lawyer looked it over, it turned out that the co-op had a 10 million dollar balloon loan due at the end of 2010. It wasn't great but he still thought it would have been okay to proceed.
Basically my husband and I looked at each other and knew that we couldn't go through with it.
All I can say is thank goodness that we hadn't. While we both still have our jobs, it was a little questionable for awhile and I know that if we were trapped with such a responsibility. We ended up finding our current apartment on Craigslist and moved in August 1. It was pretty overwhelming at the time.
Thankfully things seemed to have calmed down a bit. We signed our lease for our apartment for another year. We even got our rent lowered from $1500 to $1450!
I think what I've learned this year was that we have to do things in our own time. It would have been SUCH a bad idea to buy an apartment just because we felt pressured into it. This past year we've been able to pay off our car loan (about $15k!) and we've been able to get our emergency fund up to around $9k. Now when we are ready to buy a home it will be on our terms.
So now, on to the giveaway!
In honor of my one year blogoversary, I am giving away a $10 Amazon.com gift certificate. :)
Here's how you can enter to win:
- Leave a comment telling me the most important financial lesson that you've learned this year.
- Tweet about this contest on twitter and leave a comment with a link to the tweet.
- Blog about this contest and leave a comment with the link to the post.
- Subscribe to my feed and leave a comment, or let me know that you already subscribe.
I'll choose the winner on July 31 using Random.org. Thanks for reading and good luck!!