On November 5th 2012, my wife gave birth to our first child. During the pregnancy I decided that I would write about the experience. Every week since I have documented all of the events that took place throughout this time, along with my thoughts on them. Now that I can confirm that our baby is happy and healthy, I will share those thoughts with you.
Week 11 – When Real Estate Gets Real
First off, here is the shopping list email that I received to start the week:
Frozen Hors d’oeuvre
Kraft mac and cheese
M&Ms (mini ones if they have them)
Oreo ice cream sandwiches
Pepperidge Farm chocolate cake (in freezer section)
The mac n cheese has not moved because the instructions ask for margarine. I doubt they will ever be eaten. The ice cream sandwiches were gone in the blink of an eye. I could not find the specific type of frozen pizza she wanted, so I ended up going to Uno’s for a personal pizza. The chocolate cake has gone untouched since I bought it. Despite this nutritious trip to the grocery store, we still had to order out for dinner almost every night this week. Here’s another heads up for dealing with the cravings; don’t forget to buy things for yourself to eat. Don’t just buy what’s on the list.
Now that that’s out of the way, I had mentioned before that we were looking for a new house. We have to move. The apartment we are in is barely big enough for the two of us. Her mother is trying to sell her house so we can all live under one roof, a necessary evil since it will provide free daycare. It’s also the best way to get the kind of place we want since Jess and I don’t currently have the credit score or savings to afford a nicer house on our own. All of this has made an already stressful time that much worse.
A few realizations hit us. One was that the kind of houses that we were looking for aren’t in high supply, a lot of the ones that are available are still too expensive, and the ones that aren’t will need serious work. Finding a house with the conditions we want in the area we want (at the price we want) is just not likely right now. The other prospect is the uncertainty surrounding the potential sale of my mother-in-law’s house. While we could potentially move into a house without it, we absolutely need the money from that sale to stay in it, and make it the way we want it. Not a good situation to get in. Let’s not forget, time is far from being on our side. Jess is due to give birth in November, which realistically gives us until September to find a place so we can buy it, move in and settle in before she gives birth. Given all the other issues, this does not seem likely.
With all that in mind, and after a freak out about money, Jess brought up the idea that instead of buying a house, we should consider renting, or even buying a condo instead. That way we could increase the amount of room we have while still building our equity toward a future bigger, all while paying less than we would with a house. Paying less now would help pay for daycare until we move in with her mother in the future, and condos are easier to find.
Not so fast. Condos are easier to find but while the prices are slightly less (emphasis on slightly), it does not include the service fees (such as lawn care) that add up fast. Also, we checked out daycare costs. For whatever reason, Jessica figured paying someone to watch our child would add up to $500 a month. That might get you two weeks. Instead we would need to have closer to $1000 a month just for watching our child. Throw in the fact that my wife is a pessimist and I’m easily talked into her worries, and suddenly we also have to have money set aside in case our baby is born with an ear growing out of its third foot or something.
So now in a matter of 24 hours, we have gone from trying to buy a house, to wanting to buy or rent a condo, to now facing facts and deciding to stay in our current apartment after all. Yes it’s small, but with a few personal sacrifices (so long office, hello baby room) and a lot of reorganizing, I’m hopeful that we can make it work for at least a year or two. That should allow us time to build a bigger savings and wait for the right house (or condo) to come to us with the pressure taken off. As for day care? Well I’ll be taking one weekday off each week, her mother will come down two or three days a week to take care of things, and we’ll figure out a way to fill the gaps. Essentially, we will make it work because we have to. The baby is coming whether we are ready or not (and who ever really is?) and like I’ve said before, we don’t matter as much anymore. The more I think about it, that was the whole key to moving anyway. The baby doesn’t need a new home (not yet anyway), we do. We want to move out and find a bigger place for us. In a new house the baby would get one room, same as here. The finished basement and new stove is for us. I don’t necessarily want that anymore though. I just want what’s best for my baby. Now if that includes a pool table and bar area, I won’t complain.