Next Step… a house?

As John and I come up to the end of our rental lease here in St. Paul, we’ve been pretty set on the idea that we’ll find an apartment in Hudson for a couple years tops while we save up for our first home. I’ve been pretty stubborn about this idea and haven’t even considered the idea of going ahead and looking at buying a house instead.

Well, this has changed these past couple days. John and I drove around Hudson the other day, before we visited a church there that we’ve heard some good things about from members of our current church, and we drove by a seemingly bland and small little house. Needless to say, I had already been looking around the internet real estate listings (ok, I’ve been doing that for months now, but not too often) and had already seen how darn cute the inside of this house is. The price seems okay, but then again, what do I (or John) know about housing prices? We just keep hearing “Now is the time to buy!” and have been trying to block it out of our minds.

I don’t know when exactly the shift happened, but I’ve been praying about this whole moving-to-Hudson-to-who-knows-where situation for awhile now and one after the other we have been unable to find an apartment place that’ll work for us in the area. We really don’t want to move any farther away from the cities (Hudson is about 15-20 min east of St. Paul) because that is where pretty much all our family and friends live, plus I do still have to go to work in St. Paul three times a week. But then again, we don’t want to move anywhere closer to the cities and away from John’s school in Menomonie, WI (an hour east of St. Paul) since we don’t know just how many times he’ll need to be driving there a week each semester. We’ve been blessed that he only has to drive twice a week for now, but we know that this most likely won’t be the case every semester. And we’re talking at least 2 1/2 to 3 more years of this.

Then we considered possibly renting a townhouse for awhile so that we at least have a little more space but still aren’t buying anything out of our budget… but then again, this seems a little contradictory because those townhouses cost quite a lot to rent and that’s a lot of money that could be going toward a mortgage. Doesn’t sound too wise… so we nixed that idea.

So… I’m sure you catch my drift… we are now looking into the possibility of buying our first house. There are many perks to buying in this market and also being that it’ll be our first house. We hope and are earnestly praying it’ll be in Hudson for many reasons. We really like the downtown area and it’s nearness to the river. We already know some people who live there. Like I said earlier, it’s still close enough to the cities that visiting family or friends does not necessarily need to be an overnight ordeal. John loves the closeness to the St. Croix River and the endless outdoor possibilities that this brings, while I love that it is a smaller town just outside the city (like what I grew up with, basically) and that we’ve already found a possible permanent church home for us. Also, I know some people who grew up in Hudson and I think they turned out awesomely. Not that this is a direct reflection on the town itself, but it sure does help! Can I also add that our car insurance premium would drop significantly by not living in the city!? Those little pluses do add up!

The next challenge we face, though, is trying hard not to lose sight of the fact that God will bring about a house for us if he intends us to buy and that no matter what, HE will take care of us. I mentioned a particular house earlier in this post and I’ll admit for both John and I, we are already struggling not to get too excited and attached to this one. It’s pretty small, but it has been updated extensively inside and it is only a couple blocks from the river front. BUT- we don’t need the latest and prettiest home with all the updated appliances (though I’ll admit, this would be nice!). We don’t need the three car garage or central AC or a fireplace or whatever… (which that house does not have, by the way) the list goes on. We know that if we are searching for joy in STUFF, in the perfect house, that we will only be left dry and hungry for something else to fulfill us. No house will ever compare to what He has prepared for us in heaven!

We are just striving to do what we know will bring glory to HIM, hoping that a decision to buy a home versus continuing to rent will be a better investment of the money He’s entrusted to us. And, that it would also help our family to grow both physically (yes, we’re talking kids here!) and spiritually in a way that brings more glory to Him. It’s definitely an exciting time!

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About Carrie

Lover and follower of Jesus, wife to a loving husband, cardiac nurse in a big city hospital, aspiring cook and baker, notorious night owl, and enjoyer of all the gifts God has graciously given me! View all posts by Carrie

4 responses to “Next Step… a house?

  • Jen

    A lot of the internal struggle you’re going through I can totally relate to. Jerod and I are dealing with the same thing – it’s a GREAT time to buy since rates are low and the tax refund for first time buyers. But at the same time, it’s tricky if you’re not planning to live there for more than 3 years and the cost for the home is pretty high.

    I think what we’re learning as we go through this process is to keep all options open. We’ll look at any house at this point as long as it has a few certain things (certain numbers of bed/bath). Style and all of that is tricky because it changes with time, and “spruced up” homes can catch a top rate on the market, but fixing up a cheaper home doesn’t usually cost the difference. (often it’s newer appliances in the kitchen or hip paint colors, at least that’s what we’ve seen).

    Anyways, I guess my advice is to first figure out a budget and get pre-approved for a loan, then be patient, check out lots of different possibilities, and if you’re feeling uncertain, remember that eventually you will probably move, so putting all your “eggs” into your first home (if it’s your dream home or not) might not be the wisest thing.

    I’ll have to tell you how our first showings went…

  • Jen

    Hehe – I think I know which one you’re talking about! here’s a link to a cute house in hudson I would like at if it was me (just because it is a great deal!!!)
    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/716-5Th-St_Hudson_WI_54016_1098805266

    :-)

  • Brittney Watts

    How fun! Congratulations as you move and possibly purchase a home! :) And how fun to be talking babies!

  • jen

    um….you need to update

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