Normally I’d be at work, but we took today off! I’m starting off the morning by blogging about something that means a lot to me.
My parents are many things, but most importantly, they are crazy financially savvy. They started out their marriage living in an attic apartment and pretty much on welfare. Their wedding was mostly immediate family and they only had a dinner for a reception (sound familiar?). Their ability to put family first, material goods second, allowed them to put me and my sisters through sixteen years of Catholic education and pay for the majority of our weddings. Despite the fact that my dad was making six figures, they continued to shop at Aldi’s, bought their cars used, and never left the small two bedroom home where my mom grew up.
I don’t know if Husband and I will ever be that financially savvy. We don’t want kids, we want to go to Montana and New Zealand. Buying cars used now is a waste of money, because of the junk car program. All the used cars cost one or two thousand less than a new car. We don’t want to buy a house.
I guess I should say we would like to be a different kind of financially savvy.
Ever since Husband and I made a (pretty) permanent decision that we’re not going to have kids, we talked about what we’d like to do instead. And I’ve already mentioned a few of those things. First of all, get out of commercial debt! Yikes, credit card bills! No more! We also have travel plans! I want to go to Montana, Dallas, Seattle, Washington D.C., North Carolina, and New Orleans. Husband really wants to go to New Zealand and London. We’d also like to get a new car that doesn’t do 17 mpg. Finally, we’d like to buy a condo.
(We also have financial goals for our godson and Stepson, but those aren’t planned out because we have to decide on an account and such.)
We both knew we were never going to get a house. First of all, if you want to live in (a nice part) of Chicago and get a house? Easily a million. That’s actually how much the two flat we’re staying in is worth. Yikes! Plus, we’re both really lazy. Currently, we don’t have lights in our bedroom. I’m not kidding. The lights went out for the fan back in July, and the bulbs are weird, so we never replaced them. I can’t imagine having to take care of a yard or replacing a water heater, or tuckpointing, or all that boring stuff. I don’t care. I don’t want responsibility.
But we don’t want to rent forever. Properties are tricky to invest in, and blah blah blah, but when we’re older I’d like to be able to sell off a property and go live in a home. Or a fancy retirement community. Whatever.
However, how were we ever going to get the money for a down payment on anything? We’re putting all our money towards our debt. And child support. So we haven’t talked about buying a condo in a long time because it really made me sad. I couldn’t see us getting one anytime in the near future.
And let me say here that’s it’s still not going to happen in the near future.
The other weekend my parents sat us down. I felt good about it because my mom is weird about telling you news. If it’s super serious, she will casually throw it out there. It is one of our big family jokes. She will be ironing and say, ‘By the way? Guess what happened? So and so DIED.’ And you like choke on the Coke you were drinking because of it. But she will sit you down and hold your hands and take a deep breath …. “What do you want me to make for your birthday dinner?” Seriously.
BACKSTORY: Ever since Husband’s grandma died and they all had to go on a treasure hunt for her will, I begged my parents to make sure everything was ready to go for their deaths. Since I’m the youngest, I really won’t have to deal with any of that, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want them prepared. They hadn’t touched their wills since I was seven! Technically (like, haha technically) I’m moving in with my aunt if they die! I even told them to write down some things they wanted for their funeral. Ahem. This stuff is important! Husband and I have talked about it too. BE PREPARED. Even if it’s creepy and weird to think about, PREPARE. Ok. Backstory over.
They told us they had been talking about it and they didn’t want us to have to wait to get money. So they wanted to give us part of our inheritance now. They were already helping out my sister with getting her house, but since we didn’t want a house, we could use the money on a condo. Or not take it at all. Then they told us the amount, and Husband fainted (just kidding). But it completely solved the ‘we don’t have any money to put down’ dilemma.
And so we started dreaming.
Now, like I said, we’re probably about three to five years away from actually buying anything. And that is even if our debt destruction keeps going according to plan. I would like to be completely debt free before we invest in a condo (and so would the bank). But that doesn’t mean we can’t look!
Even though condos are notoriously cheaper than houses, they’re still a big purchase, and our neighborhood (and its surrounding one) is really, really nice. But we found condos in our price range! And they are really good condos! Like, condos with a porch. Condos with CENTRAL AIR. Condos with in unit washer/dryer! Condos with sun room dining rooms! Condos with exposed bricks and pipe! So I made a list:
Must Haves: dishwasher, two bedroom, in building washer/dryer, good street parking, linen closet, good kitchen counters
Really Good: in unit washer dryer, parking space, double basin kitchen sink
Would Be Nice: porch, garage parking, central air
I’m very excited, and grateful to my parents for thinking ahead on this for us. Husband and I took a walk to see the condo buildings we might potentially live in some day. We talked seriously about what we’d have to do now to get there in the future. It’s a tough, but great conversation to have, and it makes me so excited about the future!
We have also been making plans about our current and future car. Because everything is still up in the air, though, I’m saving that post for when things actually happen.