Nearly 10 years ago (!), I found myself in pretty much the same situation as the woman featured on this week's episode of Money Diaries: The Podcast: My fiancé, now husband, Ken, and I were trying to simultaneously plan a wedding and buy our first apartment in Brooklyn. It was stressful to say the least. And two years into being a mother who also holds down a full-time job, I still have to say that first-time home-buying mixed with wedding planning is more insane than raising an infant.
I also didn't have a lot of great resources to turn to when I started the home-buying process, and there were some basics that went way over my head. So it was exciting to sit down with my co-host, Paco De Leon, for this episode, to get real about home-buying. Our caller, Samantha*, is an independent consultant living in Portland, OR, with her fiancé. Together, they've got a combined income of around $165,000, and they've saved $65,000 over the last 7 years for a down payment on a house.
Samantha came prepared with a lot of good questions, and Paco was more than ready to offer straight-forward explanations of many of complicated home-buying terms that trip up many first-time buyers. How long do you need to stay in a house to make sure it's a good investment? What is equity? And Paco gets really nerdy about fully-amortized loans. (I promise it's not complicated — or boring!) We also get into the tough question of how much house you can really afford. If you're trying to figure that out, we recommend using an online mortgage calculator to get a better sense of how your down payment can impact your monthly payments. Then it can be helpful to think about your 50/30/20 plan and see if you feel comfortable with that amount of debt.
You can listen to the episode on iTunes, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app. And while you're at it, please subscribe, give us a rating, and leave us a comment if you like the episode! You can also check out the Money Diary from today's caller. And last but not least, I have a whole chapter on home ownership in my book, Refinery29 Money Diaries: Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Your Finances...and Everyone Else's. You can pick up a copy here!