Working Toward Our First Home

Alright. We’re finally doing it, so I figured I would share the details of what we’re working on.

So, about 8 months ago, we were trying to buy a house, but after talking with financial/mortgage people and our agent, they all told us to take a step back and try again later. We had things to work on and it just wasn’t the right time for us. So now, after those 8 months, we have given our credit scores a significant boost and we’re back on track to buy our first home.

We’re looking for something in the 70k-100k range, probably a ranch style house with at least 1000 sqft. At this point, that doesn’t look like it’s going to be a problem. In our area, we also have a downpayment assistance program that will actually make our down payment for our FHA loan. We are also looking into USDA Rural Development Loans, which could completely get rid of the downpayment and get us into a home in the country, which is our ideal situation.

We made the decision to start looking for a home again (we were going to rent for the next couple years) because of future opportunities. I’m attending graduate school right now to become an art professor. Unfortunately I have learned that everyone who has an MFA wants to be an art professor. That means my chances of getting a professor job are slim to none, but there is a bright side. At the moment, we live in a very artistically rich city, Ann Arbor, MI. This town has more art/craft shows than most of michigan put together and there are multiple pottery guilds, workshops, businesses and art centers that I could secure employment at. Not to mention, producing work from my own studio can easily be sold in such a place. The opportunities, artistically and job-wise, are limitless in this town. So even if I don’t end up with a professor job, I could end up making just as much, or more money while doing something that leaves me time for my own work and studio. My main goal in purchasing a home is to secure a studio, which will allow me to continue working once school is over and during the summers.

On the flip side of that coin, having a home in this area would put Justin close to educational opportunities in the future. If he wants to pursue a Ph.D in psychology, being in Ann Arbor puts him within driving distance of some of the best psychology programs in the state. Once I’m finished with school and secure us financially, he can continue with his education and do what he wants to.

Who knows, if I can building a customer base/following throughout graduate school and a decent exhibition record, I might be able to work full time out of my studio and secure us financially. I’m going to be working with well-respected people in the ceramics field, so I might be able to get some published attention with my work if I keep at it.

 

And that’s what’s going on. We will keep pushing toward our savings goals for the house and keep you updated. We are having a meeting with our agent soon. The plan is to be in a house by next June or July to allow time for repair/repaint. If we have the money and find something before that, we’ll take it and I’ll break the lease at our current residence.

Send us luck/prayers/good energy, whatever you prefer, we would appreciate it!

Ben

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