Not deep, dark, murky blue, but just a little blue. That's how I'm feeling at the moment. We're in the process of looking for a new place to live. We need a bigger place, as our family will hopefully be expanding at SOME point (no one freak out on me here, this is definitely NOT an announcement). But we're looking to the future, and I'd rather not move pregnant again, especially not eight months pregnant like last time. So we're looking for a three bedroom, ideally on one floor, somewhere in Brea or Fullerton or Placentia. Something like that. We'd like a house or a duplex. We've found a couple of places so far that fit the bill, one in Orange and one in La Habra, both for reasonably good prices. The rent on the one in Orange is $1700/month, which is only slightly more than we're paying right now for our two bedroom townhome. It's nice. But it's a rental. And that's what has me feeling down.
My parents bought their first home, which they're still living in, when they were in their mid-twenties, for the outrageous amount of $25,000. My brothers are both homeowners in Orange County, having reached the home-buying stage before the market went through the roof. Nathan and I hit the home-buying stage a couple of years ago, when things were already completely out of control. And now it feels like we're stuck. We've never wanted to go the condo route, preferring to buy a house that we could potentially stay in for a long time. But we've realized that at this point we'll probably have to start with a condo, if we ever reach the place where we can afford to buy anything at all. We looked around at places to buy about a year ago, and what we found is that if you're looking for a three bedroom condo in any kind of a decent area, you're going to shell out a cool half million, at least. And that seems impossible to us. I talked to a realtor a while back and he told me that you can expect to pay about $650/month for every $100,000 you borrow on a home loan. That would mean making a payment of over $3,000 every month. Which we can't do. There has to be some other way. People are still buying homes around here. How are they doing it?
When I was growing up, all of my friends lived in houses. I didn't know anyone over the age of 30 who lived in an apartment. And it's hard for me to realize that the norm is changing. We grew up in a time when people could buy houses. I always thought that by the time I had kids, I'd own a house too. But that's not really the norm anymore. Our complex is crammed full of kids. And their parents are doctors, lawyers, business owners, tech guys. It's not like we're low income.
I'm trying to look on the bright side, and most days it's very bright. Even though we can't afford to buy, we can afford to live in a really nice complex, with great features (crown molding! walls that aren't standard-issue apartment white!), in Yorba Linda, for pete's sake. We have some friends that own their own homes, and our apartment is bigger than their places. So I guess for right now I'd rather have more room than a deed. But still, I sometimes feel like we're running uphill, and sliding down faster than we can gain ground. Especially when we realize that we could pack up and move to Montana and buy a mansion on 50 acres for less than what Nathan makes in a year. It's tempting sometimes. It really is.