TL;DR — My boyfriend and I are makin’ plans to integrate our lives together with the idea being to get married and start a family in the near-ish future!
Over a year ago, I met the most wonderful man in the world and snapped him up to make him mine. Actually, he snapped me up. .….Can we have mutual snappage? Deep thoughts to ponder next to a fire on a cold winter night sometime.
Anyways, we’ve managed to weather a global pandemic together and are still enamored with each other. insert doe eyes here I could literally wax poetic about how amazing he is for many blog posts, so you’ll just have to take my word for it unless you want me to bore you to tears with all of his virtues.
So, our logical next step is to move in together and figure out if we can deal with the other person’s way of using the toothpaste tube and all the other little quirks we all have. I’m not quite sure what that looks like at the moment. My lease just went month to month (or maybe a 6‑month lease that ends in June? I haven’t signed any paperwork that says so but that’s what my landlord thinks). His lease is up in June as well, so at least that aligns nicely. If we don’t find a house to buy before his lease is up, we’ll extend my lease and he’ll move in with me in my current apartment. Anything he won’t use immediately can go in a storage unit until we do find a house to buy. If my boyfriend moves in with me, his roommate will get his own place. If we find a house, his roommate is welcome to come with us because.….… we’re looking at buying a decent sized house.
This is the part where being a former Mustachian makes things fun. I do not want to buy the smallest house possible. I do not want to buy a property with the intention of making money on it. I would like a house that we can live in and stay in for a number of years, which means we are concerned about the school districts. St Louis has some amazing school districts and some not so great districts. So, our budget for a house.… a house over 1,750 sq ft, is anywhere up to $400,000. With a 3 or 4 bedroom house, we’ll have plenty of room for us to have a room, each of us to have an office to work from home, and a guest room. Until we start having kids, and then we’ll have enough rooms to put our clones in once they’re big enough to sleep by themselves.
Logistics for the actual house purchase are complicated, because of course they are. I don’t do things the easy way. It’s no fun that way. I have the access to the VA loan which means we don’t need a downpayment. He has the money for a downpayment if we decide to do one. I would like at least 5% just to cut down on the truly absurd amount of interest that will accrue on a mortgage that big. Interest rates are so low right now, though, that it doesn’t make sense to pay off the mortgage early when that money could be invested in the market. Which he needs to do in his retirement accounts to catch up for his slower start to retirement savings. (We settled on $400,000 as the PITI will be roughly 25% of our combined finances.… which is also something we need to figure out the logistics of. Good thing I don’t bank account hack and have 25 different accounts open! That would just make things more confusing.)
“But wait a minute, Gwen.…. didn’t you already move in with a boyfriend? Didn’t that not work out? Why will this one be different?” (Actual question from my family. They don’t think this is the best idea.)
Why yes, I did move in with a past boyfriend and it did not work out. But, I moved into his house. I didn’t have any say in the house and had no sense of ownership. The house was full of his stuff and we barely used anything of mine. (Most of it stayed in boxes.)
This house will be our house. We’re both eagerly scouring the listings and debating the pros and cons of various features like second stories, basements, half baths on the first floor for guests, formal dining rooms and, screened-in porches. Whatever property we buy will be with the whole-hearted approval of the other. It’s so strange and so wonderful to be with a partner that actually listens to me and takes my opinions into consideration! There have been lots of properties out there that would make lovely homes, so we’re confident we’ll be able to find something when we have all of our ducks in a row.
There are a lot of ducks to get in a row before then, though. We need to have a consultation with a lawyer to get an agreement in place on what happens to the property, any money put into the house, and equity should we break up. I trust him to do the right thing, but I like to cover my butt. I think we have an equal amount of risk at stake with him putting in the downpayment and me getting the loan. I’m not sure what that looks like yet (like I said above). We might do conventional just so both of us can be on the loan. There might also be a way to get him on a VA loan with me if we put x amount down on a house. We also need to get pre-approved and find a realtor, so we’ll be staying busy as winter turns to spring. I have access to a group legal plan through work, so I need to figure out how that works and if their services will be helpful for us. If not, I’m going to stop paying into it. It’s only $10/mo, but that could go towards other things. Like saving for a house.
We’re also figuring out the timeline for getting engaged/having a wedding/all the things that entails. Covid has thrown a definite wrench in our timelines. We haven’t met the families yet and would like to do so before officially putting a ring on it. And, speaking of rings, I don’t want a fancy diamond ring from a jeweler. I think it would be fun to hit up all the pawn shops and second-hand shops in the area to see if we could find a set we like. But neither of us can go out shopping now, so that’s another delay. From my friends that are engaged and trying to plan a wedding, things in the wedding industry are back asswards right now. Lots of couples pushed back their weddings to 2021 or 2022, so we might be competing with more couples than normal for a venue and other vendors. I’m not opposed to a courthouse wedding (or even one at the local jailhouse like my friend ended up having to do!) at first and then having a big party when things calm down later.
It looks and feels like 2021 will be a very fun year full of changes and adventure with my favorite person, and I’m very excited to see what those 365 days will bring for us!