Grown Up Stuff

It seems like every time I get myself motivated to begin this process, something else comes up which causes me to question whether or not this entire process is really worth it.
I use to relish in the fact that I was young, single and free to do whatever it was that I wanted to do. Now that I am married, I have embarked on a somewhat different journey. Don't get me wrong, nothing has been greater than facing the joys and challenges of life with my husband…my best friend but it gets difficult when you have to consider someone else’s feelings and consider how your decisions will ultimately impact that person’s life as well.
My husband and I have decided that we are fed up with Uncle Sam slamming us for not owning a home or having any children so we have decided to try and buy a house at the end of the year. We also completely detest the apartment complex where we live and refuse to sign another lease with them.
We have just been approved for a home loan. The problem we are facing now is the fact that we are finding it hard to come up with a plan for keeping up the mortgage payments if I quit work and become a full-time student again. My husband is very supportive of my aspirations of pursuing a medical degree, he just can’t understand how we will be able to keep up mortgage payments and live a half way decent life. I am finding it hard to come up with a solution for that one myself!

it depends on the housing costs in the area where you live—I live in Baltimore, and I bought a house last year. I was able to get a nice little house in a good neighborhood, for about half what I was paying in rent. I actually did this to reduce my living costs for when I’m a starving med student. The key is to think “small, affordable, starter home.” Maybe you could start by talking to a realtor about what the affordable areas near you are.

Hi…the financial end of things is tough stuff!
(My husband and I are now in our second house. We paid two mortgages for 4 months during the first semester of my post-bacc ohmy.gif ! Anyway, on the eve of each settlement to buy the first, then the second, house we rented “The Money Pit” and “Mouse Hunt”. Took the edge off our stress of becoming/being homeowners).
Can you take out loan money for some of your living expenses, plus your tuition? It’s possible to do…just not sure of timing, but it could help. My 2 cents…good luck!

I, too, worried about the financial end of things. No deductions at all! And I didn’t want to go to med school without at least one appreciable, tangible, deducatable asset.
I bought a condo that cost 1/3 of what I was pre-approved to buy. My mortgage + condo fees will cost me HALF of what I am paying in rent. I am going to be paying less to live in a place of my own! That often can be the case.
I’m also in Baltimore, where cheap livin’ is plentiful. Is this sort of living situation a possibility where you will be going to school?
My SO feels that the sacrifices on the “adult” level are worth it. Because if I didn’t do what my heart tells me to do, I’d be bitter, miserable, resentful, and just plain unhappy. So he’s OK with scaling back the annual ski vacations, European or sailing vacations, and 10 or so long weekend trips we take, eating out, gourmet cooking, etc. so long as I’m happy and fulfilled. 'Cause a cranky Vera makes for a cranky relationship, and that ain’t fun.
Besides, the smaller your place, the less compelled you are to full it with crap, and spending a lot in the process. You really don’t need much if you stop and look at it. It’s the “want” that can get you in trouble!
Good luck, and don’t let the logistics dissuade you from pursuing what fulfills you.
PS: there are many real estate sites out there on the Web. You can keep your eye on the market without relying on a realtor, who may be more interested in selling you the most expensive house you can afford, rather than what you want to pay.

Hi Guys,
I live in Silver Spring, Maryland and as my not too far off neighbors in Baltimore know, it is very expensive the closer you get to Washington, D.C. I just don't know if my husband is willing to scale down to a condo just for something that may or may not come about (I still need to take the MCAT, apply and get in somewhere!). We could look at moving farther out like say Baltimore but my husband's job is in D.C. (Arlington, VA actually).
I know that I could take out loans in addition to the loans to pay for tuition in order to supplement our income but I did that while in graduate school and I am now working my butt off trying to pay off those loans!

that is a tough one—housing costs are so much higher close to DC. Baltimore to Arlington would be a miserable commute. Any chance of getting something less expensive by moving the other direction, into Virginia?

QUOTE (BethJolly @ Jan 16 2003, 12:13 PM)
that is a tough one---housing costs are so much higher close to DC. Baltimore to Arlington would be a miserable commute. Any chance of getting something less expensive by moving the other direction, into Virginia?

Hi there,
Arlington, VA is one of the most expensive places in the Washington-Metro area to rent or buy. While I loved living in my 1-bedroom apartment in Arlington that was just across the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge, I was paying $1,100 per month for rent. Condos in Arlington generally start in the $175,000 range for anything that has any size. My location in Arlington allowed me to get to Howard in 20 minutes and get to Inova Fairfax Hospital in about 10 minutes. I was five minutes from GW and about 10 minutes from Georgetown U. The Georgetown U shuttle G.U.T.S. stopped at my complex several times per day so I could ride free when I was rotating at GT.
Alexandria is generally a bit cheaper than Arlington but prices are very neighborhood dependent. One of my classmates had a very nice 2-bedroom condo in Shirlington that went for $120,000. She was about 25 minutes from Howard and about 5 minutes from the Pentagon. Springfield is even more affordable but the commute is a real B--ch. (I-395) is not a fun ride into the city during rush hour.
Most folks that I spoke with preferred to commute from Maryland but I am a Virginian and will always prefer the Commonwealth. rolleyes.gif
Good luck!

(betraying my meager knowledge of VA geography) - how much further out of the way are things on the way out to Reston? is that an expensive area as well? I remember well the train time from the station (Falls Church?) into DC -

regrettably Reston is still pretty expensive, although you can get an “inexpensive” townhouse for maybe ~$200K. People who really need to economize on housing expenses move to Loudoun County (past Dulles Airport) or - West Virginia.
This area sucks, absolutely, for housing costs.

I have a friend living in Loundon county and she tells me that it is the fastest growing county in the country. As for real estate, she and her husband put their home on the market for 550K, but they didn't get any bites (go west-by-god-west to West Virginia).

I have literally stopped studying for the MCAT. It just seems like it would be virtually impossible for us to live our dream of owning a home if I quit working to go back to school. We are just so dependent on my contributions to the household income. I also would not look forward to putting my graduate school loans (which I have been desperately trying to pay down) into deferrment. Oh well, I guess I will be on the sidelines until I either hit the jackpot like the man in West Virginia or they begin implementing part-time medical school (which will never happen)!

Everyone here faces their own finances question unless they rob banks or have a rich uncle.
Instead of asking “How do I buy a house and go to school” perhaps you should get specific and put a couple scenarios together.
How much do you pay for rent right now? What is your estimated monthly payment (including insurance, taxes, etc) on House #1, House #2 and House #3? How much more/less do you have to set aside for housing each month? What kind of loans can you get? How much money would you have to have in the bank when you started school to not starve and not be evicted? Who’s job currently covers medical insurance? What bills can I pay off before I start school?
If you ask an abstract question, your answer will probably be pretty abstract as well. If you get specific with numbers then you’ll get a much clearer picture of what the dollar situation is.
In my case, I spent the better part of a week looking up loan info and playing with spreadsheets.