home ownership

House Hunting By The Numbers

3: The number of years we’ve rented together.

6: The number of years I’ve rented since graduating from college.

0: The amount of debt we have.

$60,000: The amount of debt we paid off (mostly student loans and car loans).

2: The number of years we’ve been saving for our house.

25%: The amount of down payment required to secure a lower mortgage interest rate at our local Credit Union.

3.875%: The Credit Union’s 30-year rate.

4.1%: Our bank’s rate.

$32: The amount per month we’ll save with the lower interest rate (approximately).

$11,000: The amount we’ll save over 30 years with the lower interest rate (approximately).

810: My husband’s credit score.

785: My credit score. Whomp, whomp. He wins.

~500: Homes I’ve looked at online since last August.

1: Homes we’ve seen in person that we’ve loved.

1: Homes we’ve seen in person that had a disco ball hanging from the ceiling.

1: FSBO open houses that we’ve attended where the homeowner followed us around the entire house.

5,000: Times I’ve ran the online mortgage calculator.

0: Number of roommates we’ll need to be able to pay our mortgage.  I know a couple people in this situation and I always wonder why they think they were ready to even buy a house? I’m basing this on Kansas City prices – I know it’s pretty normal in other major cities.

Priceless: Knowing we’ve gotten all our freaking ducks in a row and we’re going to be able to buy an awesome house within our means and that we’ll never struggle to make payments or be house poor.

1: Number of pieces of advice I have to people planning to buy their first house – SAVE, SAVE, SAVE.  And be patient.  So, I guess that’s 4 pieces of advice.  Just keep saving, guys.  Keep renting.  Get your finances in order.  Be patient and live below your means – the final reward AND the peace of mind are totally worth it.

The house hunt continues, but we’re constantly going over the numbers, as you can see.  It’s so liberating knowing that we’re FINALLY going to be able to purchase a house and still live well below our means.

Any other numbers you’re interested in?  I can’t give away everything, but I may have missed something here.


  • Interesting post with all the numbers 🙂

    One point I would like to challenge you on however: It is not always financially benefitial to rent and save Vs buy and save. It is always worth calculating the interest you pay each month on your mortgage and comparing that to the amount you spend on rent.
    If the mortgage interest is less, or if the quality of life is considerably higher – it may be worthwhile buying and saving for your dream house. For example, I pay £825 a month rent and I have just purchased a house at £179,000 fixed mortgage two years at 3.99 % – this works out at approximately £581 a month.

  • I love your house buying series! That’s pretty awesome that it only took you two years to save up enough for a down payment on your house 🙂

    Did you check out all of the credit unions in your area? I checked every single one in my area and there was quite a difference in some of the rates! I was quite happy to learn that the one with the best rate was the one I’m already with.

  • Love it! I expecially like your last 1 — Save save save and be patient. That’s where I’m at now, but seeing you’re in such a secure place with all your financial “ducks in a row” really sends the point home.

    I think I might buy a condo next year.. killing my student loan debt and saving like crazy will make it a great option for me, but right now I really enjoy my cheap rent!

  • Congrats on being so diligent about paying down debt and saving for a house! It sounds like you are going into this knowing exactly what you want and what you can afford. That’s a stellar rate from your credit union too!

    We’re in the process of paying down debt and then buying a house here. Unfortunately, a 20% down payment in our current neighborhood would be at least $160,000. (I know!) We’re waiting (or at least, hoping) for the market to come down, but we may stay renting for quite awhile.

  • Amber – I loved this post! It really put some things into perspective for me! I’m currently almost 2 years out of college, and have been renting with my fiance for 2 years. We will definitely be renting for a 3rd, but there are so many changes coming up I thought I’d ask for your advice on some things! So I am on track to have all of my student loans paid off by May 2014, on a very aggressive pay-off schedule. My fiance will graduate from grad school in May 2013 with a pretty nice chunk of student loan debt. Unlike my loans, I’d kind of like to take it easy with his so we can finally save a lot of money month to month for a house one day.

    Do you suggest being done with student loan payments before aggressively saving for a house? Even putting his loans on warp speed would take another three or four years! I think we could find a comfortable amount to pay for his loans and plan on doing so for maybe 5-10 years, and therefore be able to save for a house as well. Either way looks like we may be renting for some time yet! I would love to hear your thoughts and how you guys tackled your debt into house saving plan!! Thank you so much!

Leave a Comment