Don't worry, we weren't even considering that house to buy, but we were curious, so we looked. Here's the email I sent our agent after seeing that house:
Thanks for showing us that "handy man's special" today. Like I said, it was very educational. We had romantic ideas of fixing up a junker, making it all our own while adding value to the neighborhood, but we definitely need to be realistic about our capabilities. And that kind of house is way beyond the scope of our abilities. Haha.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know that we're pretty much done looking at houses for a while. We appreciate you showing us all of the houses that you have, as it has given us a greater idea of what our options are.
Our plan from here is to start aggressively saving and trying to keep ourselves focussed. From here on out we won't look at houses unless we can afford to pay cash for them (including the equity from our current house). We'll continue to look at the reports that you send us, and if we're up to that amount in our savings then we'll decide to look at it or not. Make sense?
Since we don't do debt anymore and we have no lines of credit open, we are reaching the end of our ability to borrow even if we wanted to (since our FICO score goes down the longer we don't have credit open). So (even though you probably think we're crazy, haha) that's good for us in terms of not getting tempted to diverge from our plan.
Anyway, just wanted to give you a heads up so that you can get inside our crazy minds.
Thanks for working with us and being patient with our plans!
Annie and MichaelI'm sure she really does think we're crazy. She knew that I was the weak one, so every place she'd take us to, she'd only talk to me, hoping I'd cave.
The reason, though, that this junker house tempted me is because when we got home Michael was asking me what I really wanted to do, if I wanted to go ahead start looking and get a mortgage or not (being totally within Dave Ramsey's recommendations). I felt a Grinch-who-stole-Christmas grin slowly start to take over my face, and I knew I needed to take that offer while it was there.
So I'm continuing to remind myself that I'm going to be content here for a little while longer. And it will be so worth it! I really want our next house-buying experience to be peaceful (financially speaking at least) and fun. So again, I'm reminding myself to stick to my plan.
Michael and I, in true Hedgie fashion, got out our trusty Excel spreadsheet and started a savings plan, complete with a line graph of estimated savings versus actual savings. We're good to go. :)
I'll probably post this exact thing in another few months, but that's okay. At least we're not looking at houses anymore, which is the major source of temptation.