Apr 27 2011

It’s going to be a crazy May

Thanks for the support on our move, everyone! I have been so grateful for my friends and family who have been offering suggestions and looking into housing options and miscellany for me. It feels so good to have so many people willing to help me out.

We have a lot to do in the coming weeks. I hope to finalize an apartment for us to rent by the end of the day tomorrow. We’re looking for a month-to-month apartment rental and that’s tricky, because a lot of places want you to commit to at least 3 months or more. I want the flexibility of a monthly arrangement, and we are willing to pay a little more per month for that. Cuz breaking a lease ain’t cheap!

I have movers who are coming to give me an estimate this week, and we’d like to book a mover’s services as soon as we can. Shane’s new company isn’t offering a relocation package, so we’re doing this stuff ourselves, sort of. We’re willing to pay for loaders, movers and unloaders. Not interested in a DIY experience to save money. Our sanity and muscles will thank us later.

Those are the two things that I need to get finalized this week, and after that it’s going to be packing up all but the essentials until the last minute. I plan to pack in a way that we won’t need to unpack much of our things, to make our next move that much easier.

We hope to buy a house in Indianapolis sometime this summer, so not having to unpack and repack will be nice — so long as we can stand looking at a bunch of boxes for a while.

Also coming up: We’ll need to buy a second vehicle. We’ll likely go with a minivan just for the extra space and ease of getting the kids loaded and unloaded. Probably going with a Kia Sedona. I’d like a decent-mileage van, and I’d like it to be a vehicle that will work for our family for at least a decade. It seems like the Kia is the best budget-priced van I can get. The Odysseys and Siennas are nice, but way out of my price range. I know they say Hondas last forever, but I really don’t want to spend a ton of money on something that already has 120,000 miles on it.

You’ll see that my savings progress bar is not at 100% yet. We do have enough for a down payment on a house and closing costs, and a chunk of a van purchase. But we don’t have it all the way there yet. We’ll need to run some numbers and do some thinking, but there is a chance we will finance a portion of the van for a short time to maintain our cash flow.

We intend to put 20% down on a house to avoid PMI. But if we buy a house at the top of our price point, that will leave less cash available for a van. We will probably try and buy a vehicle soon, so to do that we might finance a small bit of the van. I expect if we go that route, we’ll be able to pay it off soon after.

I talked with a mortgage lender about how this could affect our ability to get a mortgage, and he said as long as we kept our debt-to-income ratio low, it would be ok. And again, it might not even need to come to that, especially if it takes us awhile to find a van or to find and close on a house.

We’ve got some money coming our way: I canceled our CSA share and will receive a refund. We canceled our camping trip reservation. Shane will have a starting bonus, but I don’t know when exactly we will receive that. We’ll get our current apartment deposit back (hopefully all of it!) and the deposit for the next place looks like less money. I’m going to try and sell my giant bed because it’s a pain to move and I want a king size bed someday anyway.

I don’t know if Shane will be compensated for unused vacation days, so that could be an extra little windfall. Or not. He’ll be switching from a once-a-month paycheck to a bi-weekly one, so that ought to help our cash flow a little more, since some months will have 3 paychecks instead of 2.

Phew. All that to say, yeah, we should be able to afford to get a van and get into a house this summer. The biggest trick will be the cash flow of it all, and so that is why it might be worth it to us to finance a portion of that so that we aren’t draining our savings account.

I can’t believe we’re finally to this point! And I have to laugh a little at the craziness that this May is going to bring. May 2007 was busy, or so I thought. We graduated from college, got married, went on a honeymoon, moved to Pittsburgh and started new jobs. But! We were spoiled. We had packers and movers for that, paid for by Shane’s company. And we didn’t have kids! I’m convinced May 2007 was practice for our May 2011.

This will still go fairly smoothly, though. I’m going to try and take it one smallish step at a time. I’ll be glad when it is June!



5 Responses to “It’s going to be a crazy May”

  1. Yay! You can do this! Just cross out your list one thing at a time.

    And way to go putting 20% down on a house! Depending on how long the house has been on the market, you’ll probably be able to negotiate for the owner to pay all or some of the closing costs, which will help your cash situation even more. So that’s always good!

    Oh, and don’t worry about a financed vehicle interfering with your mortgage. We financed a car two months before we were approved for a mortgage. As long as your credit score is good and your debt-to-income ratio is okay (which I know it is!), you will be fine.

    I think the minimum credit score to be approved for a mortgage is 620! It’s easier than you think to get approved. I dunno if that’s a good thing, but it is for responsible people like you!
    Karen´s last post ..Five months

  2. Right but if you have the seller “pay”, doesn’t that mean you are just rolling the costs into the mortgage?

  3. Sounds like you’re well on your way! One note on the bi-weekly paychecks – it’s worked well for us to budget using two paychecks per month, and then twice a year we get “extra” paychecks.

    Not sure if that’s possible, but if you can swing it, it feels like a bonus, even though it isn’t! Depending on the year, we’ve used it for Christmas money and summer activities, or extra on loan payments, extra savings, etc. And luckily for us, it started when we switched from a 2x/month paycheck to bi-weekly paycheck with enough of a raise that the paychecks were almost equal.

  4. Wow! Big news! I’m a kind of lurker (I think I’ve commented a few times) but I wanted to congratulate you on the move. Just one tip: consider the massive property taxes in Indianapolis (and surrounding suburbs) while budgeting for your mortgage. We were planning to move to Indy a few years ago to be close to my husband’s family when we found out that the property taxes alone would be adding a whopping $500 to each monthly mortgage payment. We sadly had to pass and instead purchased in the South where our savings went a lot farther. Our current taxes: $850 A YEAR! Woot!

    Just a quick tip! Again, congratulations and best wishes!!

  5. $500/month in Indianapolis? Yikes! Did you know that Indiana now has a 1% property tax cap? So for $6k/year in taxes, that would be for a house assessed at $600k. That’s waaaaaaaay more than what we will spend.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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