house hunting

So last Friday, I had dinner with my dad… Okay, I’m not trying to put my dad in a bad light or anything, but it just seems like every time he invites me to dinner, he has an agenda. Anyway, at the end of dinner he asks me, “Carr, can you help me refinance my house?” I didn’t even give it any thought, not one bit, and immediately said “Yes, of course!” happily. He said it would only be for 6 months and at the end of those 6 months he would put it back under his name. And again, I willingly agreed. We get back to the car and I was ready to sign the papers. (Good thing I didn’t.) Luckily, I still had to fill out an entire loan application.

As soon as I got home, I already had a change of heart knowing that I should have at least said that I would think about it. I kept thinking about it over the weekend. Okay, so back story – My dad doesn’t have great credit and his credit history hasn’t been that great either. He even mentioned that my stepmom was late on paying some bills. I’m sitting here thinking, I have great credit, I don’t want to ruin it. I’ve worked so hard to get it where it is and I want to keep it there. So it was bugging me all weekend long, what do I do? How do I get out of this? I don’t want to hurt his feelings…

I was supposed to send him the signed paperwork on Monday. I waited of course. Then I called my mom. My mom has been my financial adviser for my entire life. Well she is a CPA, so why not? I tell her the situation I got myself into and she pretty much told me what I already knew and she gave me some ideas on how to get out of it… Tell him that I’m in the process of buying a house or condo soon so I won’t be able to help him with the refinancing of his house. Great idea! But wait… with that comes a question that dad will ask me for sure, to go through him when I buy a house because he knows someone… So I let that sink in for the rest of Monday and prepare myself to call him on Tuesday, specifically during my lunch break.

Tuesday – Lunch Break – dun dun dun – I call dad.
Me: Dad, I meant to call you yesterday but I was really busy.
Dad: It’s ok, I know you’re busy. What’s up?
Me: (Sinking down into my chair as if he was going to scold me in shame) I know I told you I would help you with the refinance of your house, but I think I spoke too soon. I’m actually starting to look for a house or a condo for myself so I’m sorry but I won’t be able to help you with the refinance. (sinking deeper)
Dad: It’s ok, but if you do buy a house, go though me, I know someone.
Me: (knife to the heart) I’m not going to say yes or no to that just yet. I’m going to leave that open and we’ll see when the time comes.
Dad: Oh ok
Dad: It was only six months, but it’s ok. (kill me now!)

Side story – My mom is also in the real estate business and she was going to help me by putting the commission that she would have gotten towards the down payment of the house. That was the same thing she did for my sister. It sounds mean and I do want to help my dad, but if I went through my dad, the commission would go to him. Like I said, I want to help my dad as much as I can, but I could use the money for the down payment, I don’t have a lot of savings as it is and my mom was going to loan me some money at the same time.

I still feel bad for having to tell my dad no even though I want to help him but there really isn’t anything I can do about it.

In the middle of all this, I kinda am starting to look for a house or a condo for myself. I used to say that I would stay in my apartment until I absolutely needed to move. My rent is still below $1300, there is a pool, Mochi’s park is nearby, great location, close to work, what more could I ask for? But I think a little more growing up is happening. With that in mind, I went on the Redfin website just to browse and see what was available… I’ve been doing this every now and then just to look. Anyway, I went on there and I found this 1 bedroom 1 bath that was at a reasonable price and it was beautiful. I sent it to my mom just for kicks with no intention of really going further with it, it was just to share what I found. But the thing is, I really fell in love with this one. I met up with my mom for dinner last night and we were talking about how much we both liked it and if I could afford the mortgage? So I started playing around with my budget and seeing what I can really afford if I were to do this. Without my car payments, I can do it no problem, but that won’t happen til next year. My mom said, you can tighten your budget a little for 9 or 10 months if you are serious about it… I could, but I still have to pay off the last of my credit cards. So sadly, I really won’t be able to really buy a house til next year. Even then, it’s exciting. I’m actually going to look at the house this weekend and maybe a few more. House hunting is fun. Wish me luck!

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