A few months after we were married, Mr. Ripples and I started talking about saving up to buy a house. I was only 21 years old at the time and had no idea about what the house buying process was like. I went online and started searching in the city that I grew up in. I really wanted to move back there. I happened to see a condo that was only $69,900. It was much less than any of the houses that were for sale. I did one of those mortgage calculators online and realized that the monthly payment would have been around what we were currently paying in rent. I also did the calculator for a more expensive single family home and I realized I couldn't imagine paying $800 - $1000 a month for a mortgage.
The condo that we were looking at used to belong to a woman that had passed away. The condos used to be rentals that were being sold off as condos. The condo association was asking for $75,000 per condo. Since ours was previously owned and the family wanted a quick sale, they priced it lower. Like I said before, I knew nothing about buying real estate. We called the realtor, never bothered to get one of our own. We saw the condo then brought my parents to see the condo. We decided to offer $65,000 and the seller countered with $68,000 which we accepted. The real estate agent found us financing through a program that 5/3 Bank had for first time home buyers. We didn't need a down payment... lucky, since we didn't have one. And we didn't have to pay PMI if we took a 2 hour class on home ownership. We recently refinanced, basically have no equity in our house yet but we have never had to pay PMI. Our mortgage is only $470 a month on a 20 year loan.
We love, love, love the location. Even though space is a bit tight with two young ones running around, I have no urge to move. I couldn't imagine having to actually do yard work or maintenance. I wouldn't even know where to begin. I love when I come home from work and see the landscaping crew working on our lawn. I love in the morning in the middle of winter, when I go to leave for work and my walkway is salted and the parking lot is already plowed. I like not having to think about those things and just having them done for me. I love that our mortgage is small and that allows us to have money to do other things like travel and save and even pay extra on the mortgage if we choose.
I guess what I'm trying to say is we stumbled upon this condo. We never planned on looking at condos, we wanted to buy a house. But now, I wouldn't have it any other way.