Soooooooooooo, remember when I said how I feel strongly about putting down a 20% down payment when we buy a house? Apparently I felt super strong about this, because I just couldn't shake it as we started to really analyze our finances and look at a few houses. We have had several in-depth discussions weighing the pros and cons of buying a home.
We didn't feel comfortable only putting down 10% and having to pay PMI which doesn't go toward interest or principal. We definitely didn't feel comfortable having our savings dip that low. One or two unexpected major repairs and it would have been nearly wiped out. And we would be in dire straights if something happened to one of us and we weren't able to work.
So as bummed as we are that we're not able to live in a house where we don't share walls with anyone, have a fenced in back-yard for Bailey, and have slightly more space, we're quite comforted by the fact that we still have a pretty sizeable emergency fund if we were to need it for anything.
We actually have a pretty nice apartment, aside from the shared walls, a somewhat creaky floor (in some places) and having to walk down a flight of stairs to take Bailey out, we're pretty lucky to have scored this apartment in the first place! And just last week we got a space in the garage out back (one of the neighbors moved out) so we don't have to deal with street parking anymore and it's SO much easier to come and go through the garage and back entrance.
In light of the fact that we made the decision to stay in our current apartment for at least another year from when our lease is up in September, we decided to do a few things to the apartment to make it more "home" like. We're not allowed to paint, which sucks, but there were a few minor things that we were just doing without figuring there was no sense in buying them if we're trying to save for a house and not planning on being here more than a year.
We bought a big throw rug for the bedroom, some long dark (light blocking) curtains for the bedroom, an extra large mirror for the living room (and we moved the old mirror we had in the living room above our dresser in the bedroom). We bought some pretty spring flowers to sit in the fireplace, and there are still a few other things we want to get. We have a pretty long hallway so we'd like to get a long runner/rug (we currently have two 8 foot runners but they always slide) and I would love to get a new couch. I know which one I want and how much it goes on sale for so it's just a matter of saving up "new couch money" and then finally getting around to purchasing it!
We're a little bummed out by all of this, but I like I said earlier, the comfort of knowing we will be okay in a financial emergency is worth putting off owning a home for a few years!