A home of our own

The last two years have been fraught with stress related to our living arrangement: a one-bedroom apartment that, while well suited to a single person, does not quite cut it for two. The lack of cupboard space in particular drives the two of us, who have a fondness for clothing, a bit crazy. A clear solution has not yet emerged – we have talked at length about moving to a new flat (and have, in fact, been to more apartment inspections than we care to count), but for various reasons, here we still are.

Fed up with the apartment hunting, we have turned our conversations to the topic of home ownership as of late. The funny thing though, is that we are not looking to buy a home that we would live in, or even one in our current city. We are considering an investment property on the other side of the world, in my hometown.

It is quite simple. We cannot afford a home where we live. CANNOT. No way, no how. At least not in neighbourhood in which we would consider living. And, according to Freddie Mac (FMCC), the purchase price of U.S. homes fell 4.3 percent in the fourth quarter, as compared with the previous year. These plummeting prices, combined with low mortgage rates and a strong Australian dollar, seem to indicate the time to buy is now.

After hearing people parrot financial data and claim that the time to buy is ‘now’ for the past five years (when for many, it quite clearly was not and eventually led to foreclosure), I have a hard time knowing if this is just a hare-brained idea of ours, or a solid financial move. But the fact is, it would be nice to have a place to call our own. Sure, we may rent it out for awhile – maybe forever, in fact, as our current city is starting to feel more and more like ‘home’ every day (apartment not withstanding). But that does not change the fact that we would have a little patch of land with our name on it. A place where we could retreat if the going got tough, if we needed or wanted to move back near family, or if we just needed or wanted a change.

Right now, it is just an idea. Nothing more, nothing less. At some point, we will have to decide if it does indeed make sense to own a home abroad and continue to rent someone else’s to live in – possibly forever. But for now, it sure is fun to look at pictures and decorate the places in my head.