Let me give you a little background. We got a late start. My husband and I met when we were 32. We both had been married before and had children. I had a 10 and 12 year old, he had a 12, 4 and 2 year old. Yep, 5 kiddos if you kept up with that. We didn't get married for another 4 years. We weren't working on the same kind of 25-30 year time line that we would have if we had started the process before children. The boys were then 16 and girls were 14, 8 and 6. Three of the kiddos may only be around on the weekend, but their stuff is PERMENANT and we were busting at the seams. We started looking for a house and were approved for a small amount. We had to search foreclosures and short sales to find enough house to accommodate all of us. We also had to stay in our school district, limiting us further. If you've ever dealt with FHA or HUD home loans, you'll understand the frustration. My student loans were a constant issue during the process as well. We had 3 different houses under contract and each fell through for different reasons. It was extremely emotional and trying. Each time I was sure this would be the one. After failing an inspection or the seller not meeting certain standards, we were back to square one. Again, living out of half packed boxes and spending hours online and peaking in windows. Exhausting.
We would wait until we could afford a "normal" mortgage.
At this point, the boys are both in college and Emily is now a senior in High School. We no longer have to consider school districts in our home decision and though we still need a good bit of room, in a couple years we won't. So you see, very soon our needs will change again. Additionally, our current home has required about $4000 of repair and maintenance in the last 3 years. The latest plumbing and sewer issues were just last week. These kind of repairs would have put us in a hole bigger than the one in the yard.