My fiance and I are in the beginning stages of the frightening process, buying your first home. We both have been lucky enough to have parents that haven't booted us out of their homes the second we finished college and in my case have even welcomed me home after my tour of duty working/living in the city.
This has allowed us to save up some money (in her case, pay off student/car loans) and to be able to look for a single family house than (in our case) settling for condos or apartments.
Yes if you are asking...we are getting closer 30, dated for almost 4 years, are engaged to be married in less than a year, and still haven't lived together.
Everyone may commence laughing and poking fun now...
We've had a few setbacks with her and I both losing jobs (let alone the peanuts I made while working in radio promotions) and having to rebuild that financial stability before feeling comfortable to take that next life step.
Lately in talking with people I work with, I've had many conversations that have gone like this (mind you that my fiance works in Schaumburg and I in Lake Zurich):
Jane/Bob (or whatever name tickles your fancy): "So where are you two going to live?"
Me: "Probably around the Naperville/Downers Grove area"
J/B: "Isn't that like 100 hours away? That's crazy, are you crazy?"
Me: "Well I've lived in the Northwest Chicago suburbs my entire life and I sorta want a change of scenery, but don't want to move out of state"
J/B: "Are you quitting or have a new job?"
Me: "No, not as far as I know, why? Do you know something I don't?"
J/B: "No, but that sounds like a choice a mental patient would make...why would you want to move farther away from work? I would quit my job or find a new one before I move that far away"
Me: "Well when it comes to my first house, I rather live where I want and commute, than live where I work just to be closer to work"
J/B: "That doesn't make sense, are you feeling alright?"
Now I could go on and embellish more, but that just would be silly (and I really don't want anyone I work with to actually think that this was a real conversation I had with them or someone I speak to on a daily basis...that would be the fastest way to join the ranks of the unemployed again).
It just seems that this conversation is the normal vibe I get from a lot of people when I talk about where we are looking to purchase our first place together.
We both feel that we want to live in an area that we can enjoy with not only ourselves, but with our future kids and family/friends for years to come...well after we have changed jobs 100 different times. A town/area that has good schools, solid night life, great chinese buffet's (key to me), and ample modes of transportation or near an expressway.
I will admit that I never could understand why one of my old roommates in Chicago would reverse commute from Lakeview to Arlington Heights (where we all grew up) for work, five days a week. But now I'm starting to understand this new trend of "living where you want to live and figuring out how to get to work after that".
With us looking in Naperville/Downers Grove/etc., it's only going to put me about an hour away from my current job and I know people I work with that currently drive farther to get to the office, whether it be from the city or farther south down I-355. All this does is force me to buy another car, one that I won't have to worry about it breaking down everytime I take it out of the driveway.
One last "thinking out loud" question...Am I:
A) Finally realizing this trend is here to stay
B) Taking everyone's reactions too close to heart
C) Just really, insanely crazy
Actually don't answer that question...most people pick C in multiple choice questions anyways.