So my husband and I currently own a two family house. It’s pretty awesome, because after rent from our tenant, we pay about $650 a month for our mortgage, over $500 of which goes to principal. We also think it’s appreciated in value a bit since we bought it almost three years ago — over and above what we’be put in (which includes taking OUT the dilapidated barn and paving the driveway). That said, it has some negatives — like that our living space is pretty small. We only have two real bedrooms (plus a small office space) and ONE closet. In my last place, I basically had five closets to myself, so having one closet is not ideal, to say the least.
So we occasionally like to creep on open houses for houses that we have no possibility of buying. Today we checked out a four bedroom house in a cute neighborhood with a really nice yard. It was really nice (I liked it more than he did). We are definitely not in the market to buy now (largely because of the $1,050 minimum payments on my refinanced student loan), but it’s nice to get an idea of what we collectively like and don’t, and what we’ll be looking for when we ARE in the market. I’m currently hoping that we can pay off the student loan by this time next year, at which point we’ll start saving pretty seriously for a down payment on a new place. Not that we’re not already motivated, but thinking about being able to move to a bigger, nicer home is a pretty good motivator for getting my debt paid off. Until then, we’ll continue to creep on open houses.