For anyone that actually reads this, I apologize for not having made any entries in a while.
I've been otherwise occupied as my wife Michelle and I have been house hunting for our first home. As neither of us has much idea about the process, we've been getting a crash course from friends and parents and realtors and loan officers. It is occasionally a headache.
But we aren't making irrational decisions. We've figured out how much we can spend without stretching the household budget too thin to account for unplanned/emergency expenses. We're learning how to use the local Property Valuation Assessor's website to decide how overpriced some of these houses are for their neighborhoods, and we're praying that God lead us to the house He has intended for us.
But the mortgage process is purely a work of Satan. You'd think that the interest rate you get charged would be sufficient for the bank to get its money, but no, they've got plans to bleed you for thousands of dollars more in other fees. For the sake of comparison, I wonder how it would work if you got your loan on the black market, or just somebody with cash on hand that was satisfied collecting the interest associated with such a loan, with the deed as collateral.
Anyway, we're taking the next week off from work to really hunt for a house. Hopefully, I'll have good news by then.