My wife and I took the plunge last September. We'd been together for almost a decade, we had an 18-month-old daughter and a couple of relatively stable jobs, and we finally decided to bite the bullet and do it.
We bought a home.
We'd served our time as renters -- apartments, then houses. We were lucky enough to have had great landlords. The odds evened out when we had a real stinker.
We were the type of renters who irrepressibly wanted to improve our home, even if we were living there on a lease: We once put down a new kitchen floor; we dropped money on paint; we put up shelving and window treatments; we bought and installed all kinds of organizational systems that would have to be left behind when we moved; we did yardwork far beyond lawn mowing; we accumulated shower curtains that matched bathrooms from old residences; and my wife had a compulsion to change toilet seats at each new address.
Looking back, it's pretty clear what our collective subconscious was telling us: Buy a house, idiots!
So, when we finally thought we could afford it, we did.
It felt like we'd graduated from high school. We'd passed calculus class: We've spent how much on rent over the years without building any equity? We'd passed geography class: We had an idea what part of town to buy into where we could get the most house for our money. We'd passed a foreign language: We speak amortization schedule. We'd passed economics class: Just tell us where to sign!
Just like graduating seniors, we were finally adults.
Eh, maybe not.