Well, we're planning to buy one anyway. We don't have anything actually done yet except for a few minor pieces.
If we back up a little - we found some more potential issues with our apartment. We're suspecting more rotting walls and mold in our living room. There's nothing visible on the walls (thankfully) but they feel very soft between the studs under the window - which would fall in line with what happened in our bedrooms.
The main cause of that is that we had bad gutters on the building up until early this year and they leaked water down the building as if there were no gutters. That leaked water found its way into our crappy, rotted windows and down the wall. Not long ago we had the windows/lower walls replaced in our bedrooms because of it. The visible mold was unbelievable when we moved the furniture.
Anyway, as I was saying, we suspect the same problem in the living room (windows not yet replaced) and there has been a growing smell of mold/mustiness. We called in 2 weeks ago to report it and were offered to move to a different apartment. Catch being, it was at a different location, on the 2nd floor, no in-unit laundry, and another $40/month. I told her we'd have to think about it.
After thinking about it... we decided to talk to a bank and see what we could do for a house. I had been planning (in my head) to make such an attempt in the spring at the earliest. But I would not want to move into another apartment for 6 months and then buy a house and move again. That's dumb.
So we went to Chemung Canal and filled out the pre-approval stuff. After returning the forms and waiting a tense few days, we got approved! Technically I think we could have gotten up to $136k, but that would basically make us house-broke. So we capped our limit at $100k and that's we have a pre-approval for. That should keep our mortgage payment very close to our current rent (possibly a few $ higher).
We don't have a house picked out yet (though we have a few in mind), but it was time to talk to a realtor. Some time last year, we met a local realtor through our local Penn State alumni chapter and had decided to use him when the time came. Tomorrow we meet with him to go through the process as a whole and hopefully decide on some houses to view.
That's about as far as we've gotten so far. I also have no-cost access to a lawyer through my benefits program at work (I pay a small amount out of each paycheck for that), so we have that covered also. The down payment and other money stuff we're sort of working on. By that I mean that we have plans in our head (we definitely do not have thousands of dollars just sitting around waiting to buy a house - does that make us normal or abnormal?). Most of the money will be coming from my 401k - but I'm not taking anything out yet until we find something.
Who knows when that will be - but hopefully we'll get started on that next week. It's going to be interesting.
Oh, and there has still be nothing done (or even inspected) with our living room walls.