You finally got what you wanted. Out of the one-bedroom apartment and into a fantastic house loaded with charm, lots of light, airy rooms — and a monthly mortgage. Suddenly, your dream house feels more like a money pit. Here are eight ways to figure out if you’ve joined the growing ranks of the house poor:
- Entire rooms go unfurnished. (Tell your friends it’s a Zen thing ...)
- There’s a quarter inch of dust on every flat surface in the house.
- Going on vacation means visiting rooms in your house that you never enter.
- Your monthly mortgage payment is more than 25% of your take-home pay.
- You feed the cat every other day. (Mice and birds can supplement, right?)
- You invite yourself to friends' for dinner to save on meals.
- Your favorite fun clothes are at least four years old.
- You winterize the cracks in your windows with duct tape.
Avoid home-induced poverty. Learn how to buy a house you can afford on Oprah.com.