Congratulations on your new home, now wrap your head around the idea of owing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the bank. But here’s a flag to hang outside your home to make you feel better!
All joking aside, having just bought a house gives me a sense of pride and fulfillment. It also gives me many mini-aneurysms when I think about how much money (that I don’t have) that I will have to put into the updating, upkeep, and loan repayments over the next 5-30 years (5 years minimum we’ll stay at current place, 30 year max we’re on the hook for the loan. I figure we’ll probably move out somewhere in between those numbers).
Thinking back about how I felt while renting for the better part of my 20’s, I always thought that buying a home was out of reach for me. I always had decent-paying jobs, allowing me to save a little more than I was spending on rent, bills, and occasional nights out and new clothes, but I couldn’t imagine saving enough money to put a down payment on a house.
To me, it’s a lot like losing weight (bear with me, I’ll come to a point). But say you weight 200 pounds and want to lose 20 pounds. You start eating better; you cut the calls to the pizza place in half and decide to start portioning more money to buying healthy foods from the grocery store instead of “healthy foods” from Subway and McDonalds (but it’s a Filet of Fish sandwich, so it has less calories…). You bite the bullet and get a gym membership, sign up for a 5k, and start moving around a little more than you did before.
In short, you commit to the idea of losing weight and not giving yourself excuses. Likewise, you have to commit to wanting a house and saving your money a little at a time. You rid yourself of every excuse you might want to give yourself and you put as much as you can afford into savings so that you can get out of paying someone else to live somewhere and make where you live an investment instead of an expense.
Side Note: I just deleted 3 paragraphs of comparing buying a house to losing 20 pounds. It was super-on point and I’m sure everyone reading this would have stood to learn a thing or two, but I didn’t mean to go too far down the rabbit hole and am trying to stay on point. So………
Where was I? House…..money….weight loss….I was feeling like buying a home would be to much….is it lunch time yet?
Oh right! So my wife and I are all moved in and our dog is slowly adjusting to his new surroundings. He told us he liked the yard, but was really hoping for floor-to-ceiling carpet to give him full traction control when it comes to sprinting in the house and playing the “you give me that toy” game.
So far (Day 3), I’ve build a kitchen island that would have had IKEA saying “that’s a lot of instructions” and we have a toilet in the upstairs hallway that is waiting to make its way into the master bathroom. I shoveled the driveway and gave a watchful eye and slight-nod to each car that drives by (I’m saying I did an ocular assessment of the situation garnered that he was not a security risk and I cleared him for passage.)
Anyway, my wife and I are happy. Our dog, Rogue, is happy. And I guess time will tell what owning our first home will bring to the table. There’s still a lot to do, but knowing that we are living in OUR home is something that I think I’ll like getting used to.