My first house — I was so excited! I made my offer and paid with my own money! I applied for a mortgage and got approved! I signed all the papers and handed over my down payment! Oh, how smart I am, I thought. How very wise for being so responsible with my money! Yes sir, I took the keys to my new home and moved right in. And that, apparently, was when my brain went night-night. For, you see, just about every move I made from that moment on couldn’t have been more stupid.
If you’re looking to buy your first house — before you do anything else — stop! First read this article and heed my warnings. Beware!
Don’t get a second mortgage…only to do something stupid with it! Yes, I did that. I got a second mortgage not long after purchasing my house. And it wasn’t for anything smart, like furthering my education or remodeling my kitchen. Remodel my kitchen? Oh no, I couldn’t do that! That would have added value to my home! So what important thing did I do with that much needed money from that vital second mortgage? I put in a pool. Idiot!
Don’t hire repairmen based on how little they charge! Yes, I did that. Pretty much every time something in my house went haywire — toilet, water heater, refrigerator — I hired somebody based on whether they could give me change back of a confederate dollar. And by the time I’d hired every low-budget plumber in the tri-state area to fix, re-fix, and re-re-fix my toilet, I needed a third mortgage. Idiot!
Don’t DIY unless you know what you’re doing! Yeah, I did that. And after I’d un-wall-papered my dog for the fourth time, I finally decided it was time to hire a professional. Idiot!
Don’t sell your house to the first Tom, Dick, or We Buy Ugly Houses! Yep, did that. When I’d finally had enough of home ownership (gee, I wonder why!), I handed my house over to the first company that would take it off my hands in a land contract. They would put tenants in my house, and if the tenants didn’t pay the mortgage, the company would. I had nothing to worry about…until the tenants didn’t pay, the company didn’t pay, and I lost my house. Idiot!
Don’t pass on good advice from other homeowners! Obviously, I did that. I knew tons of homeowners who knew infinitely more on these matters than me. But I was an independent woman and didn’t need their advice! “Don’t get a second mortgage, Kathy!” “Don’t hire the cheapest repairmen, Kathy!” “Don’t do it yourself, Kathy!” Oh, if only I had listened! Of course, if I had, I wouldn’t be writing this article right now…from my one-room Smurf rental.