Growing up, I wanted to own my own home someday. No, I do not have a problem with renting, but I wanted the whole girly idea of a hubby, house, a baby, white fence, and a dog, yes a beautiful pure bred golden retriever. At least in my dreams all this utopia comes with owning a home. Well, I got married five years ago and my loving husband purchased a home three weeks after we married, which gave me a golden opportunity to sign my name on our dream home. Right? No! Over this past five years, I have learned five lessons from being a homeowner that might just help you with your decision to join the club.
Lesson 1- Patience!
I learned that there will always be homes out there for purchase. The urgency to buy a home as soon as we got married was noble, but foolish based on our finances. Looking back now, I realize that homes will continue to be built and that I should have waited. My advice to you is that you wait until you can purchase the home out right or you are able to make a sizable down payment.
Lesson 2- Time does not wait for anyone!
Pay your mortgage on time. I know that this should go without saying for all bills, but we learned the hard way how critical it is to pay your mortgage on time. We got behind due to pregnancy complications and still recovering in July caused me to lose out on my teaching position for the following school year. Not making your mortgage payment on time is as financially dangerous as not paying your student loan on time.
Lesson 3- Back up!
Have a back-up plan! Life happens and the more you think of ways to reduce the damage the better. If only my spouse and I had thought to save for a rainy day, we could have made it through the financial downward spiral a lot better. In fact, in hindsight it would be better to live in a manner where all of your debts can be paid with one spouse’s income.
Lesson 4- Size matters!
Okay, so when it comes to buying a house, it does matter what size you get. Of course we had to buy what we could afford. And what we could afford was not enough house for our family of five, so we should have waited. Especially because we added two more members in three years. So now we are a family of seven with a 900 sq. ft. home. It is also probably not wise to buy a five bedroom house for just two people. Think long and hard about the space you will need over the next five years. We should have saved until we could afford a bigger home, because we knew that we wanted three more little ones.
Lesson 5- Enjoy it!
Now that I own a home, despite the negatives lessons learned, there are a few positives we enjoy. First, having a home helps tremendously with our taxes…of course so does having five children. Secondly, we are five years into paying off this debt and closer to our goal of truly owning this home. Which brings me to the third enjoyable notion, and that is leaving it for our children someday. Maybe it can be a little summer vacation spot for when they are visiting North Carolina, uh one couple at a time!