So, today I want to talk a little bit about something my husband and I have been working very hard toward…that thing is home ownership!
I’m not going to lie when I said it’s been a long journey. And as much as I hate to say it out loud, I know in my heart we are at least an entire year away from even being able to start looking for homes.
It seems like FOREVER away…but I know in the grand scheme of things we’ll both look back and say wow, that wasn’t so bad.
Anyways, I just wanted to share a little bit about our journey so far, what we’re doing to prepare, and then ask you if you had any advice to share.
Alright…let’s hit it!
To start off, my husband and I are both 26 years old. We both work full time at jobs we love, and life is good. We are very fortunate to have two sources of income that allow us to remain stable–while also allowing us to enjoy some luxuries like eating steak for dinner, taking vacations, and spoiling our sweet pups.
We are so blessed.
We currently rent a nice house and while the price tag is a little higher than I’d like to be paying for a rental, it’s perfect for our little family, complete with a big fenced yard for our furbabies.
About 6 months ago my husband and I were hanging out, calculating bills, talking, and we both decided it was time to get serious about purchasing a home so we wouldn’t be throwing $1,300 out the window each month.
While we understand a house is a risk and comes with its own set of expenses, we both decided it was time to purchase something that would give us some equity. It was that day that we decided to put a plan in place to help us reach the goal of becoming home owners.
Home Buying Game Plan: How We’re Saving Each Month
My husband and I decided to each put away $500 per month in order to save up for a down payment, closing costs, and everything else that comes with buying a home. Our goal was to at least have $20,000 in a bank account by the time we started house hunting.
At first, this goal seemed very realistic. But, then life happened.
One month into the plan and I ended up in the hospital with 3 kidney stones. A $700 hospital (yes, even with insurance help) set my back for a month.
Come March, our pup Clover started having incontinence issues due to the abuse she suffered before we adopted her. Tests, x-rays, labs, and new medications once again set us back $400, but it didn’t matter. We’d do anything to make sure our pup would be ok.
We did well for a few months and then the month of June hit. I was diagnosed with PCOS and was put on medication. I also ended up with a stomach ulcer the same month…go figured.
At the same time, my husband had a dentist appointment and needed to get a bite guard for teeth grinding. Another $400 gone.
Top off the month with a family trip to the beach (which had been planned many months in advance) and we weren’t able to reach our goal for the month of June.
Before I sound like all I’m doing is complaining, I want to say how thankful I am. Thankful that we have great health insurance that brought $10,000 bill down to $700. Grateful that we have dental insurance that brought a $1,000 night guard down to $400. Grateful that all it took was a few pills for our pup to feel bad and that she wasn’t suffered from anything that would end her life.
And of course, grateful that between all the last minute emergencies and health problems, we had more than enough to enjoy a family trip to the beach–something I wouldn’t have missed for the world.
I know we are lucky because a lot of people would really be struggling to be hit with everything we had been hit with.
Yet, despite the fact that we are ok financially, it is frustrating to be thrown off track as you’re working so hard to reach your goals.
So is life I suppose…
Staying on Track: Where We Are Now
As of now, we’ve saved about $6,000 to reach out goal–not too shabby.
And, considering our goal is to have enough saved by October 2018 for a house, we have a little over a year to hit our goal.
Here’s how we plan on making it happen…
- Save, save, save. I know that you’re thinking…duhhhh! But, here’s the deal. Every month the first $500 of our paychecks get put into a bank account separate from our day to day spending accounts. This lessens the temptation to spend the money on other things and keeps us disciplined.
- Pick and choose. Do we really need that $20 t-bone for dinner or that new sweater? The answer is probably not. It’s all about cutting out small, unnecessary expenses. I’ve even gone as far to delete my Netflix account. Gasp! I know…crazy right?
- Pick up extra work. From time to time my boss will ask me to work a Saturday for a bonus check. And when she does, I say yes. My husband is a golf professional so he’s committed to saying yes to as many extra lessons as he can fit into his schedule. At 26, I’ve even resorted to babysitting on the weekends for people. Play some games, do a craft, make dinner, and watch a cartoon–it’s easy money!
- Don’t buy what I can’ afford. I know this one seems like common sense, but you’d be amazed how stupid people can be with money. I can’t afford to reach my goal while making car payments on a BMW, so I’m going to stick with my trusty Ford that I love. It’s that simple. I know people who buy fancy cars and take expensive trips who can’t even afford to keep their lights on. I refuse to be that person.
- Do the best we can. We’re very lucky that we are not in a situation where we have to move. We like where we are and live in a nice house. So, if a medical emergency happens one month and we can only put $200 into the house fund, that’s what we’ll do. Every penny counts so we’ll remain diligent as we do the best we can do each month to save.
The Countdown: 15 Months to Go
We’ve got 15 months to make our dreams happen. If you want to follow us along on our journey to see how we’re doing I encourage you to follow my blog as I’ll be trying to give an update every few months.
And of course, I’ll be sharing all of the tips and tricks I learn along the way as we work hard to reach our goals.
I really hope that 15 months from now, I’m blogging about how I’m redoing my kitchen or I’m writing a tutorial on how to install hardwood floors or decorate a living room. We’ll see. 🙂
Oh, and last but not least, do you have any advice on how to make this dream a reality? Let me know in the comments below.
Wishing you the best,