A few months ago I started going to a new small group, which met at a member’s house. She had apparently recently bought it and it was the first time the group had met there. It’s a modest townhouse, set in a small, quiet neighborhood. And it was adorable.
Over the past couple years I’ve been getting more involved in groups, which has allowed me to go visit new friends at their homes. It’s sparked quite a few jealous moments to say the least. However, these new friends were also married with either good jobs or husbands who had good jobs, so you can’t REALLY be jealous of someone’s beautiful home when they are in a different place than you. These beautiful homes were not obtainable to me right now, and I understood that, and jealousy simmered down.
Back to the small group. The woman whose house we met at was single, a little older than me, and I knew probably didn’t make a TON more money than me. Yet here she had bought a house. And for the first time ever I finally saw that buying a house could be obtainable, not just to a married woman but to me. 32 year old, perpetually single, me. I thought about it, prayed about it, weighed my options and finally decided that I want to buy a house.
Is it weird that I was terrified to tell people about this decision? I was! I thought I would be hit with all sorts of negativity, people telling me I didn’t need to do that, etc. I was mostly scared to tell my parents that I wanted to buy a house, which is dumb because I’d say 80% of the time they have been 100% behind my decisions. The 20% of the times they were was because I either didn’t tell them about my decisions or they were really dumb decisions. Anyway… I slowly started telling people, starting with one of my good (and super encouraging) friends and then moving on to a co-worker. When I finally told my mom, she was EXTREMELY supportive, using phrases like “I think it’s a great idea” and “That would be a good move for you.” I was kind of floored that me deciding to do something this monumental in my life was a “great idea.”
Now, this post isn’t going to end in a happily ever after ending where I buy a house. So if you’re expecting that, sorry to disappoint, but I’ve JUST started the process.
So far in this process I’ve done the following:
- STRESSED about what I’m supposed to do
- Cried because I can’t figure out what to do
- Met with a mortgage officer
- Learned what the loan process is
- Became incredibly discouraged about how little money I have saved
- STRESSED over money
- Prayed for peace and guidance, as well as a way for this to happen
- Obsessed at looking at houses
- Started Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover
- Decided I will never spend money again
- Spent money
- Accomplished Baby Step 1 of his method (saved $1000 (alright, I really already had this, but I’m counting it))
- Daydreamed about being a homeowner
- Decided to paint the kitchen yellow
And this has all been in the past week! In reality, I will not be looking for a house until 2016, and even then it may take a little while before I find one. When I met with the mortgage officer his strongest piece of advice, and one that stuck the most with me, was to think of a house as an investment and to not get caught up in any emotions. This was extremely good advice for me because when I bought my car, the only thing I knew I wanted was a SILVER CAR! My dad wasn’t too thrilled with that… So while I know that I’d like to live in this particular neighborhood, I know that I need to be open to the idea that it might not be the best investment. While I may look at a house and think that I hate this, that, or the other, I have a VERY handy dad who would help me redo things like wallpaper, paint, carpeting/flooring, etc. That bit of advice felt like it freed me a little bit from my preconceived notions of what I want.
One of the things the mortgage officer did point out is that there’s a possibility that I would have to put down money (I know, I know… this should be very obvious). The idea of putting 5% down PLUS closing costs makes my stomach absolutely clench up, but (and as cheesy as this sounds) reading this Dave Ramsey book has really started making me feel like it’s doable. It won’t be easy, but it feels doable. That just means cutting some things out, making some serious money changes, and sacrificing a lot of my “extras” for the greater good.
Despite all the stress this has caused me so far, I’m actually EXCITED about the possibility of it. It feels like a huge step, but also like an even huger accomplishment. Wish me luck and know that I will probably come to you with every road bump, road block, hurdle, speed bump, and detour I face. 🙂