Buying a house? Like a real house? To some, that kind of thing makes people quiver. According my husband, it’s the best possible move for us to make rather than renting. Granted, everyone is different…but in our real estate market (PA), it is certainly the right move.
But, buying a house comes with a couple of really…real responsibilities. Ones that you wouldn’t imagine in your wildest dreams. Coming from a girl rifled with anxiety and over thinking, you would think I wouldn’t miss something as big as..oh, a water heater, a roof, or a purchase of a lawn mower…but, we all make mistakes. Right?
I’m here to walk you through this, because as much as other people say, it is almost impossible for a young couple to buy a house…I’m here to tell you, it’s possible. You just have to plan a hell of a lot. (Which is hard for me)
First thing you have to get in order:
Start saving: I’m not talking about $5 every paycheck. I’m talking $100. Rip that band aid off, and get it together. kate spade will ALWAYS be there…and you don’t need to keep up your closet’s appearance, you have bigger fish to fry. If you are already paying rent, make sure to budget yourself. Sit down, and budget into your budget to save about $50-$100 each paycheck…or even every month. It adds up, and it is so worth it in the end.
Start a Savings Account: Transfer your monthly deposit into a savings account that you can’t get your hands on if you have a moment of weakness in Longchamp. We chose to go with Capital One 360, and it seems to give us the best interest rate for the amount of money we had saved up for the house. It also has a really easy app and very pleasant customer service people. We all know I’m hard to please, so obviously they’re doing it right.
Save your pennies: Okay, so this one is dumb, but it helps Michael and me have a little extra cash for when we do want to go out to dinner. Usually, I don’t use cash, but every once in a while we both will withdraw a couple 20’s and use it for the week. ANY change we get goes straight into a huge vase in our room. Since Michael used TDbank, we can change in our pennies and dimes for some crisp hundies if we wait long enough. Some use it as a vacation fund, or a puppy fund…but we use it as a food fund because we’re in love with going out to eat.
Which brings me to my next point….budget your ass.
Sorry, but it has to be said. You literally have no idea how much you hemorrhage in money in ONE DAY if you don’t watch yourself. I’m all about the treat yo’ self…but don’t treat yo’ self to a Chanel if you can only buy a tote from the line at Home Goods. Embrace the cheap, and don’t get tears on your new reusable tote.
I go by the rule: $5 a day on any item you want. Make your food at home, and don’t buy any snacks during the day. Now, the $5 rule is only applicable to frivolous purchases. We all know you have to pump your gas, and buy your groceries…so my $5 is used on my coffee…because I am a beast without it. I sit down after receiving my check and budget in my gas for a week, my groceries, student loans, water bills, electric bills, and our mortgage. After calculating all of our expenses, I see how much we have left.
Since both Michael and I get paid bi-weekly…we multiply 5 times 14…which is obviously 70. I usually give myself $100 in case I forget my lunch one day…but you can you know…not eat or something. I then subtract my “allowance” from my total left…and viola! What you save in that paycheck. It seems like a lot of extra work, but my co-worker turned me into a saving machine when she told me about her unwritten rule! ( thanks G!)
Anyway, back to the important stuff, the house and stuff.
Go Slow: Trust me, you would rather be in your situation and saving for 3 years than buy a house without much planning and be house poor…the worst kind of poor. Not only are you bound by contracts and bills…but you can also be charged a hell of a lot of interest, fees, and garnishing of your freaking paycheck if you can’t pay. This holds true for buying that beautiful new couch for your cozy new living room as well. If you can get a free couch for now, TAKE IT. Take anything you can and say thank you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like the color for your theme…take it and don’t complain. Second hand furniture is the best kind…because it’s mostly FREE. Save that money for a new couch down the line, when you can afford to drop $700 and not cry as they swipe your credit card…oops.
Expect the impossible: You think you won’t have a bum roof? You will. Concrete problems? Yes, those too. Make sure to allot for the unexpected and impossible, because 9 times out of 10, a new (for you) home will have it’s issues, whether it’s carpenter ants or a water heater that leaks…make sure to are prepared for it, because it will happen.
Now that I’ve thoroughly discouraged you…sorry…I will leave you with one thing:
While I am sitting at my kitchen table, that we bought by ourselves for $500 off of Close5, I will say, it feels pretty damn good to know that I have at least on thing handled.
Now, if I could get my dog to stop jumping onto my bed…
Love you, mean it.