There are a few things that count towards “adulting.” Buying a family-friendly car, planning your retirement, and scheduling a Saturday where you’re going to hit up The Home Depot AND Bed Bath & Beyond. Yup, adulting is serious business. But, the biggest adulting achievement to unlock is buying your very first home. My friends, after 7 years of preparing, we are finally homeowners.
We bought a house!
The House Hunting Journey
Here’s the thing: watching House Hunters, Fixer Upper and Property Brothers does not prepare you for the real house hunting journey. In one of my recent email newsletters, I basically cursed all my friends that have bought houses before us. Why? Because they didn’t tell the REAL truth about the house hunting journey. It’s all “we bought a house!” with a cute little picture on Facebook, and nothing else. Disclaimer: we totally did the cute little Facebook picture thing, too.
This was such a difficult journey. Falling in love with house after house after house, and losing it. Having your marriage tested by the biggest purchase you will ever make, and being very careful not to share any of this heartbreak or journey with your kids and other family members, because you don’t want them to be disappointed. Talk about tough. Was it worth it? Of course. Was it all rainbows and unicorns? Absolutely not. If you want to hear more about our heartbreak in the interim of our search, watch this video.
We kept most of our house hunting journey as private as we could. I’m a flibbertigibbit at times (name that movie), so keeping exciting secrets is hard for me. To be honest, I didn’t keep it as secret as I was supposed to. We wanted to keep this as down-low as possible to make sure this decision was completely made by my husband and me. We didn’t want outside opinions about how our new life should be, or where we should be planted. The aftermath of this decision has been interesting. We’ve had a mixture of “oh, I didn’t even realize you were house hunting!” to “why didn’t you ask me for advice? I’m pretty disappointed in you.” Yeah, people are saying that last one.
Another fun development? People being upset that we are leaving so soon. We want to be in our new home ASAP, which equates to less than a month or so. Yes, we’ll be moving our whole family and possessions from the East Coast to the Mid-West in less than a month. We have a lot on our plate, and the added on guilt from others is pretty surprising. The bonus of the situation is that we really have no TIME to feel as guilty as they would like. Like my dear friend Brandi said recently “I acknowledge your disappointment.” I get it. We’re all experiencing the emotions of happy, sad, and regret simultaneously. I’ve lived in New Jersey for all of my life. This will be a big change for everyone. But we’ll have to feel all the emotions while I’m packing these boxes. Please don’t fault us for it. We’re on a deadline.
We Wanted A Debt Free House
Some might ask “why 7 years? Couldn’t you have gotten a house sooner?” Absolutely. But our big goal was to put 100% down on a house. A fully debt-free house. See, we don’t like debt. It doesn’t fit into our lifestyle. When we got out of $36,000 in debt, we vowed to never be in debt again. That vow included whatever house we ended up being blessed with. While we shot for the moon, we ended up in the stars. No, we aren’t entering our home debt-free, but after saving for 7 years, we are entering with a VERY low mortgage payment. I’ll call that a win.
We Have To Buy ALL THE THINGS
We’ve been in a 2 bedroom apartment for over 6 years. We didn’t accumulate much, and the items we have accumulated did the job (but aren’t the best). When we thought about upgrading an item, we always remembered “our new house.” We stuck with the same couch we bought used for $75. The toaster we have burns one side of the toast, but it sort of worked, so we kept it. Half of our pots and pans were hand-me-downs from my sweet Mother-In-Law, and the other half were cheap purchases. We never bought a coffeemaker because we didn’t have room for it. We will purchase a fridge, washer, dryer, and a bed for the Baby James (he’s never had one).
Now, we are ready to buy all the things. When I mentioned our 7 years of savings, that included all the gizmos and gadgets we need to buy or update. For a frugal gal like me, this might be tough. But, I feel like this journey is something we should share together on the blog. You’re all my friends, so you’re going to help me shop (on a budget, of course).
Blessed Is The Word
While the journey was tough, the end result is the biggest blessing our whole family has experienced yet. My kids will have their own rooms to decorate, love and live in. My baby will sleep in a real bed, and have a place for his little toys. My husband and I can watch a show or movie, on a new couch, in our new home, and have a real date night in while the kids are upstairs. Praise Be!
We (once the mortgage is paid off in a few years) own land. As an African-American family, I have to say, this is a VERY big deal for us. To come from renting for 11 years of our marriage, to owning a space of our own, is a blessing only God could have engineered. Yes, we put in work to get here, but it was work that He planned for our lives. The overtime, the deployment money, the online jobs, they were all financial steps that He planted for us.