Note: This article is the second part of a three part series:

Part One: Buying My First Home
Part Two: The Hidden Costs Of Home Ownership
Part Three: The Home Equity Loan, The Foreclosure Notices, And Renters That Never Paid

More Than Meets The Eye – Those Dastardly Design Centers!

We had an FHA lending limit of just over $150,000 to be mindful of. So at the design center, we made sure we were very careful about upgrades. The house was already pushing the limit so we needed to be frugal.

It’s at the design center that you begin to realize that you purchased land, drywall, and stucco. Not much else. The carpets we walked on in the model, we not the carpets we could afford. The window coverings and dressings in the model, were not what we could afford. Truth be told, there was very little we could afford!

In the end, we went with one carpet upgrade, one linoleum upgrade that somewhat looked tile-esque, and that was it. After all, we still had to find a way to pay for a fridge and washer/dryer! Of course Sears was more than ready to help us with some credit to purchase those.

We had a small incentive when buying the home. I believe it was five thousand dollars. So as any young couple would do, we went with the jacuzzi tub! Which naturally turned out to be something we used a handful of times during the entire ownership period. Young people, new money, means young people making new money mistakes.

As it turns out, the home was costing more and more every day. Any money we’d (and by we, I mean me) paid down on the line of credit was getting used up. Whatever wasn’t coming from that, was coming from new credit accounts opened with whoever would give a maxed out couple some more credit.

I Knew What I Was Doing Was Not Prudent – Momentum Makes A Molehill A Mountain

Like a snowball, momentum kept pushing me. I knew I was reaching my earning limit. I knew I was barely able to pay my bills. But the house was built, I couldn’t back out. I couldn’t let the others know they were right. I wasn’t buying a mansion. I was just buying a starter home. I had to make this work – failure was not an option.

The carpet was not soft nor fluffy. It was actually very thin and uncomfortable. We figured we’d tile or hardwood the floors eventually so we chalked it up to the cost of just “getting into the house”. After a couple notices from the HOA about the windows, we purchased some cheap white sheets and cut out fake curtains we tacked to the tops of the windows. Even the cheapest window blinds were too much.

Regardless, we loved the potential. It was a starter home, it didn’t have to be perfect. We just had to be able to afford it for now, so that I could eventually make more and afford more.

I was now finished taking my real estate test and now licensed. Having seen the money that could be made from new homes, I really wanted a piece of that pie. Things were getting sketchy at work, so this was also a good backup. I saw the way commissions worked and had heard about draws that gave you a salary until some commission came in. I was sure I could make it work.

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1 Comment »

2007-08-09 14:43:11

[...] One: Buying My First Home Part Two: The Hidden Costs Of Home Ownership Part Three: The Home Equity Loan, The Foreclosure Notices, And Renters That Never [...]

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