Feeds RSS
Feeds RSS

Friday, August 12, 2011

Buying My First Home

I wasn't going to write about this particular subject because purchasing my home was a very personal objective for me. But since we'll be focusing more on financial management in our sessions this Fall, I think it'll be beneficial to talk about how and why I did it.

Why I Did It
Owning a home became a real goal of mine when I was 17 and took a financial management class at my high school. I wish more schools offered this course, but this is where I learned the basics to everything I know about becoming financially secure. In this class, Mr. M shared that building your financial portfolio while you are young is important because it is the period in our lives when we have the least amount of responsibilities. Of course this varies for some people, but for me it was very true. The only thing I was responsible for at age 17 was paying for my own cell phone bill. The idea of being able to lay the foundation for my financial future was so appealing to me because I didn't come from a rich family, but I needed something to which I could aspire -- a tangible end that would keep me motivated. Owning a home, became that objective but the idea of owning a home didn't become real to me until I graduated college. I had saved a little money while in undergrad but ended up using most of it to facilitate my travels and living overseas for about two years when I finished my studies. When I came back to America and I received a scholarship to go back to school for my Master's, I was not at all enamored by the  idea of living in my parent's apartment for two years while I finished school. Not because I did not enjoy living with my parents but because the space was so cramped and it was super expensive to live in that area. So I set my eyes back on the prize.

How I Did It
I met with a lender from an established bank and explained my situation and we figured out my plan of action. I had pretty much depleted most of my savings and since I had received scholarships to cover my undergraduate studies I had established absolutely zero credit. Because of my mother (for reasons I'll expand upon in another blog) I was so averse to having bad credit that I just stayed away from anything dealing with the word credit from the time I turned 18-- no credit cards, no student loans, not even a Target store card. To my dismay, the lender explained that not having credit is almost as bad as having poor credit history because it would be too risky for a bank to loan a lot of money to someone to purchase a home that had no evidence of being able to pay back a loan. So, I went to one of my favorite stores, rhymes with shoredstrom, and I got my first credit card. Every month, I purchased me or someone else a nice little gift and I paid down the credit card bill every month on time. Oh, I also forgot that I needed something very important. In order to purchase a home, you need to have decent savings for the down payment on the house and you need to have an INCOME! (Have no fear ladies, I 'll do other blogs about saving for a down payment and how to get a job, and establishing good credit). OMG, this meant that I was going to need a job ASAP. The lender informed me that the job I needed to get would have to bring in a specific income requirement so that I could qualify for a home of a specific value.  Talk about a mission! Finding a job in the middle of a recession was not easy but after about three months I found one. So, while attending school full-time, I worked, built up my credit, saved for the down payment, and started house hunting with a realtor. By the end of the school year I was completely burned out and needed to quit my job but I found a home just in the nick of time. Since I have a scholarship that could also cover the cost of housing, I was able to quit and still make the payments.

So, now I have my first home. It's in the boonies but I love having access to places to go hiking. I can still commute to the city and I enjoy that luxury. Now, if only the air conditioning didn't break down during the biggest heat wave in history :)


Post a Comment