My 5th Year Home Buying Anniversary: This is What I've Learned

My 5th Year Home Buying Anniversary: This is What I've Learned

While I was on my personal Facebook page, it reminded me that it'd been five years since my home purchase!  It is one of the most significant moments in my life!  (Make sure to check out my first year)

I remember it like it was yesterday during my home buying process and the stress I went through.  I got my mortgage through Chase, the bank that I've been banking with for years, and they put me through so many unnecessary loops because my income was self-made, and they couldn't believe how much I was making monthly and weren't sure it would continue.

But check this out; yes, I make a lot of money blogging, have hardly any debt, no student loans, excellent credit, assets, money in the bank, but yet Chase made my home buying process difficult.  

Could it be because I marked African American on my loan application?  I hope that wasn't the case.  I hope they weren't trying to discriminate due to the color of my skin. (FYI, you can leave this part blank)

And to make matters worse, I was dealing with a scary personal matter, plus my realtor and loan officer were at each other's throats, constantly calling me bickering about each other.  

All the while, I was dealing with my horrible mother-in-law and having to be at the bedside of my loved one in a coma.

I'm telling you, I wanted to just back down and stop the home purchase.  

But I'm a go-getter!  I never back down from a challenge.  When I want something, I work hard to get it!

And in the end, it was all worth it!  I love my home!  It's beautiful, warm, cozy, and fits my personality.  No more having to move every two years and dealing with landlords. So instead, I'm staying put for years!

I can plant my roots, create beautiful memories, and build generational wealth for my daughters.

Since living in my home for 5 years now, I've learned a thing or two while being a homeowner.  Here it is...

1. You don't own the Home; the Home owns You- Although my home is new, I wasn't exempt from home repairs.  I had quite a few issues with my new air conditioning system, plumbing problems, needed to paint my outside exterior a couple of times, and soon interior, garage door came off the tracks, etc.  I highly recommend having a home warranty to save on repairs.  I've saved thousands of dollars extending my home buyer's warranty that came with purchasing my house.  I currently use 2-10 Home Buyer's Warranty.

2. Check the Neighborhood Before Purchase- It was hard for me to know what type of neighbors I would have since my neighborhood was new and families were moving in at the same time as me.  My current neighbors drive me crazy!  Loud parties, random people in and out of their house throughout the day, always staring out the window at me.  When buying a home, do several drive-throughs in the day and night to see how it is.  You may get a chance to see your future neighbors and know if it's worth living next to them.

3. Not all HOA's are that Bad- I always hear horror stories about having an HOA.  But I'm here to say that not all are bad.  HOA's wants to keep the values of the homes up, so yes, they do want to keep the neighborhood looking good. However, buying a home is an investment.  Wouldn't you want to earn high equity in your home?  I've been through areas with no HOA management, and it looked run down with unkempt yards; the home's paint is faded and peeling, just an eyesore.  Thanks to my HOA management, I already have about $150k equity in my house.

4. Pay Mortgage every Two Weeks- To save money on your mortgage, split it every two weeks, so more will go to the principal instead of interest.  You'll pay off your mortgage faster that way.

5. Buy a Home in No Leasing Community- My community doesn't allow leasing, which could be another reason my neighborhood looks immaculate, and equity is growing.  Not all, but renters don't always keep up with the owner's home, leaving it in despair and, plus, causing mischief.  I see why when I was renting a home, homeowners would give us the side-eye, even though we were quiet renters and the best renters my landlord had.  He hated that we moved out.  

6. Buying New is Not Always the Right Choice- Even though I bought my home brand new, it doesn't mean it's the best choice.  Homes after the '90s were made with cheap parts, and builders cut corners to save money.  I recommend older homes with solid structures that you can restore to your liking.

These 5 years have been fantastic!  Watching my home being built from the ground up, putting my personal touch with the finishes, decorating, holiday, and birthday celebrations, these are memories I'll cherish forever!

Will this be my forever home?  No.  And that's because I'm in a three-story townhouse with three levels of steep stairs, and I can see myself falling and hurting myself at old age. So Mr. M and I will more than likely downgrade to a smaller retirement home.

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  1. This is some great advice.

    I'm still in my first year as a homeowner and so far things have been going smoothly for the most part. I didn't buy new, but going in we knew the roof and windows needed to be replaced so that was a major expense this first year.

    Like you, being self employed I did think a mortgage would be a pain. Surprisingly, the company we went with approved us rather quickly. I think from applying to closing the entire process took 45 days - if that. But, being pregnant and planning a homebirth did play a bit of a role as the loan officer and realtor definitely fast tracked everything to make sure we could be settled before giving birth.

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