I bought my home when I was 23. I was (and still am) in great relationship with a wonderful guy and I wasn’t in a rush to get married, but I was ready for the next personal step in my life. It was very important to me that before I get married and have someone help me with the bills forever… that I struggle. I evaluate what comes in and I watch it go out and make educated, smart, savvy decisions based upon that information without anyone else’s input. I needed to grow as a person and I took a huge leap and bought a house—I was getting a paycheck each week and I wanted to invest it someway in myself and this seemed like the best option. Well, it was, and I have learned some great lessons along the way.
- You don’t need a man. Whew, I had to get that one out. Darlings, you don’t need to wait for an engagement to invest in a house. Worst case scenario is that you buy a house then get engaged. Then you and your future hubs can rent it out and make a little extra cash until 30 years down the road when you sell it and make a lotta extra cash. WIN-WIN.
- You don’t have to put $10k down to buy a home. Most loans can even be done with zero percent down and you just begin your monthly payments. There is no reason (in my opinion) to deplete your entire life savings for $30 less each month on your mortgage payment (yes—that is literally the difference $10,000 down makes on a mortgage payment)
- Budgeting is a b*tch. Owning a home by yourself makes you the sole one responsible for keeping all the bills paid and the refrigerator full—if you aren’t comfortable with that, get a roommate. You split everything and someone else helps you pay your mortgage. Did I say win-win already?
- The cleaning never ends. Maybe it’s because this is my home that I will own for the next few decades or because I am OCD, but I have never cleaned so much in my life. Between the trash, dishes, mopping, sweeping, dusting, vacuuming, bathrooms, laundry, bedding and dog hair (because I also bought two puppies at the same time… did I mention I am insane?) there is never a peaceful moment. It is completely worth it, though, there is nothing that puts me to sleep faster at night than knowing that my home is clean and ready to start each day fresh with me the following morning.
- I can’t have everything I want. I am forced to make decisions. I used to live in a world where anything I wanted, I bought. This home has been the greatest lesson in responsibility and it has taught me that just because I want something doesn’t mean I get to have it. I don’t think twice about spending money on food, gas, bills and my mortgage but I now stand at H&M for 30 minutes before usually putting back the $25 shirt that I already have in three other colors. I am smarter with my money and that is a lesson I needed to learn.
- I can do all the manly chores just as efficiently as a man. I mow the grass, Weed-eat, hang pictures, replace air filters, hook up electronics, change hard-to-reach light bulbs and lug those big ass trash cans around each week. I will admit though that I did encounter a pretty serious plumbing issue. I had to get a plumber in Los Angeles to come fix it. Other than that though, I handle everything like a BOSS.
- A sense of appreciation and pride. This home has become a symbol of hard work to me. I treat it with care and kindness, I decorate it with warmth and coziness and I am proud of it. It is my corner of the world and no matter the struggles I have faced, it has all been completely worth it.
I made an investment in myself with this purchase, in my future and in my character. For the rest of my life I have this personal achievement that has taught me responsibility, accountability and budgeting. I think those are lessons every young woman should learn and if you can learn them while investing in your future…well, that is a win-win. And darlings, there is nothing sexier than a woman who is independent, savvy with money and knows her way around a tool bag—trust me.
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