First Time Home Buyer Mistakes

First Time Home Buyer Mistakes

Things that you need to avoid.
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When we bought our house two years ago, we were over the roof excited to call our house a home. We spent several months trying to find something within our budget and location. On top of that, we struggled to find the good balance between ideal wants and realistic needs. While we ended up with a pretty good starter home, we did make a few mistakes.

The first mistake we made was looking at the right now instead of the future. I personally wanted our house because of the layout. At the time, we had an almost one-year-old and were expecting another in a matter of months. With that being said all of our bedrooms are right next to each other. All of our doors view one another in a tight space. All I could think of was if there was a fire or home invasion, we could get to our girls in a matter of seconds instead of having to run across the house. What I failed to think of is that the girls would only be toddlers for so long and I would really want my privacy in less than two years.

The second mistake was telling ourselves we would take care of everything really soon. Two years later and we still have a fence that is falling. It was falling when we moved in and we told ourselves that we would fix it before it became a major problem. Turns out, wooden privacy fences are expensive to replace. We have already rigged it a few places several times, but with this harsh wind that comes with winter, it has fallen several times. Had I thought about the fact that neither my husband nor I are major handymen, at least when it comes to fences, I probably would not have chosen our house. It may not sound like a big deal, but we have two large dogs that like to use the fallen fence to their advantage to roam the neighborhood.

Another mistake to add to our list is that we didn’t stick to our guns. We asked the homeowner to work on getting the heating and cooling system checked before we moved in. HVAC systems are really expensive, yet diagnostics can be anywhere from free to $70. Guess what? The system quit working two days after we signed the papers. Thankfully we were in the position based on our jobs to get a new one for fairly cheap, but not everyone would be that lucky. We also had to get our septic tank pumped the first winter we lived in our home because the previous homeowner had never had it pumped. And we have no idea what breaker switch goes to what part of the house because the homeowner wouldn’t get an electrician to label them for her.

Those were three of the five things we asked for when haggling the price for our home and they didn’t get taken care of. Instead, the homeowner knocked our price down by $3000. Stick to your guns people. $3000 may seem like a lot to knock off, but when you look at the bigger picture and itemize every expense, it’s not a lot at all. Normally HVAC systems cost over $6000. Getting your septic tank pumped is over $300 and depending on the time of year, there might be a wait to get someone out. Not having an electrician look at the breaker box can cause future problems. Pick your battles and stick to them.

The last mistake we made was jumping the gun and letting our former landlord know a set date we were moving, even before we signed the papers for our home. We had it narrowed down to two different homes and knew we were moving in the next few months. We had set a goal to be in the new home before our daughter’s first birthday. So we told our landlord we would be moving out so we wouldn’t have to pay the June’s rent and our home’s first payment. He had already gotten a new renter lined up and ready to move in by the second weekend of May. We did second guess ourselves at the last minute and almost backed out because of the things the previous homeowner didn’t do, but because we had already told our landlord we were moving out, we didn’t have a place to stay.

These are the major mistakes we made when purchasing our home. We live in an awesome neighborhood maybe 15 minutes from downtown Murfreesboro. Our zoned schools are amazing, which is one of the reasons why we did choose this particular home. We have quiet neighbors and have made best friends with a few of them. By not sticking to our guns and being realistic about what we could do ourselves, we have spent a bit more out of pocket than we would have otherwise, but I still think we chose the right house for us. Not everyone would be that lucky.

Cover Image Credit: On The Move Charlotte Real Estate

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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A Florida House Committee Is Undermining Your Vote On Amendment 4

Before felons can regain their right to vote, they must pay court fines, fees, and take care of any other "financial obligations." Essentially, this is a poll tax.

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Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, was added to the Constitution of Florida after being passed this last midterm election on November 6, 2018.

Amendment 4 restored the voting rights of Floridians with prior felony convictions after all terms of their sentence have been met, including parole and probation. This amendment only applies to felons who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

On January 8, 2019, an estimated 1.4 million ex-felons regained their right to vote. This is monumental. Prior to this amendment, Florida was one of four states that used felony disenfranchisement. Amendment 4 gives voice, and rightfully so, to felons who have served their time. Amendment 4 is also putting to rest, finally, years and years of disenfranchisement and suppression.

Now, only two months after its passage, the House Criminal Justice Committee is trying to water down this piece of legislation. This is a direct violation of the will of the 64% of Floridians who voted for the legislation as is. This amendment was not to be "clarified," as Governor DeSantis put it, but rather to be self-implementing.

However, the House Criminal Justice Committee proposed a bill that would tack on some extra qualifiers in order for felons to be enfranchised. The bill will require court fines, fees, and other "financial obligations" (in addition to fees administered in a judge's sentence) to be paid in full before a felon's voting rights are restored. This seems awfully similar to a poll tax to me. Obviously, this is going to affect people without a lot of resources rather than white-collar criminals who can afford a $500,000 bond.

This new qualifier will prevent felons from voting based on the money that can be coughed up as if they don't have to worry about their finances long after they leave prison.

Some may argue that these felons shouldn't have committed a crime in the first place. However, I would argue that holding a felon's vote hostage on the basis of money is unconstitutional.

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