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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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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American Or Christian?

Can you really be both?

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This is a thought that has lingered in my mind for a very long time.

Personally, I hate news and politics. It's depressing and it seems like both parties (and people in general) just don't get it. Political conversation gets on my ever-loving nerves and literally gets me down in the dumps for the day.

I just simply don't watch it anymore. There is too much negativity.

That doesn't mean that I am uniformed. I am not advocating for ignorance or anything like that. I prefer to read and figure out my information from sites "in the middle."

As I was eating dinner with my wife the other day we started talking about the new Abortion laws in Alabama and Georgia. As a Christ-follower and a staunch defender of Biblical inerrant, I detest abortion.

Before you read any farther, you must understand something: This article is not about my defense of my beliefs regarding hot topics like abortion or homosexuality. I do not have the time to write about said topics now. I am just asking you to accept what I believe for the sake of the article.

But, anyway, these abortion bills. I can make a pretty good case that they are Constitutional because they are protecting the Life (one of the Rights given to American Citizens) from others. Yes, I know the arguments against said point but continue with me please.

This led our conversation to talk about Homosexual marriage, something that I am against as well. And not just because of Leviticus but because of the New Testament as well.

But, shaking my head, I said something that my wife seemed to agree with:

"As a Christian, I know it's wrong and I cannot agree with it. As an American, I see no reason why it should be illegal. Unless your choices infringe someone's Rights, you should be free to do what you wish (technically speaking)."

This is my dilemma. Well, actually it's not a dilemma. I know that I am a Christian before I am an American. I love this country greatly, and I know how blessed I am to be born here. For all the hate this country gets (and some of it is deserved) and all the problems we have (and we have a lot), we are shoulders above other countries in many ways. I am so thankful for all the men and women who have served to protect me and keep me safe. I'm thankful for a lot of things. And I am proud to be an American.

But my identity in Christ comes first. This is why I do not get into politics much. I don't really care at the end of the day. Because while America has been blessed, we still have work to do here. And this is not my forever home. This is not where I will spend eternity.

I try and respect everyone's opinions, and I earnestly try to love everyone, even when they trash and disrespect my beliefs and convictions. But I must put my call to Christ about anything that has to do with this nation. I will pray for ALL our leaders because I was told to do so (I prayed for President Obama when he was in office). And I will be here to support this nation. But I cannot put it above Christ's commands.

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