Thursday, June 2, 2011

The pride and pain of home ownership

Owning a home has always been a dream of mine. I know that sounds a little dramatic since Joel and I did end up becoming homeowners at 23, but still even as a teenager it's something I really wanted. My favorite tv shows were the ones on HGTV about buying a house, but now they drive me nuts. It seems pretty standard to see the realtors encouraging those people to buy houses at the very top of their price range, and those people always seem to say that they won't mind living off of Ramen so long as they get that walk in closet. Yeah right.  I am so thankful that Joel and I decided what we could really afford before we applied for a loan, and that we were able to resist any temptation to spend more (we used  about half of what we were approved for).

Owning a home has been fun, and I really love our house. It's exciting to see all the changes we've made and know that we made them. Our plan was to buy a house in GA and after Joel finished his enlistment, he'd get a job as a contractor here and we'd have several years of house payments down.  It seemed like a smart plan, but we weren't planning on Joel hating his job, so the new plan is for Joel to re-enlist but under a different career field, which means bye-bye Georgia.
I'll be sad when we eventually put our house up for sale, but I won't be sad to not be a homeowner anymore. It's definitely something I wouldn't jump into so quickly again. It turns out a house is a lot more expensive than just mortgage and utilities. Things are always breaking, which is to be expected (although it actually happens more often than expected), but there are a lot of expenses that we never thought about. Like pest control. I called every single exterminator in the phone book  and found the best deal, but it's still $200 a year. I found out today that termite prevention will be $1,000 (not going with that one). Stuff like that comes up constantly.
It's awesome knowing that the house is all ours (well, technically in 18 or 19 years it will be all ours), but on the same side,  that can be stressful. I think if we were planning on staying here it would be better, but knowing that we're leaving in the not too distant future makes me feel ready to shed some responsibility. I'm thinking I may actually start looking for a realtor in the next few weeks so that we have "plenty" of time to sale the house...and if that doesn't work it looks like we'll be  landlords one day. :P

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