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Buy my first home
Career & Finance

Why were you inspired to do this?

I had moved around a lot, apartment to apartment, as college kids often do. Once I got my first really great job, I was ready to put down some roots and make a home -- my first one, really, since my father had died when I was 14. I must've looked at a hundred houses, and then finally, wow. I knew as soon as I walked into the hundred-year-old two-bedroom, one-bath Colonial that I was home.

What were 3 things you did to make this happen?

I had to save a bucketload, 3% for the down payment. I thought it was a fortune at the time. The house was $190,000 and I swooned every time I thought about how much it cost. In perspective, considering where housing prices have gone since then, it was really a great deal.

I got a great 30-year mortgage rate as a first-time home buyer taking advantage of the FHA loan program.

Hired movers and started packing!

How did you feel once you had accomplished this?

I felt so grown up! It was a little like playing house at first, buying curtains, artwork and rugs -- all the things you think you're supposed to do when you buy a house. What I should have done was keep what I had and save the money for house repairs. But it was a terrific learning experience. I patched and painted walls, bought my first wet saw to tile the kitchen (my "project" for when I was eight months' pregnant and bored out of my head), learned all about running wires for ceiling fans and chandeliers, even planted my first garden in the fenced-in yard, which Riley the Monster Dog probably appreciated the most. (She thought the digging part was always allowed thereafter.) Home ownership comes with a lot of expenses (taxes!), lots of unexpected surprises (disgusting basement flooded by town sewage pipes and amazingly covered by insurance), but most of all, it provides a place to grow, to start a family, to become part of the fabric of a community. I loved that green house with the shamrock door knocker. The fireplace that was really only a mantel. The red dining room that looked amazing at Christmas time and played host to all my family and friends. The purple library with wall-to-wall bookcases that I filled with books from beloved, now-closed used bookstores in NYC. The bathroom that I painted three times in one night after attempting to make it look like the bathroom in my hotel suite on my Vegas trip. The tree in the yard I planted to mark the loss of my first baby to miscarriage. It later became my daughter's first home, her pink and yellow room so small it didn't even have a closet. It will always hold a special place in my history and in my heart.

4/27/2016 3:18:47 PM

who needs a home when u can live on the streets bruh

8/27/2012 7:29:32 PM

 What a beautiful house!

2/7/2012 11:23:33 AM

Congratz, is there anyway you can offer me some advice? I am currently looking into owning my home and the go abouts of starting this task

1/9/2011 7:33:24 AM

Congratulations, we have linked your story on the My Life List 90 (#9) to inspire others. Thank you so much for sharing this great story.

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