This is my favorite update yet!
We searched Pinterest and found These Plans from Ana White, but honestly
we just built it to our specifications and kind of did what we wanted with it,
mixing in aspects of different pergolas that we've seen.
We love it so much! It makes the backyard feel so much
more like a part of the house, instead of a cold empty patio!
We still need to get a few things like party lights, fire pit, rug and a
table but all of that can wait. The total cost to make it ourselves
was roughly $450. If we would have paid to have this built I'm almost
positive it would have been over $1,000
Do you feel like we are constantly updating our house, like I do?
It's for good reason I promise!
When Josh and I first met, well no, when we first really started getting to
know each other and really deciding if we wanted to spend the rest of
our lives together, we talked a lot about the future. What we both wanted
to do, achieve and work on. Something that Josh wanted was something
I never really thought about. A house. With my family, we grew up renting.
That's pretty much all I've known. For Josh, he knew from the moment he
got out of high school he wanted to buy a home. He knew real estate was
the greatest investment. Unfortunately for us, I had terrible credit. I maxed out
Victoria Secret cards, visas, you name it and they all went to collections.
Before Josh and I got married, we had to pay them all off before we could even
think about buying a home together or for Josh, even think about getting married.
Once they were paid off and we got married, we went to see if we qualified for a loan.
I was so embarrassed when our bank told us I was the reason why we didn't.
My credit score was horrible. I felt so bad I was the one keeping Josh from his dream.
Two years later and my husband keeping my spending to a minimum (a good learning experience)
we tried again this time qualifying for much more than we wanted to spend! Yippee!
(We wanted to keep our mortgage low, so if needed I could stay home if we decided
to have kids. Lucky for us, we had Copeland and because of our small mortgage of
a mere $900, I am able to stay home!)
House hunting took us months. It was the most stressful thing ever.
We couldn't find anything within our spending budget and finally we set
into the idea of paying more and me continuing to work full time. But that's
not what we wanted at all. And then bam! It was like all was right and we
found a home way within our spending budget that had everything we needed.
Not wanted. This was not our dream home, this was our make money off this
house someday, home.
We couldn't sign the papers fast enough! And just like that we were moving
into our "new" home. It was the biggest sense of accomplishment we've ever felt!
It was so surreal to be a home owner at 24 years old! Saving for a down payment,
purchasing this home by ourselves, although we had family members offer to help,
we really wanted to do this together, on our own. There are still days I wake up
and can't believe we did this. I'm just so grateful.
The house definitly needed work. Nothing major, just cosmetic, like painting,
new kitchen flooring, new light fixtures, etc.. If we were going to make money on
this, it had to be updated and if I've learned anything from watching countless hours
of HGTV, it's that house updates payout big time! Especially kitchen and bath updates.
We knew from the get go that we wanted to makeover the kitchen. The biggest
selling point that I look for is a nice kitchen. We didn't have a huge budget to work
with, so everything was DIY or bust. We applied for a Home Depot credit card and tackled
one project at a time. (Home Depot has an awesome offer of 0 interest for anywhere
between like 6-24 months!). Now, it so would have been nice to makeover everything at once,
but you do what you can and be grateful :) Once we got the kitchen out of the way, we
moved onto the bathrooms, painting, flooring and just small things here and there.
Eventually we turned our house into our dream starter home! It was perfect and still is!
But with Josh's graduation coming up very quickly (he applies for graduation in November!!!)
we're put in the spot of now what? Where do we go from here? We know we
won't stay here forever, it's far too small for anymore than the 3 of us and let's
face it, I am BABY HUNGRY! But it's hard thinking about selling this place.
We brought Copeland home here, he learned to crawl, walk and talk within these
walls. We've put so many hours into this place, for what? Someone else?
We've gone over what we'll do a hundred times, either sell or keep and rent out.
Our biggest dream would be to keep it and rent it out until it's paid off and then
keep it for our kids, to do whatever they wish with it. But buying or building
something else, is where that gets tricky. We've talked with realtors recently
about all that ans it's pretty intimidating.
We've also recently started to really talk about and look at land to purchase for our next home.
Josh is dead set on building, but I really enjoyed buying an older home and giving it
a little makeover. So we'll see who wins ;) As of right now, Josh wants to buy land and
sit on it for about a year or two to pay it down some. It's scary, thinking of that.
Thinking of starting over, after you've already made one place your home.
It's scary thinking of leaving. Not the state, but leaving the memories.
We'll see what happens in the next couple of years. It's exciting and scary.
Building a future for our children is what we want most. Being able to provide for
them, giving them more than what we had. It's all for them. Every penny we make
off this little home, no matter how small, will go into college funds, savings, etc., for them.
(I keep saying them. I'm not pregnant but just know that there will be more someday)
What are your thoughts on planning for the future? Thoughts on selling vs. renting?
Thoughts on building vs. buying? And lastly, I can't be the only 20 year old who had
mass amounts of maxed out credit cards right?!
Sorry for such a lengthy post! I just felt compelled to share our story on this.
When I was in high school and even the couple years out of it, I just never really knew
what I wanted in life. I was lost and going down a bad path. Josh completely changed the
way I view things and think. I just know that there are girls in high school that read my blog
and If I could share one thing with you it would to make right choices. Plan for your future.
If high schools totally sucks for you, like it did for me, I promise it gets better. You just have
to be smart in your choices for your life. Really think about what you want and go after that.
Be a good person, have a good heart and things will work out. Maybe not quite how you
envisioned, but you just got to be a little optimistic :)