Why First-Time Homebuyers Still Matter
Homeownership is still essential. I know because a year ago today, I signed the title paperwork for a home purchase.
While I am SO happy that we missed these 8% interest rates, I still cringe when I think about all the homes we looked at, all the offers we made, and all the stress associated with buying our first home.
This paperwork was expected because the Mister and I were in contract to buy a house, we had a home inspection completed, and I've been removing wall decor and organizing boxes all day. But all of that was abstract.
While I reviewed the title paperwork and read words like fee simple and joint tenants with rights of survivorship, I understood those words. Words that were the bane of my existence when I was a 1L in law school. Words that my brain wouldn't make sense of when I was living in Louisiana and trying to earn a legal education.
I was renting an apartment in Louisiana and sleeping on an air mattress at the sweet, young age of 28.
I believed the rumors of law school being absolutely terrible and the possibility of failing out of law school, so I refused to bring all of my "real" furniture and decided to use temporary things, like air mattresses. I lived in that apartment for one year.
One year of the last 16 years living in apartments. Sixteen. Yikes.
I graduated from college and lived in the dorms for one year; then, I moved back into my parent's home for a year. Then I've lived in an apartment every year since 2004.
I was leasing a room from the owner of the building and land. I was making someone else richer. I was building the equity of another person. I was filling someone else's pockets with money I worked hard for.
This fact should not shock me, and not just because I was there when signing those leases and moving into those apartments. But also, I run into prior roommates, and we chat about life since we lived in that apartment. I look at things in my current apartment that I have owned for years and moved from one place to another. But moving somewhere without considering when we will be leaving again is phenomenal.
Back to 2022… The Mister and I were going through emails, and he noticed some paperwork we missed from the title company. I happily read the forms and completed my e-signature. And an hour later, I am sitting in my room and feeling melancholy and overwhelmed. I couldn't figure out why or what happened to change my mood. I began to journal, but that didn't alleviate the feeling. I scrolled through my phone to find someone to chat with, but I didn't want to speak to anyone. I had to sit in these feelings until I understood what was happening.
I expected to feel emotional when it was time to move from this apartment because we had lived here for three years. I was pregnant when we moved into this apartment, and our daughter was born while we lived there. Her first steps, first words, everything has occurred here. But we have weeks before we physically move.
Right now, I believe what I felt was the reality of purchasing a house is beginning to set in—years of saving money, working odd jobs, and staying disciplined while unemployed have turned into this.
I am a first-time homebuyer. No need to pinch me; this is real!
I know that everyone who looks for a house will need help to get a place. The market was BRUTAL in the spring/summer of 2022, and there are many other hurdles to be jumped. The Mister looked at dozens of homes. We submitted four offers on homes, were rejected from them, and right before quitting our search, we found our home.
Even writing that makes me break out into a smile because purchasing a home means a lot of things. We are buying a tract of land with an immovable dwelling on it that is full of movable items like stoves, light fixtures, and toilets. We are decreasing our monthly expenses because our mortgage will be less expensive than our rent (save that chat for another day). Purchasing a home means space for our daughter to run around and make snowmen in the yard and climb the stairs.
The effects of homeownership will ripple in my family for a long time. I'm grateful that it can start this year. I'm happy that it starts with the $75,000 in equity that we have immediately earned since the appraisal of our home. I am completely aware of how homeownership will propel a family and wealth.
Until next time,
P.S. Something in our house breaks every month. I thought this would pass after a few months, but 50-year-old houses consistently need work. Send duct tape.