Buying our first home has to be one of the biggest moments in life. My husband and I bought a little expansion bungalow in the midst of the housing boom several years ago. It was a seller’s market and houses were selling faster than we had a chance to even look at them. I remember giving our realtor a list of thirty homes and by the next day there were two or three left to see. One of those days he took us to a little neighborhood that we hadn’t looked in before. Sure enough that’s where we found our little fixer-upper.
We (by we I mean he) had a two year plan for remodeling our home and moving on to something with a bigger yard and garage. He completely finished the expansion area upstairs which wasn’t touched prior to our purchase. He’s experienced in contracting as are my in-laws who expertly plastered and painted the area. We added flooring and fixtures and quickly had a guest and office area. What house is complete without a dog? Aella came in the midst of the remodeling.
That summer we turned our focus to the yard where we built a little rose garden and added a beautiful deck in the back. Along with the puppy came a pregnancy so my husband set to working painting the office pink! Life kept rolling along and our two year project is going on eight years! Has anyone else been in this position?
My husband and I made this investment after two years of marriage. Needless to say we didn’t have much time to put together a savings for 20% down on a loan. My parents graciously borrowed us a portion of our down payment but it still wasn’t enough to avoid mortgage insurance. To be blunt the idea of paying the bank to cover their investment in case we couldn’t cover the mortgage was infuriating for me. Of course soon after this housing boom came the housing crash. Values plummeted. We had counted on our investment increasing in value along with the major work that we were doing on the property. Eight years later and we are still ahead of the value when many are upside-down but we certainly didn’t have that opportunity to drop the mortgage insurance like we had hoped.
All of that said, without the option to take on the mortgage insurance we never would have been able to afford the 20% down on the loan. There are many days that we regret the financial choices we made in those early years of marriage when we could have been saving more and spending less with long-term goals in mind. Have you ever taken the time to look at a savings calculator for your family needs whether they be for future goals or emergency needs? The link above will take you to information provided by Genworth Financial regarding the comparatives of private mortgage insurance.