Aug 27, 2010

I have a dream...

I have a dream of owning our own home. Our FIRST home.
Daydream with me now. I see a beautiful older home, character spilling out of every nook and cranny. A picket fence may or may not be involved. Beautiful landscaping, big, old trees with a tire swing ready for swinging. A huge front porch that just begs for you to sit on it and drink lemonade. Big windows, chunky molding, wood floors throughout the house. A kitchen with enough room to move around comfortably, a big island in the center, big chunky cabinets, granite counters, stainless steel appliances...
I could go on forever.
I have had MANY years to daydream about this house.
I have wanted to buy a house since the first year we got married; we've been married almost 9 1/2 years.

Instead we are seasoned renters. We have spent the last 10 years hopping from rental to rental, never in one place more than a year. And let me tell you it's pretty much impossible (or pointless) to make your 'house' a home, when you can barely unpack all the boxes and hang up pictures before you're moving again. It's quite disheartening.
The longest we've ever lived anywhere is here.
Ironically we had to move 3k miles away to find stability, something I've been craving for so long.
We lived in our last home for 2 years and were asked to move so that our landlord could sell. Now we live here, and I love it and this is where we plan on staying for at least 2-3 more years. But it's still hard for me to unpack all the boxes, hang up all the pictures or heaven forbid paint the walls...because i'm always afraid we are going to have to leave. And what's the point?!

We passed up home ownership to instead join the military. Sometimes a decision I wish we hadn't made, but I try not to live my life with any regrets. I am absolutely blessed beyond belief and every decision we have made, good, bad or indifferent, we have made together and it has brought us here. I wouldn't trade my life for anything in the world.
However, I still want to own my own home.
Ain't nothing shakin' that dream folks!

Looking back, buying a home 9 years ago would have been a mistake. Not in and of itself, but in retrospect.
I don't know if we had bought a home instead of joining the military, if things would have been different for us, but if they hadn' would have been a bad move! If you know us well, you know everything we've been through and all of it is centered around financial hardship. And yes, I know many people that are going through financial hardship own homes, but for me the two just don't go hand in hand. I want to enjoy my home, not for it to be a burden.
And unfortunately that's what it would have been.
We lost so many things over the years, and i know, a home would have been added to that list. I know it's all just material,'s still hard.

We made stupid choices.
And I don't like to say that.
I don't like to feel like it's my fault, our fault.
And because honestly I don't feel like the choices we made were that stupid.
Sure we had credit cards, who doesn't, right? Or at least that's what you're made to believe. It's a way of life. It's just what you do. And yeah, we bought into that trap just like most everyone else. But at the time, it was under control. We were paying on them, paying them off. It was under control. Or so we thought.
We had no control over the fact that we would lose our job, thus making us unable to pay those credit cards, and it all spirals out of control SO fast.
Boy did we learn our lesson.

Because of everything we've been through and because we would like to own a home the 'right' way we have decided to live a debt free lifestyle.
We have spent the last 2 years paying for everything in cash. Yes that meant that we didn't get a lot of things, but what needed we paid for and it's ours. It feels really good. We put ourselves on a tight budget and we stick to it 98% of the time. Meaning we are not so strict that we don't allow ourselves to eat out occasionally or spend a few bucks here and there. But we plan for big purchases and that's that.
It's not an easy life to live.
I sometimes want to throw my hands up in the air and say "screw it all, let's go shopping!" lol. But...I don't.
If all goes as planned, God willing, we will be 100% debt free by the beginning of 2013.
We will owe not a single soul!
I can't imagine a free-er feeling than that!
Then we plan on spending the following year living the same exact way and saving every single penny for a down payment on a house.
The house we've been waiting for for so long.
The house of our dreams.
And I'm so excited that we can finally see an end in sight!

It hasn't been an easy road.
It's taken a lot of sacrifice, dedication and prayer to get to the place where we are at today. But it's possible. You just have to jump in with both feet and make the decision to do it no matter what. It's possible!
In two years I will be living the life I've always wanted to live, and I couldn't be happier!

Now back to daydreaming...