Living in a Grown-Up’s Paradise: Home Depot

Wow, it’s been a while! I severely underestimated how time-consuming owning a home is. Fortunately, we are almost a year into this, and I think I definitely might be starting to figure out how this works. Plans are starting to come together for landscaping, fencing, all of the fun things that make you really feel like you have your shit together in life.
One of the great hallmarks of adulthood comes from one particular activity. Regular visits to one location that we all dreaded as children; we begged our parents not to make us go. We were never allowed to touch anything. To describe this place further would simply involve me poorly paraphrasing a Donald Glover bit, so instead, I’ll just suggest you go watch Weirdo, which is on Netflix as of this writing. No, today, I’m here to desperately try and help you life hack a visit to your local Home Depot.

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Now, the day that we closed on our house, Home Depot was basically the first place we went. I’m pretty sure we went to the actual house first, basking in the accomplishments of adulthood. Then, we quietly realized what we had just done, pulled out a legal pad, scrawled down all the things we now needed, and immediately drove to Home Depot. Like…. Immediately. Now, I won’t say that we bought a ton of frivolous things, we didn’t. We bought things like new locksets, more efficient light bulbs, a new thermostat. Pro-tip: if you buy an older house like we did, consider investing in a smart thermostat to help you more efficiently regulate heating/cooling. Many electricity providers actually provide rebates for making your home more efficient. I have a feeling making your home more energy-efficient will be coming up in a later post.

As I’m sure you can imagine, this was a pretty expensive trip to Home Depot, and it was immediately followed by at least one trip a day for two weeks after. It’s only been in the months that followed that we learned to pay closer attention to the Clearance sections. These are in different locations at every store, but if you learn the system – and there is a system, you can save yourself quite a lot of money.

Markdown Tiers

Generally, you can tell how many times an item has been marked down by looking at the price. More than one markdown is of course contingent on clearanced stock sitting on the shelf for a little while. Most people will see that yellow tag and immediately grab it, so use the below information at your own risk!

First tier markdown: Price ending with xx.00, xx.06, or xx.04

This is the first markdown tier, and generally, the discount off of the regular retail price is usually not that great, but not always.

Second tier markdown: Price ending with xx.03 or xx.02

After spending time at the first tier, unsold clearance items get dropped to another tier. This tier is usually somewhere around 75% off of the normal price, and a great find! This is supposed to be the last clearance tier, but in some cases, items sometimes get marked down to literally $.01. Literally. At that point, staff is supposed to remove the item from shelves, but sometimes this doesn’t happen. I’ve read the trick here is to take it through self-checkout and complete your transaction as quickly as possible. Right up until the transaction is final, the store may try to take the item away from you (even though they are not supposed to, per Corporate Policy), but once you have actually finished paying and have your receipt, it’s just not worth their trouble to take the item and issue a refund for literally one penny.

Its worth noting that it can be extremely helpful to use the Kiosk that’s over near the Pro-Desk or Customer Service. The kiosk has a program called “Price Check” that can help you locate specific clearance items, such as a specific brand, or item, like light bulbs. Then you can refine results for Clearance items to see the prices and see if you are really going to get a good deal or not. Note that this does not work with the mobile app, which pulls Internet Prices, not in-store prices like clearance items. Also, check the yellow clearance tag and note the date. The older the date, the higher the likelihood that the price has fallen even further. Sometimes the actual tags just flat out don’t get updated, and you may not know if the price has fallen, or even if you have your hands on a penny item until you go to check out.

Per corporate policy, if a customer finds an item that is marked down to a penny, they have to honor the price. Their failure to remove the item is your gain. This absolutely does not mean that the staff know or honor this policy, so if they try to take it from you, tell them to get the manager. If that manager tries to take it from you, tell them to call Corporate, or you’ll do it for them. In cases like these always call corporate. They cannot make the situation right if they don’t know its a problem, so bring it to their attention!

As a perfect example, we went in to Home Depot last week for one thing and one thing only. A plunger, which apparently we just decided not to bring with us when we moved. As is always the case, we stopped by the Clearance section at our store, and while I was looking at Scrubbing Bubbles like the responsible grown-up I am, I noticed that D nesthad a box clenched in his hand like he expected the Hulk to try and take it away from him. When I turned to see what he thought he was just going to toss onto the scanner and take home with him without my noticing, I saw what he had.

Nest Cam’s have been listed at our local Home Depots from anywhere between $199 and $249. Completely by fluke, we found this one in the clearance section.

Price? $50.03

I tried to take the box so I could see what the deal was, but he literally would not unclench his hand until we walked out of the store. We damn near forgot the plunger and only remembered because we happened to be walking down that aisle to get to the self-checkout kiosk.  We visited the same store (and a couple more) the next day, literally 12 hours later and they were all gone. Every.single.one. My guess is that someone bought all the rest and will resell them much closer to the original $199 price and make a bit of money.

Hopefully, this will at least help you save some money when you have to go to Home Depot. Checking this regularly has helped us save quite a bit of money, like when D decided to replace every.single.light bulb. with LEDs. On his birthday. After he installed gutter-guards.

Adulting.

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Honey Oak Trim: a Pox of Bland Decor

As I’m assuming you have now guessed, I recently bought a house – my first in fact. Along with the many adventures of home ownership, frequented with statements such as “That costs how much!?!” and “How does that even happen?!”. Ever since we moved in, something has been starting to annoy me. It has been gnawing at the pit of my stomach, niggling at the back of my brain until finally, while D-Money was out of town a few weeks ago, I just couldn’t take it anymore. Of course, I speak of the curse upon American homes of the late 80’s and early 90’s. The Kia Spectra of home decor. The room-temperature water of home accents.

I speak of course about Honey Oak Trim.

Our house was built in the late 80’s. The previous owners did a fair amount of updating to the property before the house was listed for sale, but one thing remains that makes everyday at home Throwback Thursday of leg warmers and teased hair – honey oak trim. The door trim, windows, baseboards – all honey oak. I’ve always been a fan of the clean look of white trim, but I knew it would cost a fortune to [as much as I wanted to] rip our all of the honey oak and either replace or repaint. There are simply other things that money should be spent on at this point in time. So I jumped on Pinterest, because that always goes super well for me, and looked for an easy remedy for this situation. I stumbled upon a great blog that recommended perhaps not going lighter, but going darker.

I really liked the thought of this. We live close to the lake, so our as yet to be determined theme for the house is inevitably going to be a little rustic, so white trim would probably look weird anyways.

I settled on a Minwax Gel Stain in Hickory. I know enough about myself to know that I cannot be trusted with liquid stain. I heard good things about gel stain, and  was excited to  give this a shot!

Supplies Needed:

  • Gel Stain
  • Painters Tape
  • Disposable rubber gloves
  • Orphan sock, or other cloth
  • Dropcloth – if over a carpeted area
  • Brillo Pad
  • clean rag for dusting
  • Polyeurethane

Prep the Area

The first thing to do is get the trim ready for stain. Our house has a weird mix of varnished and unsealed wood. Regardless, you need to scuff up the wood in order for it to accept the stain. I read that a simple Brillo pad would do the trick. I thought this was a load of crap, but it turns out, it works just fine! Scuff up the wood in the area you plan to stain. Wipe clean with your clean cloth so there is no dust left over.

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Looks gross in the can, looks amazing on the trim

Test a Small Spot

I got the stain home, and scouted the house for a small, relatively inconspicuous place to test the new stain. I found the perfect spot in our bathroom, a tiny piece of trim just outside our shower. I threw some painters tape on the trim. Painters tape is crazy expensive, but to not jack up your walls or flooring, its money well spent. Put on a rubber glove to protect your skin, then slip an orphan sock with no mate over your hand. This seemed a lot easier to me than buying brushes, sponges, etc. and seemed to work just as well! Crack open the can of stain, and dip the sock in the stain. Wipe it onto the trim in long, even, smooth strokes until it is completely covered. As much as you will want to immediately apply a second layer, close the can, get up, and walk away from the wall for at least a couple of hours.

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If when you come back, you want to add another coat, then go for it! Follow the instructions on the can and let it dry for at least 12 hours. If this spot is in a bathroom or room with plenty of humidity, be sure to seal it with polyurethane to prevent mold or mildew. Personally, I prefer satin finish, since it keeps the finish muted and natural looking. I’m not a fan of blingy trim, that’s some uptown crap.

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After 1 coat

 

I ended up loving the look of the slightly darker color. Its subtle enough that I don’t feel like I have to do the entire house in a day, but different enough that I feel instantly relieved to not be looking at that horrid nothingness that is honey oak.

Full Disclosure: I kind of forgot to tell D-Money about this. In fact, I still haven’t and he’s probably discovering it by reading this post – love you babe – you’re totes awesome! In fairness, he has been using that bathroom all this time and has yet to notice – because hes a man.

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Bet you thought I would forget a meme!

Making Sacrifices

Hopefully y’all have found my previous post about budgeting and saving money useful. Much of what I originally typed ended up scrapped, but I wanted to go back and elaborate a little bit.

At the time that we started saving money to buy our first home, I was driving just shy of 100 miles a day in a V8 SUV that got about 17 MPG on a good day. It was the first car that I owned, and although it wasn’t anything special, I loved that car with all my heart, his name was Eddie. At some points, Eddie was the only thing in the world that I had to my name, and that kind of independence meant everything. Eddie had about 160k miles, and driving it that much was getting to a point where operating it was really going to start getting more expensive that it should have been. I spent somewhere in the ballpark of $400 just on gas in a month. Since I had recently changed jobs and was making more money with a company that treated me better, I started to put in the paperwork to lease this.

GLA

After looking at my budget, we knew that was no longer realistic. We knew that we needed to start saving a lot of money, and we needed to start doing it yesterday. D-money asked if I would be willing to drive a beater to save money for a house. “Of course I would!”, I scoffed, probably laughing. Well, he jumped right in and found me a more cheap and economical ride. Problem? It looked like this.

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While it was a perfectly efficient, running and driving little car, and more than halved my gas bill, I hated this car more than I have ever hated just about anything in my entire life. I had to Plastidip the sunroof and door seals to keep it from leaking when it rained, and only one speaker worked. I work for a car company, so this caused me a lot of heartache and embarrassment, caused me to get to work really early, and leave really late so colleagues wouldn’t see me. It ended with me sitting on the floor in my closet bawling about how much I hated everything. You can call me vain if you like, but I see a car as a reflection of its owner, and I was deeply and morally offended by this car. I drove it for a few months before an opportunity for something safer and cheaper came along.

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Now I drive this. No, it’s no luxury vehicle, and it’s definitely not Eddie, but it’s a great little car!

In the end, we sold Eddie to have the monetary buffer for closing. My dad bought that Explorer because he wanted his girls riding and driving something safe. I in turn sold it to a young woman who needed it for the exact same thing for her little girl.

We probably could have made the closing costs without selling the car, but it provided a safety net that let us safely make our down payment and closing, and gave us enough for emergencies that inevitably pop up during the move-in process.

Letting go of Eddie let me buy my first house.  Sitting here typing it, I still tear up about it. Sacrifice is hard, really hard. Set your goals, and dedicate yourself to them wholeheartedly. If the outcome is worth it, then the sacrifices you make along the way will be too.

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Budgeting like a Balla

Hello Friends!

I got several messages on my Facebook page since my last post about buying a house. APPARENTLY, some of you weren’t satisfied with my explanation about saving money for a house! Just kidding, everyone was really nice, but still, I can see how saving thousands of dollars could always use a little more elaboration.

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How you imagine a successful budget

As I’m sure all of you were hoping I wouldn’t say, it all starts with a budget. I know we all secretly sit down and go “I don’t really spend that much at Starbucks, so I’ll just put in $15. Guess what – you do. In fact, you probably spend a lot more than you think you do. I almost promise that you do.

My dad tried to be supportive about buying a house. He also tried to be, well, a dad. He tried to let me down easy, but he firmly believed I was too young to buy a home, not financially stable enough, and altogether not in a position to buy a home. Also there was the fact that I’m still in my 20’s and live with a man out of wedlock. SCANDAL!

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I promise that it is possible; it just starts with a good budget and a clear and realistic understanding of your financial situation.

Making a good budget, much as I hate to admit it, starts with a good old fashioned spreadsheet. While you frantically try to remember the name of that nerdy kid in high school who was an Excel savant, let me go ahead and stop you right there. You’ll be happy to learn that there are plenty of perfectly good, user-friendly budgets already loaded into Google spreadsheets and MS Excel.

Most budgets have two columns for “Expected” v. “Actual”. The Expected part is relatively easy, you just ballpark your bills and put them in there. As painful and unwelcome the “Actual” column will be, you must sit down and look at your checking account, and meticulously pull the actual amounts of actual money you spent. A useful time-frame is to just look at a month. Add up these totals, input them in their spots, then take a deep breath, and try to fight down that panic that’s trying to claw its way up your throat. All is not doomed to failure. You aren’t going to be stuck where you are forever.

Start looking at those categories where you see wiggle room. Things like eating out, grocery bills, magazines, iTunes, etc. There is a lot of room for improvement here. Try using coupon websites like Southern Savers for grocery deals, or installing the Honey and Ebates add-ons to find deals for online shopping. Make your money work for you! Before you stop at Starbucks, ask yourself if that cup of coffee is worth putting your own home (or whatever goal) a little farther out of reach.

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This isn’t how you do it

Now, to clarify, I’m not advocating for suddenly not spending any money at all. We tried that, and umm… definitely don’t do that. We were figuratively at each other’s throats within weeks. Saving money to buy a house (or whatever) is stressful, and you absolutely must have a stress release. If that means going out to dinner every week (date night!) or every other week, then do it. Any reduction in what you were spending is helpful. Revisit your spending the next month, and see how much progress you’ve made, then you can adjust as needed. This of this as your pre-savings trial run.

Now you are in a position to start setting goals for your future mortgage, and saving that money. We set our mortgage goal, and changed our spending habits like we were already making that mortgage payment. For example, say you pay $600 in rent (wherever you can even do that), and you are aiming for a mortgage that is about $1000. You need to be saving at least the $400 difference between what you currently pay, and what you want to pay. Save more than that if you can, but be realistic and be consistent. Don’t save $800 in one month and $200 the next, that’s not helpful – especially when you have to turn over your bank statements for a mortgage. Don’t pat yourself on the back and blow this money either! Put it into a Savings account, and guard it meticulously – absolutely do not spend it! This is not money wasted – its free money to buy a home! This money that you are saving by spending with discipline is now getting tucked away for your Down Payment, Closing, and general buying home expenses.

Sticking to your savings goal is a two-fold reward. You are saving money for buying a home, and you are also showing that you can a) budget, and b) consistently manage expenses. This is a really important factor to buy a home. Part of the approval process involves sending the last few months of bank statements to your mortgage broker. They will look for things like overdraft fees, insufficient funds, etc. Typical signs that you are not ready to handle a mortgage.  Getting in the habit of regularly and consistently saving money makes you look like a grown-up who really has their life together.

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How budgeting really is

Saving money to buy a home involves some real self-reflection. It also involves, spending smarter, forgoing purchases, and sacrifice. Sacrifice is never easy, in fact, sometimes is really hard. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it; but it’s not impossible, and if you really stick to it, you can do it. It won’t happen overnight, just take your time, be realistic, and take a deep breath.

And Don’t Panic.

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Don’t forget a towel!

Buying your First Home, because Adult

Good Morning campers! As promised, I’m here to lay out the groundwork for buying your first home. As I mentioned in my previous post, there are a lot of reasons buying a home is better than renting. There are of course, a lot of reasons that it’s not, so carefully weigh the pros and cons if you are considering taking the leap – and it is a leap. As I mentioned previously, some people’s lifestyle is more conducive to renting – and that is 100% totally okay!

We spent several years during and after college renting. Apartments in the city, then a house in the boonies for the last few years. We had a…less than stellar relationship with our landlords, and after starting a new job last year, we decided it was not worth the hassle, and we started the long and arduous process of buying. All told, we started saving money around July of last year, and we closed on our first home in May. Some people go faster, some slower, you just have to find the right pace for you.

Alright enough stalling, lets get to it!

Affordability

To start the process of buying a home, its useful to check your credit score, with a service such as Credit Karma. This way you can identify and rectify any issues you see prior to trying to purchase a home. Start looking at a rough estimate of house much home you can afford. You can usually do this using a simple affordability calculator, like this one on Zillow. This will give you a general idea based upon your debt:equity ratio about roughly the price you would be looking at.

Once you’ve done that, then you can look at a mortgage calculator, like this one that’s also on Zillow . Here you can play with variables like Down Payment (normally 20%, but is 3.5% for an FHA loan, which is built for First-Time home-buyers), Home Price, etc. to find the best range for you.  Knowing how much house you can afford is a nice place to start, but knowing a mortgage rate to expect is much more helpful. The last thing you want is to purchase a house at the top end of your affordability range, and be house-poor. Once you add in things like your Insurance, PMI, etc. mortgage costs can rise very quickly.

I personally backed down my maximum house price by $10,000 less than what I was approved for. I did not want to fall in love with a house that I would struggle to afford, so I chose to never look at them in the first place. My realtor knew enough about me to know when to present me with a home that was over that cap and when not to. This is why its important to find a good realtor!

Saving Money

This is where is really important to sit down and do a comprehensive budget. You’ll need to sit down, take a hard look at what you make, what you spend, why you spend, and compare to your affordability budget. Once you can identify places where you can save money ( cutting out Starbucks, clothes shopping , eating out etc.), you basically have to start living like you are making that mortgage payment.  This means saving the money that would have been going towards your mortgage (mortgage payment – current rent) or more and putting that into Savings. This seems absurd, but it gets you in the habit of living like you would when you own a home, but also, this gives you the money that you need for Closing and house purchase items, like home inspections, etc. Plan to save extra above and beyond normal cash to close, since you inevitably will have some emergency expenses when you first move in, i.e. moving, pest control, cleaners, home depot runs, etc.

Example: $170,000 home, FHA Closing = 3.5% = $5950, plus closing fees = ~$3000 plus an additional $1-2k for unexpected expenses (emergency fund)

Finding a Lender

Finding a good lender can be hard. It’s like calling the Help Desk – nobody wants to do it and nobody is happy about the process. Ask around, search Google, whatever works for you. It seems to be generally good practice to apply with 2 or 3 lenders. This lets you get a good range on interest rates, special offers, and an altogether good feel for the company. You can tell a lot about a lender by the contact they make with you after you submit your application. Also be sure to get clarification about whether or not a lender will be servicing your loan, or selling it to a larger company. This can have a huge impact on the stability of your loan, and with Customer Service. Be careful how many lenders you apply with. The initial check on your credit is generally a soft pull, which usually has no bearing on your credit score, but many of these soft pulls can cumulatively affect your score. Once you have gotten a pre-approval from your chosen lender, you can start getting your paperwork in order and work with a realtor to find the right home for you!

Below are some of the general documents you need for a mortage (dont worry, there are always more)

  • Address to your place of residence (past two years)
  • Social Security numbers
  • Names and location of your employers (past two years)
  • Gross monthly salary at your current job(s)
  • Pertinent information for all checking and savings accounts
  • Pertinent information for all open loans
  • Complete information for other real estate you own
  • Approximate value of all personal property
  • Certificate of Eligibility and DD-214 (for veterans only)
  • Current check stubs and your W-2 forms (past two years)
  • Personal tax returns (past two years)

Making an Offer and Singing a Contract

If you have been on a site like realtor.com or Zillow during this entire process and working with a realtor, finding a home only goes as fast as you allow. Depending on where you look, the market can be very hot or cold. Staying on these sites throughout this process helps you gauge how fast homes are selling, which can give you a good idea of where your offer on a home needs to be, which your realtor should help with. You can also expect to pay some amount of Earnest Money, which just shows the seller that you are serious in your offer. This is not money wasted – as it applies towards closing in the end!

Make sure you take many pictures of any home you are considering putting in an offer on. These pictures are critical during the negotiation, inspection, appraisal, and purchasing process. Not just pictures of each room, or a picture from the curb. Take pictures of doors, landscaping, roof, eaves, EVERYTHING. These may prove invaluable in the negotiation process for any less-than-ideal features of the house.

In case I was not previously clear

If your offer is accepted – Congratulations! Now the really fun part begins! To begin, there will be a veritable mountain of paperwork that will need to be signed. Luckily this is usually done online now, but make sure that you carefully review any information that was input by the listing agent for mistakes, deadlines, etc. Once this is signed, it can be difficult to go back and draw up amendments for any mistakes.

Due Diligence

Once your contract is signed, you enter what is known as your due diligence period. During this time, you can back out of the purchase for any reason and get your earnest money back. The length of your due diligence period varies. During this time, it is absolutely essential that you have the home inspected. FHA loans do not always require a home inspection, but for any home, this is absolutely critical to identifying any issues that may render the house undesirable. These can include mundane things, like the driveway is cracked, but can also uncover things like structural problems, code violations, and other issues that may incur massive repair costs. You and your realtor will also probably want to be present during the inspection so that the inspector can point out any issues that they see right away. Although this money does not apply towards closing, this is absolutely not money wasted. This buys you valuable negotiating power, and ensures that you know your home is sound. Depending upon the findings of the Inspector,  both parties may need to agree to amend the contract to include what repairs will be performed, who is responsible, and when the repairs will be completed. It is not uncommon for sellers to cover certain repairs. If both parties cannot agree on a solution, then it is also not uncommon to extend the due diligence period. This way, if a satisfactory solution is now found, you can still walk away.

During this time, also visit the house and neighborhood frequently, on different days, at different times of the day. Features on a home can be changed, but a neighborhood cannot. Talk to neighbors, research facilities that you may have a problem with (airports, cemeteries, etc.). Check schools, even if you don’t have children. Schools are very important in factoring a homes value, and living in a good school district helps you with eventual resale value! Also be sure to check crime statistics in your area, as well as sex offenders in the area, using a website like Family Watchdog.

Appraisal

Your lender will make arrangements for an appraisal on your property. You may have to pay for this appraisal upfront, but the cost will come out of your closing costs. By federal law, the appraiser chosen is randomized so that lenders and appraisers cannot collude to alter the appraisal price on your home. You do not need to be present for the appraisal. They will take pictures, pull up comparable properties, and note many things about the house, its features, and any issues that they see along with their appraisal price for the home. If the appraisal price is higher than the agreed sales price of the home – congratulations, you have instant equity. If the appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price, the lender will not approve your mortgage for the contracted purchase price. You have a few options here. First, walk away from the home. Second, work with the sellers to adjust the purchase price to reflect the appraisal. Third, and least favorable, you will have to cough up the money to make up the difference between the appraisal and the purchase price. None of these are ideal, but by working with a good realtor, you can hopefully avoid these issues.

Closing

Once the appraisal is completed, the lender should have all of the paperwork needed to process the mortgage, and a closing date can be finalized. This is great, but absolutely 100% don’t you EVEN DARE make a major purchase, open a credit card, or spend anything more than you need to before closing. In most states, an attorney is required to conduct the closing on a home.  This way they can notarize required documents, and explain the different pieces in the puzzle known as a home mortgage. Your realtor can recommend a good closing attorney. Once this meeting is finalized, you will receive a final ‘Cash to Close’ statement from your lender to let you know exactly how much you will need for closing, how this was calculated, and what has already been included in your fees. Cash to Close is not the same as Closing Costs, and should include Closing Costs and Down Payments, but clarify with your lender. Ask you lender about anything that is not completely clear to you. It is their job to assist you in this process. Buying a home is one of the most expensive things you will ever do, so be completely clear on what you are paying for.

The attorney will likely send over instructions on the wire transfer for closing. Depending on how much your Cash to Close is, a Wire Transfer is required. Arrange this 24-48 hours in advance so you know you have given plenty of time to the money to clear, process, and post. Your closing attorney is a neutral party, so ask them plenty of questions about the documents you are signing, and get clarification on absolutely anything that is not crystal clear to you. The last thing you want is to blindly sign tons of paperwork and not understand what any of it meant. This cost is also included in your closing. At this point, you should receive the keys to your home officially be a home owner.

Congratulations!

Bet you thought I forgot to include a closing meme, didn’t you!?

 

Grown Ups Buy Homes…right?

Good Morning my little rays of sunshine!

Hopefully everyone had a safe and fun 4th of July! We live just off of a lake, so summer holidays are usually safer spent locked indoors like we live at the OK Corral to avoid the tourists. Also did I mention 3/4 of our dogs are petrified of fireworks? Ever had a golden retriever try to climb up your body?

Anyhow, this year was a little different. This year, we ventured out to instead spend our weekend at various car dealerships. I bet you can all only imagine how much fun we had. By last night, I think my eyes just glazed over, and D-money kept asking if I was okay. No. No I am not okay. If one more person approaches me with a car salesman’s attitude, im going to slap someone, then we’ll never be able to buy a car.

Buying a car is a big responsibility, and not one to be taken lightly. Statistics say that the three biggest expenses of your life are your education, your car, and your house!

Buying a home can be a tricky process, but is it for everybody? Part of the American dream is to own your own home! ‘MURICA! But a lot of people (probably mostly millennials) will tell you, it’s not for everybody. Renting is best for some people, and that’s totally okay.

So what are some of the pro’s and con’s of owning versus renting? Lets compare!

Advantages Of Owning A Home

  • Greater freedom to remodel, have pets, etc.
  • Homes typically increase in value, giving you valuable equity
  • Helps build credit
  • Interest and property tax are tax-deductible
  • People think you have your life together (jokes on them!)

Disadvantages of Owning a Home

  • Long-term commitment
  • Responsibility for home repair/maintenance
  • Cost of rent v mortgage
  • Down Payment and Closing Costs
  • You kind of have to have your life together (dangit!)

Advantages of renting

  • Renting can be cheaper than a mortgage ( depending on where you live)
  • Lease length/terms allow flexibility
  • Landlord is responsible for maintenance and home repairs

Disadvantages of Renting

  • No Tax breaks for renting
  • Less freedom to make your space your own
  • Costs of rent are not fixed

But if you do decide to buy a home, where do you start? Well buckle up Buttercup, we’re going to cover that too!

Getting real sick of wearing pants and having responsibilities…

Welcome to my blog! I hope that you enjoy it! I’m here to help guide you through the sometimes murky (read: stinky :read: *expletive*) waters of adulthood, lifestyle, and making it look like you’ve got your life together like a big kid. I mean grown up. I’ll get the hang of this eventually.

I live my life through snarky meme’s, but generally do my best to convince people that I’m a responsible adult who contributes to society. Hard to do when I’m perpetually covered in dog hair. No matter how many lint rollers I stash all over the house, 3 Golden Retrievers and a Corgi/Jack Russell always win.  Always.

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I wish more people remembered this sketch, because I quote it all the time.

At the end of the day, I’m just a Southern girl doing my best to make my way through life as gracefully as possible without falling on my face too terribly often. Come along with me on my many adventures, and marvel (or laugh) at my many Pinterest “I can do that!” projects.

But Seriously…