Posts Tagged ‘home’


Lessons Learned from Buying 3 Homes…

the money pit

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As you read this, the daughter and her hubby have just signed their lives away….er…um…just signed on the dotted line for their first mortgage. In the early years of our own married lives, I would have told you that we would probably have bought 5 houses by now.  But, Texas now seems like home to us, even though we are evil, transplanted Yankees. So, here’s a little of what we learned along the way as home owners. Dear daughter and son? Are you taking notes?

1. Whatever you think is your budget, what you pay when all is said and done will be higher than that “ceiling” you had in mind.

2. Closing costs are code for “ways to take your money for really stupid stuff.”

3. Points are code for “spending more money to save money.” Only in the USA.

4. Truth-in-Lending Disclosures (TILs) should be accompanied by Prozac injections.

5. Committing to paying for something over 30 years somehow makes you feel as though you’ve just been sentenced to life in prison.

6. # 5 is actually true.

7. At the closing, after you’ve signed your name 18,000 times and been sentenced to financial prison, the bank will give you the pen you used. Shouldn’t you at least get a free sofa out of the interest they’re going to make off of you???

8. After going to prison, fall in love with your current sofa. It’s not going anywhere for a while.

9. When you have 3 teenagers, your old sofa will have to be replaced, just from the stress of living with them. Fortunately, the sofa company has a payment plan and it’s only for 15 years.

10. If you buy a new home, you will go broke buying curtain rods, curtains, blinds, grass seed, fertilizer, weed killer, bug killer, flowers, bushes, and trees.

11. If you buy an older home, you will go broke repairing curtain rods, replacing worn out curtains, and picking out new blinds from this century. And you will still be buying grass seed, fertilizer, bushes, trees, weed killer, bug killer and have to replace your lawn mower.

12. About the time you recover from the above, the furnace will break. Count on 4 figures.

13. About the time you finish paying off the furnace, the roof will get hit by hailstones.

14. About the time you finish paying off the roof, you will discover cracks in your walls.

15. About the time you repair all the cracks in your walls, your exterior paint will start peeling.

16. About the time you repaint the exterior, you will find out you’re preggers.

17. Once you have your first child, home repairs and replacements will seem really cheap.

18. Once the eldest child starts driving and needing a cell phone, you won’t be repairing or replacing anything in your house for about 10 years.

19. Plan on buying a freezer or another refrigerator if you have teenagers. It’s okay…the appliance store has a payment plan…for about as long as the appliance lasts.

20.  No matter how large the home seemed when you bought it and how little furniture and belongings you had moving in, you will still find a way to exceed the storage limits of all closets, drawers and cabinets in that roomy house.

21. When your children leave home, their stuff stays behind.

22. You will get rid of your own stuff to store more of your kids’ stuff. Your stuff will go to your kids’ homes. Weird and stupid, but true.

23. You will think about moving to the country for the plethora of barns and storage buildings available for your kids’ stuff. Okay, and your own weakness with a December holiday.

24. You will think about a storage unit for your kids’ stuff just so you won’t have to move.

25. In an effort to conserve money, you’ll just wind up moving more of your stuff into your kids’ new home so you can keep their old stuff at your house without paying for storage of their stuff. And we wonder why people complain about living on fixed incomes.

26. When you die, your kids will go through all of your stuff and throw out all of their stuff (that you bought for them) and say, “Why didn’t Mom and Dad spend more on themselves?”

27.  Your home, now paid for finally, will be worth a fair fortune to your heirs, aka the children.

28.  Your children will sell that house.

29. Your children will use the proceeds from the sale to buy…wait for it…a new home. Your entire estate will be good enough for a down payment for each of them on their next home.

30. You’d do it all over again…just for the “tax benefits”…just because that house became a home and a lot of happy memories were made in between repairing dry wall, repainting the same room 6 times, and fertilizing the yard.

Here’s to you, the newest homeowners in the family! I’ll be there soon to help you unpack. And I’m bringing some of your stuff with me. And probably some of my own.

Friday’s Post: The Odd Days of August

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