I’m a huge advocate of encouraging friends and family to make our homes a true blessing. Hence, my thoughts and my blogs will reflect that. More than anything, my family do our best to live by it.
There are some very simple guidelines to follow when purchasing a house to call HOME. However, be prepared that these are not easy to achieve because we live in a society that feeds on “I want it NOW” attitude.
1. Be debt-free.
This plan includes becoming debt-free of all store accounts, credit card debts, school loans, car loans, medical bills and any kinds of consumer debts. Only when we become debt-free, it relieves us from the vicious cycle of “minimum payments” and continuous fear of never-ending “emergencies”. Credit cards are not our source of “emergency savior” – get out of that rutt, please! I’m sad to say, for some people, lunch may be an emergency.
2. 3-6 months of living expenses saved.
Having a good stash of savings prepare us for the “RAINy days”. To start, have a minimum amount of cash stocked away for “emergency preparedness”. That “special” number may differ person to person. For those of us who are more “emergency” prone, maybe begin with $2000. For those of us whose jobs are “more secure”, life has less risks, then perhaps $1000 may be sufficient to tide small emergencies. Beyond that, attack the consumer debts with a vengence. Be willing to change our lifestyles. Most of all, be prepared to make alot of UNHAPPY sacrifices. A quote that I continuously remind myself when I wonder why I do what I do:
Live like no one else, so that later you can live like no one else (Dave Ramsey).
After having all the consumer debts paid off, continue to save 3-6 months worth of living expenses ie the expenses that is needed for survival. Since we are getting ready to purchase a house, be sure to save a sizeable down payment on top of that. Remember, a house should be a blessing. The difference between a blessing and a curse (after Murphy moves in) is the savings.
3. 15-year, fixed mortgage.
Get 15-year, fixed mortgage. Be sure that the payment is no more than 1/4 of our take-home pay. Would other numbers work? Sure it would (or maybe)…. Remember that we are discussing Down To Earth Home Buying strategy for the blessed home? We can work all our lives to buy more or “house” more, but do we really want to live in the Merry-Go-Around Chase the House Payment rutt?
4. Furnish room by room.
Dont go out to furnish the ENTIRE house all in one go. When we have a house, HomeDepot and Lowes are our second home. It’s not a matter of “if” it would happen, it’s more about “how bad” it will be. Dont begin the whole cycle (Step 1) that we have worked so hard to get out only to fall back in. Shop cheaper alternatives: estate sales, goodwill (blog).
5. Not in the 1st Year.
For first time buyers, please dont shop for a house until the 1st Year has pass. Why? The first year of marriage is one of the most crucial years of a couple’s life. Get to know each other first. Learn to live on one-income (even if both husband and wife works). Learn to live less than we make. Learn to live below our means. It’s already stressful, dont add house-shopping to the list.
Will other steps work? Most definitely. But I could almost assure you that a person who hadnt had a car payment will tell you the wonderful feeling of not having one. A family who wished they had waited to save enough will tell you that they wished their home is a blessing. I know I may be stepping on a few toes about this. But these are just my humble opinions on How to Make our House a blessing. There’s no big secrets to home buying.
Blessed are those who lives in their house filled with happy days.