We are coming up on our ten month review for owning our home. I can hardly believe that ten months have come and almost gone and we have been nestled into our new home. I look at it now and imagine what it will look like when I finally pick a paint color and find curtains I love. Our builder will be coming soon to do our inspection and fix the things that need to be fixed after a house settles into a foundation. This time last year my husband and I were in our temporary two bedroom apartment because we had sold our condo and were waiting for the build to start.
My husband and I had saved for about five years in order to be able to sell our condo and find a place where our family could grow. We set up our budget for groceries and weekend fun and what ever was left over we put into our savings. We had a strong resolve for the savings account because we were ready to get moving and find our forever home. Our full tax refunds went in there, bonus money and money from paychecks. The paycheck part was harder because it seemed like we justified more spending than we should have and I know we could have saved more than we actually did.
If I could go back and do more research I wish I would have used this site by Sun Trust Bank. Any person off the street can say "I want to start saving" but how do you really go about it? We were lucky because my husband is eligible to use the services offered by the VA and there are lots of benefits that come with that service. One of my most searchable items was the rates and how to lock in. I started checking the rates per day/points paid like I was checking the weather. It was a little addicting. I went through all the doubts possible. Did we just get a mortgage bigger than we could afford? Will we be approved for the amount we need in order to build the house we had chosen?
A house is one of the biggest purchases you could ever make and everything that comes with it can be overwhelming. Like I had mentioned before we had a nice savings account going but if we would have had to put 20% down on the house then we would not have had enough saved. A great place to get all of your questions answered in one place is Your Sunny Day they have advice on saving, spending, mortgages and much more.
Who really would have 20% saved? I am grateful as well that we didn't have to do that because even though our house was new we needed way more things than I could have imagined. Thankfully we had an amazing loan officer who gave us great advice. She showed us that by using an adjustable rate mortgage we could save on our monthly costs. I was afraid of an adjustable rate at first but to be honest this saved us $130 a month and at the time we locked in the points were low enough that it caused our closing costs to be around $1800 instead of the $5600 originally predicted. That advice made the difference for us between putting in a yard this year or waiting until next year.
Movers that moved us from the condo to the apartment then the apartment to the house.
Blinds to cover all of the windows so that our neighbors weren't privy to all of our business.
Putting in our own yard and then 100 other things we didn't see coming.
We have been extremely careful with our spending but I will tell you that ten months in our savings has drastically dwindled to almost nothing and I am feeling nervous until those funds go into our savings account again. We were ready for an increase mortgage payment in theory but I wish we would have lived for a few months like we were paying that increased mortgage to get a more "real life" view of what our day to day costs would be.
So now that we are settled and have hopefully have spent our last large sum (refrigerator, washer, dryer and yard) we need to start saving again. This time though I want to save for a sunny vacation that I plan for, save for and can spend money on without guilt.
I had a hard time spending the money that we saved, even though we did so for the house. I kept thinking, what if we have a medical emergency or one of us loses our jobs?
I really have no regrets and will remember the first moment we were given our keys. From worrying about the costs, mortgage, utilities, down payments and school districts we are in our home and we love it. I will never really feel comfortable without having a saving account and we often think of starting two. One for the must haves and one for the fun!
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.
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