Thursday, August 18, 2011

journey to my first place

My life is pretty amazing, considering where my life was just a year and a half ago.  You would never know that I was worried about my financial standing and unable to pay any of my bills.  On April 1, 2009, yep April Fool’s Day, I was let go from my job as an Interior Designer.  This was the start of my transformation journey….

I had moved back to Pennsylvania in January of 2010 after being unemployed for 9 months and finally found employed through a temp agency when I came home to visit in November of 2009.  It was not my first choice to move back here, but every step felt like I was going in the right direction.  After taking this job it became evident that even though I was working I was still unable to catch up on all of my expenses and was determined to find a part time job.  I applied for a total of 3 jobs within a weeks time and was hired for 2 of them.  Yep, after not having any job I now had 3 and even though it meant sacrificing my Saturday's and working almost 60 hours every week I knew it was a blessing and that it would give me freedom in the long run. I made several spreadsheets to track my progress and keep me focused.  Sunday's were my day to rest and re-energize.  Every time I was paid I immediately deposited it and made a check out to the next bill that was on my spreadsheet and before I knew it I had caught up on all my bills and even started paying down my debt.  By having the separate paychecks it made it easy for me to use it for my bills instead of keeping it tucked in my checking account ready for me to spend it on something that wasn't going to move me forward in my goal.  

I am so proud of where I am today and I am so close to being at zero with my debt.  I have 3 cards left all with very little balances.  
was supposed to be paid off on the 5th, but I keep running into speed bumps.  It was supposed to come out again on the 19th, but it still hasn't debited.  This is my largest card left and I really want it be be ZERO so my credit score will improve so I can benefit from the higher score. 
is a very tiny balance of $60, which will be paid off next week once T-Mobile finally returns the money they owe me.  
is a TJ MAXX card that I used to buy a patio set that I am returning  on the 19th.  Hopefully, there will be no complications and I'll receive my full-money back refund and not a store credit.  

So by the end of this month I will have no credit card debt!!!  It's so worth every sacrifice I had to make in the last year just to have the feeling of knowing I am free of this debt and I can finally start enjoying living in today.  It's also been exciting watching my credit score increase thanks to CreditKarma, a free credit score program available for free online.    I joined in July this year and my score was 666. They send you reminder emails every few weeks to update your score and I received one last week.   When I signed on and hit  update score it INCREASED!! I know have a 671 score! It's still Fair, but it's going up and that's all that matters.

the apartment life isn't for me
I had been searching for apartments for several months and was not able to find any place that I truly wanted to call home.  There was one thing or another wrong with each apartment that was such a downer.  The apartment layout was great, but the kitchen was so tiny or the lack of parking, etc.   There wasn't one that really stood out to me, until I saw a for rent sign along Trindle and immediately I pulled over and called the number.  The lady gave me information about the place and that it would be ready for viewing in a week.  My mom was in town and I decided to take her for a drive there so she could see the grounds and location and it was pretty awesome that same night we were able to view the apartment.  The lady seemed very nice, but also very particular.  She was looking for someone who would fit into her little apartment community and was committed to stay there for the long hall as the lease terms were a minimum of 2 years.  It was a beautiful remodeled apartment on the first floor and  was so excited to find something so well laid out, minus the especially small bedrooms.   

We looked at the apartments on Friday and I had been even more excited about the apartments after seeing the interior, however, there was so much paperwork she required that it felt like I was  getting ready to buy a house.  When Sunday came around I had an easy feeling that even though the apartment was lovely, it was not where I was supposed to call home.  Especially, since there were so many uncertainties with us that seemed to unease the landlord and I knew that I would feel anxious and worried about how perfect I would need to be and that wasn't a way I wanted to live.

I fell off my chair:
A few people had mentioned that I should look into buying a house and inside I laughed, because why would someone let me buy a house with how my credit history has been the last few years.  I eventually caved to the idea and posted an inquiry about a Realtor someone recommended on my fb page.  I had a few people who respond and I took the initiative to call the Realtor who then recommended me to a broker  who could pre-qualify me.  I struggled internally when I was talking to the broker, because I so felt like looking into buying was a waste of time my and the brokers time.  However, after gathering all the information he needed to run the number I almost fell of my chair when he told me I pre-qualified for 100k.   I couldn't believe it, who would have thought that I would be allowed to even qualify for any loan amount, but God was showing me His favor.  He knew what I needed to do with me so I could be ready for where He wanted me now.  He took the time to walk me through and light a fire under me and I'm thankful for that.

house hunting:
Since being approved I've been reviewing listings online that my realitor has been sending me and sending him feedback on the one's I liked.

Last Saturday he took me to view a few of my favorite listings.
Adams St: house one
I liked the exterior, kitchen and living area of this house, but the backyard, bedrooms and attack left me thinking how much money needed to go into this place.

Green St: house two
This house was nothing less than exquisite, until you walked outside.  The neighborhood was very dirty and my adjoining neighbors were just o close.  The yard needed a lot of work, which I was fine with that, but the house lacked central air and open parkingand it was already at the top of my budget.

N. 5th St: house three
This house was so adorable and just enough space for two, but after seeing the other larger homes I was leaning more towards a 3 or 4 bedroom.  Though the neighborhood was nicer, it was not enough to make living across from a school with the basketball court and child playground was facing my house.  

my favorite: house four
I will refrain from posting any photos right now, as this is the one I want to make an offer on, but am financially unable to for at least 30 days when I can secure half of my down-payment.  I am very excited about this house as it has a large country kitchen, laminate wood floors in the living and dining room, 4 bedrooms and 1.5 baths.  As a bonus it has a back yard that wont overwhelm me, a large deck to do yoga and have amazing bbq's on, a shed and central air.  This house is at the top of my budget, but it's pretty much move in ready and their aren't any changes I would make, well other than putting in a garage.

At this point I just have to wait and hope that if this house is for me that it will still be available in 30 days and possibly a few thousand less then it is now. 

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