Can you believe we’re already halfway through 2022? This pandemic really has a way of affecting the concept of time. Speaking of time, it’s been one year now since I purchased my first home! The time has definitely flown by. I have been excited to write this blog post but also unsure of what to write. While being a homeowner is great, a lot has changed (ok, well, maybe I’m being a little dramatic).
A Little Background
Like I mentioned in my first blog post about my home, I seriously/realistically started looking to purchase a home after I paid off my student loan debt in 2020. At first, I was looking for land to park a tiny home, since that was all I thought I could afford as a single person making decent money. When the land that I was looking at was sold to someone else, I started looking at homes in the town in which I already lived. I was able to find a home in a new development and I used a USDA 30-year fixed loan to purchase it. I moved in last year and purchased a puppy two months later.
The Domino Effect
During the past two years, I was mostly working from home. Only going into the office once a week for a couple of hours and then driving back home to finish work. Everything was fine until I received notice that I would have to go into the office twice a week, for my full 9 hours. Now, please forgive me for complaining if you were never able to work from home or you have to go in more than two times a week. I just really got accustomed to not getting up early and commuting over two hours each day.
Once I had to start commuting again into the office, my situation started getting a little complicated. As my dog was in training with the goal of going to daycare, my sister began to watch my puppy while I was in the office. And as someone who does not like to burden others, I tried to look for solutions that would benefit everyone. Logically (or illogically), I thought that I should move closer to my office. I started looking at condos near my office but they are quite expensive for immeasurably less space than my home. While I don’t plan on staying at my job forever, I do think that I will still work in the city; it is a great place for the career I am trying to break into.
So, that’s where I am, grateful for the opportunity to own my first home but also struggling with not considering the long-term implications of owning a puppy and going to school over an hour away from my home.
What I Have Learned
Since moving into my home, I have been learning more about investment properties and investing (in general). Learning about investing was a goal of mine this year because I want to try to generate multiple streams of income. I have realized that in this day and age, it is best not to rely on one stream of income. If anything happens with one stream of income, you won’t have to struggle (or struggle as much). When thinking about my future and where it would be best to live, I have considered possibly renting out my home. Renting out my home will provide additional income and they would help pay down my mortgage. It’s a possibility but I haven’t made a decision either way. It might be more advantageous to purchase another home or condo and rent that out.
I have also been evaluating my life and the things that are important to me. For example, I currently wake up before 4am (twice a week) to be at my office by 6:30a. When I’m commuting on the train, I look around at the more seasoned workers and wonder how/why they could live this commuting lifestyle for most of their career. I do not want to spend 2+ hours for 30+ years commuting to and from my office. What is important to me, as the pandemic taught me, is having a great work/life balance. I want a shorter commute or even a fully remote job so that I can get sufficient sleep, go on walks with my puppy during the day, and be more productive during the day.
Would I Do Anything Differently?
Honestly? I’m unsure. I think it’s a great feat to be a Black woman who purchased a home on her own (with the help of God, of course). I love the location, the proximity to family and stores, the community, the space/backyard, and the memories that I have experienced within the walls of the home. Financially, I wish that I had saved more money before I moved out. It’s never a bad idea to have more money for everything from maintenance, to stocking up the pantry and fridge, to making certain changes/upgrades to the home. Also, retrospectively, I should have considered the implications of the possibility of returning to the office and starting school in the fall, all while owning a puppy. While I love my puppy, things are not always so simple to figure out. However, I know that everything will work out.
Perhaps it’s too soon to make any changes now based on my feelings/experience. The pandemic is still ongoing, prices are rising everywhere, and I’m still adjusting to going into the office. There are too many changes going on in my life and I don’t want to make any decisions based on (hopefully) temporary situations.
If you have purchased a home, what are some lessons that you learned during the process? Would you have done anything differently with the knowledge that you now have? Or even if you don’t currently own a home, what are some lessons that others have told you? Let me know in the comments section below. Thanks for reading everyone. See you in the next post!