The constant forward motion of life

Things seem as if they are just happening one after another without me having a chance to catch my breath. I dedicate so much of my time to being successful in school and studying that when something beyond my daily routine creeps up, I feel like I have to deal with the issue before anything else and before I know it I have fallen behind and can’t catch up.

After 88 wonderful years on this planet, my grandmother, known as Tulu, passed away. It was not unexpected which helped a little bit but she had to suffer. After having a stroke in November 2017, she was put onto comfort care as she began to lose strength and was eventually unable to walk. As we watched her slowly slipping from reality we were blessed with good days among the bad. Good days gave us laughs, memories and a review of her whole life. This woman has been such an inspiration, raising 7 children and caring for a husband all in different times I have no idea how this woman was so strong her entire life, and with a heart of gold.

After attending all of the services and spending time with my family I had to begin to get back on track with school. Finals week was quickly approaching and I gave myself a break this semester to raise my GPA for the tough upcoming semesters, meaning that this was my make it or break it for a successful semester. Needless to say, I did my best and results are still to come!

I have missed sharing my thoughts and life for some time. Unfortunately, nothing new has progressed with our house situation. Although it seems as if nothing at all is happening, my savings is only growing and I am becoming more and more confident in purchasing and withholding a house! It is difficult when they are also not being listed. As we want a lot of land, the available options are even slimmer and therefore patience is key and that is why I firmly believe even though we aren’t moving into a house right now it is probably for the best because a better one will come along!

Until next time,

-L

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When everything is going wrong

I received a phone call yesterday while at school, it was my boss. Telling me that my license had been expired the previous week, my first thought was, there’s no way I remember renewing it!  I quickly ended the phone call with her so that I could investigate. I looked on my desktop, where I store all my screenshots of confirmations after I purchase something. My state license is 80 dollars and I think I would remember if I paid it. So I casually checked my desktop, nothing. I checked files that I could have hidden away in a folder, nothing. I immediately called my mom to find out what was going on. She is a full time worker but had ended up being home for the day, she said,”Here it is, right on the table, letter opened but not filled out.” My heart sank into my throat.

Not only did this mean I wasn’t legal to deliver radiation but I had been doing it on an expired license…I’m so screwed. I called my boss back to assure her, I renewed my registration but not my license. Apparently this is a common mistake among technologists. She then continued to say “I should have reminded you. I’m sorry.” To many people they would think wow, what an understanding boss, and they would be right. However, in my mind all I can think about is, YOU KNEW AND YOU DIDN’T TELL ME?! I am a “newer” tech and this is the first time I have had to renew my license since school 4 years ago! Everything is confusing to me and I thought I had everything covered.

I am not allowed to work now because of my license being expired and well, it being illegal for me to work. So a few hours later (after I know I can’t work again until my license is renewed) I get a call from our HR department. The lady was really nice and was telling me that I obviously can’t be working until I get my new license then she proceeds to state that “we can talk once you get your renewed license about what happened, why this happened and what could have prevented it.” I recognized those words before. I abruptly stopped her and said, “wait, am I being written up for this?” She responds with words that I wish I had never heard, “This is a writable corrective action, but we can discuss that further when you get your license.” My heart sunk even lower than it had before. Not only did this mean I would be written up for a SECOND TIME, but both times were human mistakes, nothing I did on purpose, no harm, I didn’t kill anyone.

The first thoughts going through my mind were, I’m going to lose my job and I’m trying to save for a house! What am I going to do about all this money I am going to lose? Once you submit your paperwork for a renewed license, it can take up to 30 DAYS to get your new one in the mail. I can’t be out of work on unpaid probation for a MONTH!! I begin to panic and think to myself, you did it again, you really messed this up. I couldn’t stop them. The tears just kept flowing until I was literally sobbing. My work is half of my life now, I work enough to make extra money and save for the house Nick and I dream about almost daily. The second writeup I have gotten and all I can think about is if I would have stayed on top of everything, I wouldn’t have gotten this write up. Then I think again, if my boss knew, and she said she should have reminded me, isn’t that also partly on her?

The shifts were covered and everything was taken care of, beside the fact that I am feeling as low as I can be. Since the events of this past weekend, [Comparison is your worst enemy], I feel like things just keep adding on, thank god I worked that double last week and worked those extra shifts for the money I’ll be losing. This weekend/beginning of the week has been horrible. I have just been super depressed and after nick and I went and looked at all the potential houses our realtor has sent us, we want a house more than ever and want to save so bad but I currently have no income, fantastic.

Are there any ways you guys deal with stress and things like this happening to you? I could really use some relatable help!

-L

Comparison is your worst enemy

In life, we have almost a natural instinct to look at the person or people next to us and see how well they are doing in life or in a certain circumstance and compare ourselves. Comparisons ruin people, I have recently realized this when I was given my grade on a test. Now, the worst thing I could have done was compare my grade with my friends, but of course, it’s the first thing I did. I got a 54 and I studied so hard, did practice problems and read the textbook! I worked almost 42 hours the week of the exam though which clearly inhibited my results on the exam. My friends, who work at max 10-12 hours per week (one not at all and one one day a week) all got high 80s to 90. This was a very difficult thing for me to take in simply because we all study together and I somehow managed to screw up so bad that I was below the average….which isn’t the first time.

This is not the first time comparing myself to someone else has hurt me, in the house hunting journey I have been so upset because I see friends and other people my age getting engaged, getting a house and so happy to be living on their own. House hunting is especially hard for us because we are looking for land. It’s so difficult to find a decent house with a lot of land in our price range. Comparing myself to the others who have their house and are happy living on their own is the absolute WORST thing I could do but you bet, I did it. Knowing that we will be in that situation soon enough helps, but does not make it any better. I understand the process is something that so many people say is such a memorable experience and fun and what not but my gosh, it almost seems like the time is flying by and not enough people are putting their houses up on the market fast enough!

So an update on where we are, we talked to the mortgage lender which I shared with you guys and we decided that no matter what happens we need to save more money. As a buffer, as an emergency fund and for the closing costs, whatever it may be we need to have more saved. I have been working doubles and extra time since a full timer I work with put in her two weeks notice. This was another issue causing me to get an awful grade on that exam and not have enough time to study. Regardless, buying a house seems to be the number one thing on my list lately so as long as I pass the class (which I will be studying starting now) it will all be worth it when I get my own study room in my own house just Nick and I.

Anyone have any ways of getting over the comparison problem? Share below!!

-L

Another year in the same home

Let me begin by stating that, by this time in my life I had imagined myself being on my own, in my own house, celebrating another year of life. This Friday is my 24th birthday and I have never felt so behind in my life in relation to my goals. I began this blog to talk about home buying and the steps I am going through and sharing my journey with you all.

I have lived in this home since I was a child, from birth, to be exact. I never got the excitement of moving to a new house and getting to pick my own room and decorate all over again. My room is a 10ft x 10ft BOX with my closet taking up a large portion of that. I am 24….I need more space!

Since my blog is mainly based on moving on and living in a new home I felt that in celebration of my birthday I would reflect on where I have been living the past 24 years of my life! The many memories I have made in this home with my family, the heart break, the tears shed, the happiness shared and so on, there is no way I can easily leave this home. When I was younger and my parents were still together, I remember my father being downstairs in the living room listening to our large flatscreen tv (with a GIANT box on the back of it….not like today’s flatscreeen tvs) while my mom prepared dinner in the kitchen. My brother would be in his room doing god knows what and I would be laying on my bedroom floor, in the “paint me like one of your french girls” pose listening to music out of my BOOM BOX (please tell me someone called it that too) bouncing around to my favorite songs. Nick makes fun of me because that used to be my favorite past time but now that I am older it makes me understand that as a kid, I didn’t need the computer or a tv to entertain myself, I used to love to go outside and play with the kids down the street, I even played street hockey, and I was terrible I might add.

We have a lamp post outside of our house right next to our driveway that my mom used to take pictures of my brother and I next to every year on the first day of school, will I have something like that for my children? There is a gaping pothole in our backyard where our above ground pool used to be before my mom gave it away FOR FREE I might add; will my children be swimming in a pond to cool off instead? My brother shot one of his arrows through the fence into the neighbors yard, I already know if I have a boy he will be doing the same. These are the things I think about when I imagine the future house we will be getting and what we are saving all of our money for. For happiness I keep telling myself, the memories and joy of owning your own home.

This bedroom has been all I have known for a large portion of my life, what is it going to be like moving out and having a whole HOUSE to myself? Am I going to relax in the living room the same way I do in my current bedroom? Am I going to enjoy that “study room” as much as I think I am? (I already know thats a yes) Having your own space is something that many people cannot say they have and when I finally have my own house I truthfully don’t think I’ll know what to do with all the privacy…especially since we want to live rural and away from anyone!

I am getting a big nostalgic and you are getting sick of reading about my life, I know, but I felt this was a time to get a little personal because moving on to bigger and better things, such as becoming an adult and buying your first house causes you to think back to where you came from and how everything used to be so simple.

Hopefully by this time next year I will be writing for all of you lovely people, telling you about how much I love my study room and my house and all of the magic it brings to my life but for now, at 24, this is the home I still know and I have to learn to appreciate the time I have left in this cherished childhood home of mine.

Until next time ❤

-L

The Importance of Patience

This is a very important concept and since it is a Sunday and I am feeling antsy and annoyed that I can’t save money any faster, houses aren’t posting every five seconds that I love and that I can’t get a house tomorrow, I decided to talk about how important having patience is.

We have all heard that “patience is a virtue”, this is obvious. If one cannot wait for good things to happen, they force things to happen which give a much less satisfactory outcome most of the time. Sometimes jumping the gun can lead to good things! I have seen it happen to plenty of people and commend them for that. However, when it comes to home buying, unless you are a genie its just about impossible to get what you want and move out right away unless you win the lottery or are buying a brand new house.

The housing market is a very complicated area of expertise, which is why I truthfully don’t even try to understand. As I had said in my last post,What I Learned from the Mortgage Lender, I made it clear that I have full trust in them and I count on my Lender and Realtor to deal with everything I do not know.

The hardest part with waiting is that I believe I am ready to own a home but the housing market just isn’t on the same page as me *rolls eyes*. It is SO hard to be patient when all you want is your own space and home to renovate and make your own. To start new beginnings and make new memories seems like so far away from where we are right now. It’s tough to see everyone else getting their first homes when Nick and I are like struggling to find anything with adequate land and a decent house. BUT I know it will be fully worth it because my mantra that I believe in most is “If it’s meant to be it will happen!” I have to keep telling myself this because I am getting so impatient with this whole process and I just want to be a home owner, especially since I live with my mom.

Conclusively, to let everyone think and understand the importance of patience I need to say that it WILL be worth it in the end. I really need to learn to have patience because I want to go to medical school, that will be a long way away! Lots of patience necessary there!

Do you guys have any advice on how to calm yourself down and have patience for something you want? Let me know what’s on your mind!

-L

Why we won’t use Zillow

Let me begin by saying this is in no way a post to bash zillow for any reason. I know plenty of people that have used the app successfully and are more than happy in their house. This is all my opinion and thoughts on the app.

Our journey, like many others, began by looking at home buying apps such as Zillow and Trulia and anything else that is helpful and you can see houses on the market. We soon discovered that many of the houses listed or the listings aren’t updated as often as we, as home buyers, would like. The information available is super helpful when you are looking because you can see the prices of homes and taxes and what is available in the area etc. It’s a great way to judge what you will be able to get with a certain amount of money.

The main reason we decided not to use these apps is because anytime we wanted to see a house, they were either already off the market or under contract, meaning they have accepted an offer and are a step closer to closing on the sale. I understand that there is a ton of homes that Zillow has to keep track of and keep updated and for that reasoning, I understand why they are out of date.

When looking for homes we were open to all things such as foreclosures and homes that needed more work, which was helpful on Zillow because they have more filters that you can cut down your search results. Sometimes these homes that have filters applied come across as being a home but it is just LAND listed as a home. Maybe the people are trying to get more views on their homes by keeping the filters open to a lot of things but it is frustrating to home buyers.

Is there anything that is annoying to you about the home buying apps? Anything that you LIKE about zillow or other apps that you would like to share? Let me know!

-L

What I learned from the Mortgage Lender

So much for being prepared…

After going to this meeting, I learned how UNPREPARED we were for buying a house. holy cow. So to begin, I did all my research online, apparently that’s frowned upon! So most of the questions I went in with, either didn’t apply or I crossed them off!

She began by explaining to us the difference between Conventional loans and FHA loans (federal loans), which there is barely any difference. For whatever reason, people “like” conventional more and will accept that offer instead of an FHA offer. This is something I still don’t understand but I just shrugged my shoulders and said okay…

Next, she explained that with FHA, the interest rates are much lower (generally) and conventional has higher interest rates. Both of the loans have [basically] the same outlines and no penalty for early payoff, which is what we’re all about! Conventional loans also need a slightly higher credit score than FHA and if your score isn’t high there is a possibility of having a higher interest rate. Our mortgage lender is the best and we 100% trust her and I think she will do all she can to help us out. This is the best thing we have going for us because the housing industry is dark in some areas and seeing what my brother had to go through with his fiance and their realtor is just a scary thought, she was awful.

One thing I took note of was that you can give something called a “good faith” deposit, meaning you put in your offer with an additional amount of money, like 3k or 4k separate from the offer. This money insures the seller you are serious about the house,  making them more interested in accepting your offer. The best part is that if you put down this money, it gets put in escrow, which basically means it is held by an accountant until the loan goes through and they ensure that the money you put down as your good faith deposit is taken out of the total loan, therefore reducing the price. This is separate from the closing costs and taxes, etc.

Another thing to take note of is that when you are buying a home, if you use a realtor (which you should) the cost of the realtor is paid by the seller. When the seller works with a realtor they sign an agreement with the seller so that a certain percentage of the sale of the home gets split 50/50 between the two realtors each party is using. That takes away from the pile of expenses that tag along with buying a house!

In addition to the realtor fee being paid, there IS a cost for the mortgage lender that you use. Basically the reason to use a mortgage lender is so that a professional, who knows what they are talking about, is talking to the banks instead of you. If the lender is a good human being, they will explain to you that multiple mortgage companies that strictly give money for mortgage loans, pay lenders for giving them business. These companies pay the mortgage lender BUT there are still fees associated with using one, these fees are determined differently based upon which bank you choose to use. A good lender will give you options, some offer a lower interest rate but a higher price for the lender up front, but some of them have a bit of a higher interest rate but a lower price for the lender. Everything is in your hands (or it should be) at this point.

We were looking at rural areas for our home and because of that, our state offers a rural home buying grant which basically allows you to not have a down payment, it doesn’t go into your mortgage loan or anything you just…don’t have to have a down payment! CRAZY! However, apparently we “make too much”, somehow that is possible…I can’t believe it. Combined we make less than 70k just to give you an idea. There are some parts of home buying and the market that I think I will never understand.

There were a few more things that she went over with us that I can write about another time if you guys are still interested but for right now my wheels in my head are turning and I’m trying to figure out what we can afford and what we can do.

Let me know if you guys have any questions! Also if there is anything else you know that I haven’t included in this post!

-L