Richards and Lori's House
Shortly after Lori and I got married, we quickly became tired of apartment life. Noisy neighbors, no parking spaces, worthless apartment managers, appliances not working. We were tired of it and starting saving money for a down payment on a house. We wanted to start building equity and the freedom of owning our own home.Lori and I learned a bit about realtors, they are overpaid salesmen and its difficult to find one that worked well with us. We had realtors trying to sell us houses we would just barely afford with the monthly mortage payments (They heard how much we got approved for, and immediately found houses just under what we were approved for).
Long story short, after 6 months of looking at houses we found a house we thought was a good fit and reasonably priced. Its a two bedroom house with about 800 square feet on a reasably sized lot.
Since we bought the house, we have learned alot and have never looked back. Granted, owning your own home comes its own responsibilities, I thouroughly enjoy it. Being a bit of a do it yourselfer, working on my own home does two things:
1. Forces me to learn how to do all sorts of new things and repairs
2. Taught me how to save alot of money by doing things myself.
One of my personal favorite things about owning my own home is the freedom to do almost anything I want in my back yard. I can dig a hole, I can plant grass, plant trees, I can put up antennas, and build things to my hearts content. I also have room to park rigs and other "toys (motorcycles)"
If I had one piece of advise to someone renting an apartment, if you are willing to fix things yourself and get a little dirty, buy a home. Quit filling the pockets of the building owner and build your own equity by owning your own home.
There are drawbacks to owning our home though. For example, the house we bought was a rental for about 2 years before we bought the house. Which means most everything was in a state of "Run it till it breaks" The back yard had trees overgrowing, the roses have not been trimmed in a long time. Most of the faucets leaked, attic fan was shot, poorly insulated, and the windows were in poor shape. Since we moved in Lori and I have taken about 8 loads of trees, brush, and debri to the dump. We also have had some appliance failures, including the water heater and air conditioner. Both of which we fixed ourselves. Granted they were $200+ repairs and we had to live with the inconveniences, we got them fixed faster then the apartment managers ever did, and we purchased higher quality units. An apartment manager would have purchased the cheapest appliances they could find (gotta keep those costs down)
Overall, Lori and I are very happy with our house. A couple minor things we didn't like, which we have changed (got rid of a fence, a couple trees and plants, planted more grass, added a brick patio, etc.)
One of my personal favorites about our house is a little garden shed or "Shack" in the back yard. I have alot of fun in my shack playing with radios, servers, power tools, ya know, a regular guys shop. You could never put a solar panel up in an apartment, but I did in my shack!