I paid cash for all my cars (five in the past 20 years, including cars with Geoff) and loved the idea that I don't have car payments. Have never been upset to have a used car. We have been incredibly lucky. We only buy what we have need and money for nowadays. So...
It doesn't make any sense how we ended up with this spur of the moment home purchase, over ten years ago. We were newly married, living in a really fun time of our lives, in a very transient, yet nice and new apartment complex. At the time, we lived in Woodstock, just a stone's throw from my childhood, Marietta. I began working at an OB-GYN office right near the hospital in Marietta. The drive wasn't too bad, and Geoff was working about the same distance to his work at the time. It seemed ideal. But our lease was coming up in a few months, and we knew that our prices would go up if we stayed. So, we threw out the house idea, but neither of us seemed incredibly into the idea.
One Sunday, we decided to go to a biker bar that was holding a church service. It was a fun little outing, however, I was pretty bored, and picked up a real estate magazine on my way in to the bar that morning. I was looking through it, and found a developing neighborhood I wanted to go check out. Turns out, we were heading up to spend the afternoon with a new couple we met through my work. The girl was so much like me; no make up, no nails, not pretentious, just a cool chick. Yeah, I like hangin' with me. And she told me that her hubby and her loved to have couples to hang and play games with. (Geoff and I ended up learning to drink and play darts with them.) I had the directions to her house, and asked if she was any where near this new development. Turns out, she said it was attached to her neighborhood, and if we bought there, she would get a referral bonus! We bought our house within the week.
We had great times. We moved in the day after Christmas, and had our house warming with our friends on New Year's Eve. All I can say is, Geoff met the neighbors (we had four other homes built in our subdivision that night), and I got drunk enough to vomit. (No hang over yet in my life. That's a real accomplishment.) We did a lot of partying with that couple. Until, she decided she was lesbian, moved on, then he left. (Years later, she ended up on the same ALTA team as me down in East Cobb. It was weird. Her ex-girlfriend was her partner, and the whole time I played with that team, it was surreal.) Kinda' like buying this house.
Why in the world would I buy a house so quickly? I had no experience making a major purchase, and nothing about this house was a good fit for us. Can't force a circle into a square, peeps! So, this post is for my migits, in the years that they start making money, and have to make wise financial choices.
1. Determine what your needs are.
2. Take your time.
4. Pray on it, and make sure it really "feels" right.
5. And if you make a mistake, learn to accept it, and then, work hard to mentally store that lesson for a later date.
6. WORK HARD FOR WHAT YOU WANT!
As for me... I am working on number five. We have gotten to that stage by learning from our mistakes. I will always be there to lend advice, solicited or not. I hope that you might open yourselves to advice and still make your own decisions. And if I offer more than my two cents worth--- know that it comes from a place of love. And if you are preparing an "in-law" suite, I would like one in a basement. (GRIN)