We bought a house, well a year ago now. This April was our one year anniversary of living in our new home (see view from our bedroom above). I was sitting in the living room this past weekend and reminded of this wonderful moment last year when our families came together to help us with our big move. The weekend was full of celebration, moving in, good food, great company and a place to call our own. The sun was shining, flowers were in bloom and champagne was flowing.
I posted a few photos of the yard (see above), but nothing else. For some reason I was embarrassed. I felt I couldn’t celebrate that we had managed to purchase a townhouse on our own because we live in one of the most expensive cities in North America. My Facebook feed at the time, and even now, is full of angry comments about the real estate market, rent control and the cost of living in this city. Those people, comments and articles made me feel bad for what we had accomplished. I didn’t know if I could share my happiness.
I wouldn’t have wanted anyone to misinterpret my posts of our new home (see above – before we bought it – it’s prettier now) as bragging, especially when so many people are struggling. But we worked really hard to get there, nights in, a tight budget, trips on points only, extra hours at work, side gigs, taking lunches to work, meal planning, every little bit helped! We were so proud of ourselves for all the work we put in and the home we were able to purchase.
Ok, why don’t we talk about the positives?? How we did it! While still living in one of the most expensive cities in North America, well we made a plan. First we wrote down a list of everything we wanted in a home, EVERYTHING. At points there were definitely frustrations and thinking we were never going to find the perfect home, but we stuck with it. We were determined. We had a clear vision of the home we wanted, a yard with lot’s of greenery, high ceilings, an older home so we could update at some point, three bedrooms, a fireplace, and the biggest ask, a man cave. It’s the same as when I go thrift shopping and want to find a specific piece of clothing, simply on a much larger scale. We visualized. It wasn’t always easy, but in the end we checked off all our boxes.
Next we made a budget plan. Each month we had a set amount for groceries, day to day expenses and extra purchases like birthday gifts or family gatherings. We were lucky to be living in a space that was only $1200 per month for two people (which is kind of unheard of in this city) and the monthly bills were low. We set a budget of $1000 each and stuck to it. We also sold Marks car ($5000 in the bank), most of our furniture ($2000 in the bank), cancelled our cable ($120 a month in savings or $2520 over the time we lived in our rental), signed up for a cheaper phone plan ($100 savings per month or $2100 over living in the rental), every little bit helped. By knowing the exact amount we were going to spend, we knew how much we could SAVE monthly.
We now live in our forever home, because we made a plan. It took us two years to save for a down payment. It might take someone else longer, but if you have a plan in place then you can make it happen. I’d also like to say buying might not be for everyone, or even work with your salary, that is nothing to be disappointed about! There are beautiful spaces to rent in every city, you simply have to look and be patient. The same rules apply, make a plan, know your budget, what you can afford monthly, and create a wish list of what you are looking for in a space. I want everyone to find their dream home!
I wish everyone the best of luck in their journey! I believe in you. If you need support or have any questions, I am always here to help.