It may have taken some time, but I finally have my own tiny slice of middle class pie in the form of a house. And not just a house, but land, and trees, and a strip of asphalt as a driveway. This is the end result of a long, frustrating, vexing, and stressful process that began all the way back in 2014. A process resulting in 50 private house tours and open houses, thousands of real estate listings, and countless sleepless nights. After all that hard work I ended up paying more than I thought I would. I estimated it would cost me $260,000 (with interest after the down payment), but in actually it will cost me $310,000 (+ interest). A difference of $50,000 + interest. I also underestimated my yearly houses costs by about $3,000 (estimated $5,500 with an actual more around $20,000). The good news is I got exactly what I wanted (garage, close to work, decent square footage, gas heat, quiet neighbor hood) with only one draw back (an above ground pool).

Some Thoughts on the Process

1. The time of no financial obligations is over. I now have a very large obligation (a mortgage for 30 years) and monthly bills of various forms. While I hope to pay the mortgage off as quick as I can, monthly bills and quarterly property tax payments are going to be no fun and will reduce the aggressive savings plan I have had up to this point.

2. Dangerous financial waters ahead. While I do have some cushion to an unexpected income loss (read job loss) I will be exposed for a bit to this possibility. This will lesson with each paycheck, but it will always be a possibility until the mortgage is paid and my investments start generating enough money to live off of. That will be some time. A quick review of what can happen if you do not pay is enough to keep me saving for those bills and mortgage payments.

3. There are a lot of hungry mouths to feed when buying a home. Everyone wants a cut of the action. The bank will add on a bunch of fees so you can take out a mortgage, your lawyer has a fee to look over the agreements, the home inspector wants a few dollars for every square foot he or she inspects. It can be a little frustrating to see your hard earned green backs flowing out just so you can buy a house, but they are providing a service, so it was not all a waste.

4. A sense of melancholy. I had thought I would be very happy buying a house, but for a few weeks or so I have felt pretty melancholy about the whole affair. It is nice living very close work to work, and my friends and family are only a 30 minute drive away, but something about living alone with all the responsibilities that comes with that seems to be getting me down. I also have very quickly changed my relationship with my parents. I am less child and more family relation now. With time I think I will feel better, but it will take some adjustment.

5. Heightened cost awareness. I am now very aware that I have to pay for everything: food, electricity, heat. As such I have become hyper aware of limiting when I can these costs. This is good for my bottom line, but perhaps being so serious about turning lights on or off is of little importance in the long term.

Ultimately, I am glad this has all been taken care of, but after exerting so much time and effort what do I do now?